When In Rome: "Arrived!"

Date 04.27.14

A travel blog by Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon

Following Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon as she travels to Rome, Italy for the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Lynn and her husband are leading a group of approximately 30 pilgrims from throughout the United States in a whirlwind itinerary.

Beyond the April 27 ceremonies, their group will explore the sights and sounds of Rome and Vatican City.

Listing of all blog entries:

"Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"

"The Miracle of an Incorruptible"

"The Big Day"

"The Coliseum"

"A side trip to Assisi"

"Exploring Vatican City"

"We have arrived!"

"Before we depart..."

This was an amazing time as we all gathered at the gate together to meet people from a number of states. 

What a sense of joy! 

We even had 3 people from our former parish in Illinois where we served before moving to Denver. 

We all flew to Dulles in Washington D.C. for a 3 hour layover.  Entering the plane we immediately saw Archbishop Wuerl from D.C. who greeted my husband!

And when we reached our seats we saw, two seats in front of us, Raymond Arroyo from EWTN’s Catholic TV Network – how fun is that?!  After our dinner, we tried very hard to get some rest, as we knew we had a full day of nonstop activity upon our arrival. 

But I must show you the incredible sight out my window when we were awakened in a few hours as it was morning in Europe. 

mountain alpsThese are the Alps in the morning sun – you could hear everyone gasping and taking pictures throughout the plane – what a blessing to awaken to such a breath-taking display of God’s power in creation. 

Upon landing, we had some challenges with personal belongings of some of our pilgrims, which caused our schedule to be delayed – already an opportunity to be gracious and patient as a witness to our faith and lifestyle.

We stopped at the hotel to pick up the rest of our group, a number of people from Hawaii! 

Then, on to Roma! Our first stop: a gigantic church – St. Pauls Outside the Walls. 

This is where the tomb of St. Paul is located. We were able to have our first Mass in the morning in a side chapel dedicated to St. Stephen, the first and young martyr.

There was an incredible statue behind the altar which had Stephen’s right foot placed on a pile of stones (he was stoned to death) – it was hard to hold back the tears. 

What an honor to see such a magnificent church erected to honor the man who brought the Gospel to the Gentile world – which included our ancestors. 

It was profound to realize that St. Paul was originally Saul – who stood and held people’s coats while they stoned Stephen to death.

This same man had such a dramatic conversion that he, too, died for the same Christ, who rose from His throne in Heaven and stood up to welcome Stephen to Heaven as the first martyr.

saint stephen statueStephen was able to see that scene while still alive, and told everyone around him before he was stoned.

What kind of impact must that have had on Saul?! 

And here they both are, honored centuries later for their great faith. 

The scend really reminds me of a small plaque that hung in my childhood home, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past – Only what’s done for Christ will last.”



Call to Charity: A Marian month for mothers

Date 04.25.14

Call to Charity: A Marian month for mothers

(This edition of Call to Charity appeared in the April 23, 2014 edition of the Denver Catholic Register.)

Mother's Day falls on May 11 this year and it is the 100th anniversary of this occasion in the U.S.

Create Mothers Day Basket ButtonLook back much further, nearly two millennia, to when the Blessed Virgin Mary said yes to God. She was a teenager who found herself pregnant and alone in a society that stoned women who found themselves in that situation. And yet, Joseph, through his honor and kindness, protected her and shielded her. They raised Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, and was resurrected for us, to save us from our sins, to bring us back to life.

So let's celebrate Mary—and all the mothers in our lives—throughout the Marian month of May, culminating in the feast of the Visitation on May 31. Say thank you to your mother, your sister, your wife for their yes to life and remind them how much you love them.

We are doing that at Catholic Charities and we invite you to join us. Starting this week, donors are making Mother's Day baskets for moms with children who are experiencing homelessness and beginning to rebuild their lives. The baskets will be delivered to homeless shelters throughout northern Colorado: Samaritan House in downtown Denver, Father Ed Judy House in south Denver, Guadalupe Community Shelter in Greeley and The Mission in Ft. Collins. The baskets may contain beauty items, gift cards and other goods.

