Sean Callahan, our chief operation officer here at CRS, recently arrived in Rome for the meeting of the executive board of Caritas Internationalis. While the meeting has long been scheduled, it coincided, it turned out, with another less expected event, the installation mass for Pope Francis. Sean was fortunate to attend as part of the Caritas delegation and sends us this dispatch from the field, describing HIs Holiness as “an example for us all.”
Our prayers are with Sean and the Caritas Internationis board, and our fervent hope is that the glorious start of this Papacy can be the beginning of a shining era of solidarity with the poor, of protection and honor for the life and dignity of all.
|“Our Life is a Journey, and When We Stop Moving, Things Go Wrong”|
|“I want to ask a favor. I want to ask you to walk together, and take care of one another.”|
|With those words, the newly installed Pope Francis began his papacy, challenging the faithful to be a Church of ministry and a Church of solidarity — to take up the Gospel challenge to wash each other’s feet. In that spirit, and in recognizing and celebrating the former Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio’s service to the poor and the disenfranchised, the Pontifical Mission Societies are responding in earnest. They have started a fund to offset transportation costs for poor and low-income communities in the United States and across the world. Those costs will include bus passes, train tickets, bicycles or a gallon of gas for those in need of a little help to “keep moving.”|
|“His Holiness continued:|
|“To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope!”|
|CRS not only celebrates and supports this initiative and the shaft of light it offers, but we have joined with the Pontifical Mission Societies in the effort and will be sharing in the revenues, and so we encourage all to participate. The CRS portion of funds raised will be directed to a program in Burkina Faso to provide bicycles to working women. (Burkina Faso is one of the countries Catholics are supporting this year through CRS Rice Bowl.)Let’s all join with the Pope in getting people moving. You can learn more about the campaign and donate to the fund here.|
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