Posted by Sr. Marjorie Hebert, MSC | June 2018 |
Dear Friends of Catholic Charities,
Please let me begin by thanking you for your support of Catholic Charities, or as Pope Francis referred to it during his 2014 Catholic Charities USA address, “the engine of the Church that organizes love.”
It is true that Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans is part of a nationwide network of agencies that acts as the charitable arm of the Catholic Church. Impelled by the love and teachings of Jesus Christ, we strive to serve the most vulnerable in our communities, lift up voices less heard and empower the weak to foster a just society.
In these summer months we observe and celebrate Memorial Day, Flag Day, Juneteenth and Independence Day, all holidays which celebrate the achievements and sacrifices made to move this great nation forward. In our recent call-to-action, we asked you to exercise your rights afforded to you under a representative democracy and contact your legislators in support of a state budget that funds care for individuals with disabilities, such as individuals served by our Padua and PACE programs. Thank you for your letters, phone calls and prayers.
As U.S. citizens, let us remember to not take our rights and privileges for granted! I was recently able to attend a naturalization ceremony. As 57 men and women representing 30 countries enthusiastically declared the Oath of Allegiance to the USA, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own citizenship. When I speak the Pledge of Allegiance, is it just a recitation? Or am I truly pledging to fulfill the responsibilities that come with being a U.S. citizen?
The men and women receiving citizenship that day all endured unique hardships, days, months and years of paperwork and studying, and still persisted in their goal of becoming a U.S. citizen. I think on this moment when facing political challenges to respond to the call of Jesus to serve “the least of our brethren.”
This summer, let us celebrate our forefathers, the fathers and father figures in our families and communities and, as always, our Heavenly Father. In a blessing, adapted from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, for Father’s Day we ask –
God our Father, grant that we, as their sons and daughters, honor and appreciate our fathers always with a spirit of profound respect. May the example and prayer of St. Joseph inspire them to live their vocation with courage. We ask that He grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
God bless you,