With each basket will be a Miraculous Medal, also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, plus a prayer card that states, "O sweet and lovely Mary, holy Mother of God, queen of all mothers, pray for us!"

This is our prayer. What is yours? How are you going to honor the women and mothers in your life? Will you teach your sons to respect, love and defend women, to appreciate everything they are and the amazing things they do? This is what we are called to do.


See a list of upcoming Marian eventsincluding donations of Mother's Day baskets.

When In Rome: "Before we depart..."

Date 04.22.14

A travel blog by Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon

Following Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon as she travels to Rome, Italy for the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Lynn and her husband are leading a group of approximately 30 pilgrims from throughout the United States in a whirlwind itinerary.

Beyond the April 27 ceremonies, their group will explore the sights and sounds of Rome and Vatican City.

Listing of all blog entries:

"Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"

"The Miracle of an Incorruptible"

"The Big Day"

"The Coliseum"

"A side trip to Assisi"

"Exploring Vatican City"

"We have arrived!"

"Before we depart..."

Hello! My name is Lynn.

As a staff member for Catholic Charities, I oversee our Respect Life Resources Office, as well as our Lighthouse Women's Center in Denver.

I also serve as the Archbishop's Healthcare Liaison and on the Board of Directors for Divine Mercy Supportive Care.

Beyond those hats, I'm a wife, mom of 6 children, convert to the Catholic Church - and a professional musician. So, this blog may take a number of fun twists and turns as I observe everything happening around me!

My husband and I will be traveling with approximately 30 people from different parts of the U.S.. Some of these pilgrims have never been abroad before. But they are all deeply excited to be a part of this historic occasion as we honor two of our Church's most incredible and courageous popes!

Personally, the writings of Pope John Paul II (whom I'll affectionately refer to as "JP2" from here on out) left me dumbstruck, particularly his Theology of the Body.

After spending the greater part of my life immersed in the medical care field, I had never, for one second, considered many of the points he had made in the first few pages of that masterpiece. I can guarantee that this realm of thought will most certainly be mentioned as we travel together!

What must be said at the very beginning of this journey is that I have now learned that to be truly joyful and fulfilled, we must give of ourselves to others - when we feel like it, and when we don't.

For certain, this mentality is completely opposite to the cultural attitudes in America right now. Instead, America says: "You deserve...[fill in the blank]" and "What's in it for ME??," etc, etc...

As co-leader of our group of pilgrims, I will be constantly looking for ways to be of service and a blessing to others.

In solidarity with these two incredible soon-to-be saints, my traveling mantra will be:
      "May we be a Light and a Witness to all we encounter!"




Marys show up monthly for homeless moms

Date 04.21.14

Holy Name parishioners pray, support Father Ed Judy House

Every Tuesday morning, a group of women from Holy Name Parish in Englewood meet to pray the rosary together. They call themselves “The Marys.”

Pat Beierl, a longstanding member and respected leader of the group, describes their mission.

“We consider ourselves first and foremost a prayer group. But our mission is both prayer and works of charity.”

For over six years now, The Marys have developed a special love for Catholic Charities Father Ed Judy House, which serves single moms and their children as they struggle to overcome homelessness.

During their first meeting of each month, Pat takes up a collection. She then calls Father Ed Judy House to discuss diaper supply – a constant need for its resident and alumni families.

Soon after, she arrives at the shelter on behalf of The Marys with two large cases of diapers in whatever size is needed most.

Pat explains the group’s attraction to the shelter.

“It’s the fact that it’s not just a giveaway; [these moms are] trying to get stable. We like to see them achieve independence.”

Volunteers throw baby shower at Father Ed Judy
Pat Beierl (far right) and fellow members of The Marys enjoy a baby shower for one of the moms at Father Ed Judy House.
Photo used with permission

The Marys certainly help support this independence, especially when it comes to infants and young children.

