Catholic Charities’ Executive Director William J. McCarthy, Jr. represented faith-based providers of services to Maryland’s poor at Maryland Interfaith Legislative Committee in Annapolis

Fighting Poverty with Faith: Maryland’s Faith Community Calls on State Leaders to Safeguard the Social Safety Net  

This week, 70 people, including Maryland’s top faith leaders and members of the Maryland Interfaith Legislative Committee (MILC), gathered for a prayer vigil in front of the State House in Annapolis. The group prayed for vulnerable Marylanders, thanked State leaders for actions already taken to protect those in need, and asked them to preserve the social safety net.

Bishop H. Gerard Knoche, Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Rabbi Ari Goldstein, Temple Beth Shalom, offered the opening and closing prayers, respectively. Reverend Doctor Peter Nord, Presbytery of Baltimore, described MILC’s role in the community, while Pastor Denise Auguste, Abundant Harvest Church International served as emcee. Other speakers included:

Bishop Denis J. Madden, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, who said, “As revenues decrease and demand continues to increase, the safety-net is in jeopardy and so are the lives of vulnerable Marylanders.”

“All of the major faith groups in Maryland contribute to the social safety net by providing services to Marylanders. We will continue the fight against poverty in Maryland,” and William J. McCarthy Jr., Executive Director of Catholic Charities. Imam Earl El-Amin, Muslim Community Cultural Center of Baltimore, acknowledged the efforts of state leaders, saying, “In today’s environment, we know it is difficult to protect any governmental program. We thank you for continuing to protect these most important programs to the best of your abilities.”

Bishop John L. Rabb, Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, called on state leaders “to remember to weigh the human impact of State programs just as much as their fiscal impact.”

The Maryland Interfaith Legislative Committee (MILC) represents Maryland’s diverse faith communities. We seek to find common ground to identify, develop, and support public policies that will protect vulnerable Marylanders and create equal opportunity for full access to a healthy and vibrant life.