Catholic Charities campaign asks Minnesotans: ‘What kind of state do we want to live in?’

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has embarked on a campaign designed to to get people thinking about how to better respond to the needs of the less fortunate.

As The Catholic Spirit, the archdiocesan newspaper, reports, Catholic Charities has unveiled banners to help get the conversation started. The banners read: “Our political agenda: food, shelter, dignity.”

Father John Estrem, CEO of Catholic Charities in the archdiocese, tells the newspaper that the campaign is a call to action for Minnesotans. “It’s about people in every walk of life asking the question: What kind of state do we want to live in?” he said.

One banner is on a billboard in St. Paul above heavily traveled I-94. A second is displayed outside of the Catholic Charities-run Dorothy Day Center in downtown St. Paul, across the street from the Xcel Energy Center, which happens to be where the Republican National Convention will be Sept. 1-4.

The center will remain open to serve the area’s needy during the convention, but access will be restricted for security reasons.

Father Estrem said the banners were not targeting the thousands of Republicans who will be in town, because they had been planned long before the GOP announced it would be meeting in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

The innovative campaign is not just about banners, however. Catholic Charities has opened a Web site to engage the wider community about responding to poverty.

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