Beyond their monthly diaper donation, The Marys began throwing baby showers for resident mothers who were pregnant.

“A lot of us are grandmothers,” Pat says, “so the baby showers are especially fun.”

The majority of the group’s membership are in their 70s, and while Pat identifies herself as the eldest, she shies away from calling their group ‘elderly.’

Pat’s leadership and The Marys’ invaluable charity prove that volunteers can truly make a difference, no matter what their age or circumstance.

“Words cannot fully express our gratitude for The Marys,” says Theresa Miller, the shelter’s volunteer coordinator. “Their consistent monthly support of our ministry, combined with their willingness to adapt their philanthropy to whatever our greatest need is at any given time, is a God-send to the mothers and children we serve.”

Calling all Prayer Warriors

Date 04.09.14

Click here for information and registration for Savers of Souls. Here is more background on the effort to pray for an end to abortion.

Call to Charity: Time for brave hearts

Date 04.01.14

(Larry's column appeared in the March 26 edition of the Denver Catholic Register.)

"We treat Jesus and refer to him all the time as if he's just a woman, feminine all the time: he's weeping all the time and he never picks a fight and he certainly never wins any, and he's just so nice, like a greeting card...No! He is a lion, he is fierce. There is a reason that every single man I have ever met on the planet loves the movie 'Braveheart.' And every single normal woman I have ever met on the face of the earth loves every single man like that."

That's Gianna Jessen, who spoke to 850 people March 8 in Denver at the Catholic Charities Beacon of Hope Gala for Lighthouse and Women's Services. Jessen is an abortion survivor who says she has the "gift of cerebral palsy" and refers to herself as "God's girl." The gala raised more than $500,000 for a range of women's services provided by Catholic Charities, including the Lighthouse Women's Center, which offers a lifeline to women in crisis pregnancies, right across the street from Planned Parenthood.

Following Jessen on stage, I remarked that the new face of poverty is a single woman and her child, and that the thing that is missing is men. They're just not there.

We need men to focus on their families and to provide an example, to stand up and be counted as the Christian men that we are, to not be afraid to use the word 'Jesus' in a daily conversation, to bring our faith into our daily lives.

This is an era of absent men.

It takes a brave man to be charitable and to put his family first. Because society tells us to put yourself first. To be a steward, to be a warrior for Jesus, a man must defend and protect his family. Are you loving your family and raising your sons to be honorable men, to love women, to defend women? Are you raising your sons and daughters to be chaste and—if called to marriage—to seek a spouse for lifelong marriage? Are we open to God's gift of children and not mangled in the false promises of contraception and abortion?

It's time for brave hearts.

With three weeks left in Lent, resolve to write down your answers to those questions, one each week.


See videos and a media gallery from the Lighthouse and Women's Services gala.

2014 Pro-Life Essay & Artwork Contest inspires local youth in creation of prize-winning masterpieces

Date 03.26.14

Hundreds of local youth participated in the 2014 Archdiocesan Pro-Life Essay & Artwork Contest. The contest coincides each year with the Feast of the Annunciation - this year, March 25, which commemorates Jesus' conception in Mary's womb.

Sponsored by Catholic Charities' Respect Life Resources office, middle school and high school students were invited to submit entries in either, or both, of two categories:

  • An original essay on an issue of his or her choosing that articulates a pro-life view
  • An original drawing or painting that represents the Annunciation - the day of Jesus' conception in Mary's womb.

Grand Prize
by Sophomore Hope Hecker

[View High Resolution]

Grand Prize
by 8th Grader Dylan Devlin

[View High Resolution]

Judges selected this year's four winners - one for each category from each age group - from among 121 pieces of art and 101 written essays.

