Published on October 23, 2015
Dear Friends of Catholic Charities,
Last month, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to see Pope Francis during his first papal visit to the United States. In Washington, DC, I attended the gathering on the White House south lawn and the Canonization Mass of Blessed Junipéro Serra at Our National Basilica. At the closest, I was ten rows away from the pope, thanks to years of crowd maneuvering experience during Mardi Gras parades.
However, just being in his presence was a gift; the words of Pope Francis touched me as he spoke of how to experience the joy of the Gospel. During his homily, Pope Francis repeatedly challenged us to ‘go forward’ in the spirit of the Gospel. I reflected upon the work of Catholic Charities, and how we strive to fulfill this invitation. All that Pope Francis expressed affirmed our works and services in our Catholic Charities programs. Pope Francis challenged us to be attentive to and to care for children, the elderly, immigrants, the incarcerated, the homeless, the unemployed, the excluded and whomever else we might meet. By being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ as we serve those in need in our community, we also experience the joy of the Gospel by sharing it with others.
These experiences make me want to be more zealous in my commitment to the mission and purpose of Catholic Charities; I want to accept the challenges that our Holy Father put before us. My special intention for us as a community is to ask God to bless each of us, so that we may, in the spirit of Pope Francis and Jesus, strive to better serve those in need in our community.
God bless you,
Sr. Marjorie Hebert, M.S.C.