Director's Message: October 2020
Pope Francis promulgated his third encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, on October 3, the day prior to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. He selected this particular quote from his namesake to speak to the world of a proposed way of life marked by the flavor of the Gospel, that of fraternity and social friendship. Our world is fragmented, yet the Gospel calls us to unity in our diversity; divisions grow, yet our depth must be found in dialogue; personal ambitions have been confused for dreams, yet “dreams are built together” (FT 8).
Saint Raphaela, when visiting Rome for the first time and looking from her train into the window of the train on the other track, commented to her Sister companion: “How many children God has!” In the brief sight of others on the other side of the tracks, she could see God’s children because her heart had grown accustomed to the way that God sees and loves. From the reality of the shadows of our world, we are called to be people of hope, and this hope is to be lived in the flesh as true fraternity, the building of a sense of “family” even without physical proximity, choosing to love in such a way that “transcends borders,” which is the basis of “social friendship” (FT 99). Let us pray and work for this transformation in ourselves, in our society, and in our world.
In addition to the Encyclical, you can also access summaries, infographics, and helpful material to explore this important message for our Church and our world through the Resources Page.
Pope Francis has also stated that participation in politics is “one of the highest forms of charity.” The US Bishops have released this document: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The USCCB document lists 47 issues that Catholics should consider when they vote. The Catholic Voter Guide provides a chart with all 47 issues and the current political beliefs of the two major presidential candidates. We unite with all in prayer for our nation and for our world, and in deep reflection, as we prepare to participate in this “high form of charity” in November.
With unity and prayer as our sustaining values of this season, our doors are open to you. We welcome individuals and groups this fall for personal days of reflection and communal experiences of hospitality and creativity. May our home be a space for you to come, rest, heal and experience the unity which God dreams for us.
- Sr. Lyan Tri, Director