Winners were announced at the end of a special Mass celebrated March 23 by Msgr. Thomas Fryar, Vicar General, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

The 2014 Winning Entries

Grand Prize Winners

Grand Prize Artwork - High School
Pictured at right
Submitted by Sophomore Hope Hecker of Heritage High School

Grand Prize Essay - High School
"The Affliction of Abortion" [PDF]
Submitted by Freshman Mitchell Brinton of Holy Family High School

Grand Prize Artwork - Middle School
Pictured at right
Submitted by 8th Grader Dylan Devlin of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

Grand Prize Essay - Middle School
"Rachel has a right to life" [PDF]
Submitted by 7th Grader Joseph O'Hagan of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

Additional Prizes for Artwork

7th Grade Artwork Winners

1st Place: Adrian Quintero, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

2nd Place: Demitra Loukopoulos, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

3rd Place: Megan Hilbert, Blessed Sacrament Catholic School

8th Grade Artwork Winners

1st Place: Dylan Devlin, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

2nd Place: Jack Staib, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

3rd Place: Elizabeth Magolske, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

6th Grade Artwork Winners

1st Place: Ginger Jacobs, St. Joseph Catholic School (Ft. Collins)

2nd Place: James Alaimo, St. Joseph Catholic School (Ft. Collins)

3rd Place: Maggie Brady, St. Joseph Catholic School (Fr. Collins) 

Additional Prizes for Essays

6th Grade Essay Contest Winner

1st Place: Brigid McNamara, Good Shepherd Catholic School

7th Grade Essay Contest Winners

Tie for 1st Place: Joseph O’Hagan, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

Tie for 1st Place: Owen Noland, Good Shepherd Catholic School

8th Grade Essay Contest Winners

1st Place: Jorge Paredes, Good Shepherd Catholic School

2nd Place: Ben Beauvais, St. Joseph Catholic School (Ft. Collins)


Foster family opens heart, home to hospitalized newborn

Date 03.25.14

Foster family opens heart, home to hospitalized newborn

Baby Peter was a special boy, in need of a special family to love him.

In the weeks after his birth, doctors discovered serious health problems.

Peter had been exposed to drugs in utero, and the poison had taken its toll.

He remained under the care of the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit throughout his first month of life, as they struggled to help him eat the food he so desperately needed.

Mike and Carol Geller had recently completed their application as a Catholic Charities Foster Family and, at four weeks old, Baby Peter was placed in their loving care.

They immediately fell in love with their precious foster son, dedicating all their efforts to his healing.

They carefully observed the doctors, as they used special equipment to feed Peter.

And when they realized, soon after arriving home, that that Peter was also deaf, they made immediate efforts to learn sign language.

Now three months old, Peter is growing beautifully and, according to his doctors, meeting all of the traditional developmental milestones for boys his age!

When asked, Mike and Carol describe Peter “as the joy of their lives” and tearfully describe how “blessed [they are] to be his parents.”

*Names have been changed and stock photos used to protect privacy of our clients.

Volunteers needed for newest Gabriel House

Date 03.25.14

Volunteers needed for newest Gabriel House

Beginning in May 2014, Catholic Charities will open its fifth Gabriel House at Centro San Juan Diego, a local center for Hispanic ministry.

The Gabriel House Project serves pregnant women and mothers of small children by offering emotional, spiritual and material support, including free diapers, toiletries, food and baby equipment.

In just one year, over 6,000 visits were made across our four Gabriel Houses, assisting over 700 women and their children with goods and services, including 22,000 diapers, clothing and other assistance.

Learn more about the Gabriel House Project, and how you can help mothers and young children in need.

Join us Monday, March 31 beginning at 6:00 p.m. for a Volunteer Information Night and Training Session at Centro San Juan Diego, located at 2830 Lawrence Street in Denver.

Questions? Please contact Mimi Eckstein at 303-742-0828 ext. 2045 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

*Photo used with permission.

Gala mobilizes time, talent, treasure for women in need

Date 03.24.14

Over 850 guests gathered March 8, 2014, for the 3rd Annual Beacon of Hope Gala, in support of Catholic Charities Lighthouse and Women's Services. Together, they pledged time, talent and treasure in a remarkable display of support for women and children in need, particularly those vulnerable to abortion, homelessness and poverty.

  • Raised $500,000 in fund support. 
        Your donation is appreciated. Click here to donate.
  • Mobilized 264 prayer warriors.
        Want to join? Contact Volunteer Coordinator Mark Hahn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Inspired 104 volunteers to give service.
        Want to volunteer? Contact Volunteer Coordinator Mark Hahn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Video Archive | 2014 Beacon of Hope Gala

Lighthouse & Women's Services | Saving Women & Children

Event proceeds will collectively support the following Catholic Charities ministries:

Media Archive | 2014 Beacon of Hope Gala

Pro-Life Boot Camp draws nearly 100 teens

Date 02.05.14

Pro-Life Boot Camp draws nearly 100 teens

Lynn Grandon takes a different approach when teaching teens about love, sex and babies. And it appears to be working.

Nearly 100 eighth- through 12-graders attended the third annual Pro-Life Boot Camp on Saturday, January 26 at St. Thomas More Church in Centennial.
According to Grandon, program director of Respect Life Resources of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver, the boot camp seeks to educate attendees on the medical and Catholic perspectives on conception and abortion.

"Rather than bombarding today's youth with a list of do's and dont's," said Grandon, "our office instead seeks to empower youth with sound reasoning that allows them to make sound decisions for themselves."

The boot camp included lessons on embryology, as illustrated with soft fetal models and 3-D ultrasound imaging.

Grandon regularly travels to local Catholic schools throughout the year to deliver presentations on the truth about the conception of life – and how to respond to today’s most common abortion arguments.

To learn more about the Respect Life Resources office, visit www.ccdenver.org/respectlife or call 303-742-0828 ext. 2122.

Colorado Gives Day an amazing success

Date 12.17.13

By Julie Filby (December 11, 2013, Denver Catholic Register)

Some 88,000 Coloradans came together to raise more than $20 million for 1,442 nonprofits during Colorado Gives Day, a 24-hour online fundraiser, held Dec. 10 on the website www.coloradogives.org.

This year’s $20 million display of generosity exceeded last year’s donations of $15.4 million during the 24-hour window.

Of that total, more than $144,000 was donated to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver. 

“We’re overwhelmed with gratitude for the response,” said Lori Kennedy, vice president of development for Catholic Charities. “Colorado Gives Day is a perfect opportunity for Catholic Charities to connect people with a ‘need to give’ with those with a ‘need to receive.’ 

“God is good!”  

The amount donated to Catholic Charities—which helps fund their 30-plus ministries throughout northern Colorado—has continued to grow each year the agency has participated in Colorado Gives Day: last year’s total was $104,000; in 2011 $50,000; and in 2010, their first year to participate, $20,000 was raised.


Dec. 18: Lou from Littleton Radio-A-Thon

Date 12.13.13


[Click Here]

Donate by Phone | Call (303) 996-6087

Donate by Text | Text "LOU" to 50155

Donate Drive-By | Drop donations at 2310 Lawrence Street in downtown Denver

**Gifts of $250 or more qualify for 25% Enterprise Zone Tax Credit on state income taxes.

ONLINE AUCTION: Click to place bid

About this event 

Every year, Tom Manoogian, better known as ESPN Radio's "Lou from Littleton," reserves a full day to broadcast live from Catholic Charities' Samaritan House Homeless Shelter.

Included among this year's distinguished radio guests will be the Denver Broncos and Denver Nuggets' great Bill Hanzlik.

Lou will also take a special peek into life at Samaritan House by interviewing several of the shelter’s current staff and residents.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

LISTEN LIVE on ESPN Denver FM105.5 or FM102.3

LISTEN LIVE ONLINE at http://www.espndenver.com/

Online Auction of Sports Memorabilia

Are you a sports fan? Don't miss our online auction. 

Click here to peruse this year's auction items featuring a variety of collectible sports memorabilia!

Many auction items will be publicly displayed at Samaritan House on Wednesday. Swing by the shelter anytime on December 18. Go shopping - and see firsthand how your donation will help the homeless men, women and children living at Samaritan House!

Lou from Littleton 2011 Auction Item at Samaritan House

Support the Homeless

It costs $9,000 a day to run Samaritan House, so we need your support!

Funds raised during this year's Lou From Littleton Radio-A-Thon will help to feed, shelter and clothe the homeless men, women and children living at Samaritan House.

Samaritan House supplies approximately 50% of the shelter housing available to families in the Denver area. The shelter operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, rain or shine, and continually operates at full capacity.

Learn more about Samaritan House Homeless Shelter at www.ccdenver.org/samaritanhouse.


Gifts of $250 or more qualify for the Enterprise Zone Tax Credit, which offers a 25% cut on your state income taxes. Learn more at www.ccdenver.org/EZTaxCredit.

Click here to DONATE ONLINE

To make a donation by phone, call (303) 996-6087.
(NOTE: this number is only active on the day of the event)

To make a donation by text message, text "LOU" to 50155.

To make a donation in person, please drop off your donation at Samaritan House Homeless Shelter, located at 2301 Lawrence Street in downtown Denver.


Please call 303-742-0828 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Give a Mother's Day basket to a Mom in need

Date 04.17.14

Let's celebrate our Blessed Mother Mary – and all the mothers in our lives

mothers day basket donationFrom now through May 31, the Feast of the Visitation, Catholic Charities is collecting gift baskets to bestow upon the many mothers we serve, throughout the following ministries:


Larry Smith CEO President Catholic Charities Denver

A Marian Month for Mothers

by Larry Smith, President & CEO


  • 3 to 5 items suggested per basket
      Baskets may be further divided to ensure even distribution among our moms.
  • Keep basket unwrapped 
      Staff will need to inspect each basket prior to distributing to our residents.
  • Get creative with your container
      The basket or whatever container you use to collect your items could be considered a gift!
  • No perishables, please 
      All baskets will be stored until Mother's Day. We don't want your gift to spoil!

Suggested Basket Contents:

  • Chapstick
  • Gum
  • Jewelry
  • Journals
  • Lotion
  • Makeup
  • Pens
  • Perfume
  • Restaurant Gift Cards
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Slippers
  • Womens socks

*Please note that we cannot accept mouthwash due to shelter alcohol policy. Perishable food items are also strongly discouraged.

Basket Drop-Off Sites

The Aurora Gabriel House
13101 East Mississippi Avenue, #270, Aurora, 80012
Hours: Tuesdays, 9:00am-1:00pm, and Saturdays, 9:00am-3:00pm
Contact: 303-364-9929

The Boulder Gabriel House
6739 South Boulder Road, Boulder, 80303
Hours: Tuesdays, 9:00am-3:00pm, and Saturdays, 9:00am-1:00pm
Contact: 303-449-0122

Denver, North:
Catholic Charities Main Headquarters
4045 Pecos Street, Denver, 80211
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm
Contact: Call the main desk at 303-742-0828

Denver, West:
The Jefferson County Gabriel House
1980 Nelson Street, Lakewood, 80215
Hours: Mondays, 9:00am-3:00pm, and Thursdays, 9:00am-3:00pm
Contact: 720-459-8783

Denver, East:
The Denver Gabriel House
1341 Oneida Street, Denver, 80220
Hours: Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:00am-3:00pm 
Contact: 303-377-1577

Fort Collins // Larimer County
Catholic Charities Regional Office // The Mission
460 Linden Center Drive, Fort Collins
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm
Contact: Receptionist Terri Bazaldua at 970-484-5010 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Greeley // Weld County
The Guadalupe Community Shelter
1442 North 11th Avenue, Greeley, 80631
Hours: Sunday-Saturday, 9:00am-5:00pm
Contact: Cheri Anderson or Verna Recor at 970-347-8713 or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mountain Range // Western Slopes:
Catholic Charities Regional Office
1004 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, 81601
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm
Contact: Glenda Martinez at 970-384-2060 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.