who wish all people to be saved and to come
to the knowledge of your truth:
send, we beg you, laborers into your harvest.
Grant them grace to speak your word with all boldness
so that your word may spread and be glorified and
all nations may know you,
the only God, and Jesus Christ who you sent.
I pray with Mary and the whole Church for the Pope’s intentions this month:
That the aged, marginalised, and those who have no one may find – even within the huge cities of the world – opportunities for
encounter and solidarity.
That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.
The call to care for our neighbours is as old as the Bible. Living out his faith, Frederick Ozanam formed a group in 1833 to serve the poor and marginalised in Paris. They brought food, clothing and, best of all, human contact to the needy. Their group developed into the Society of St Vincent de Paul, now a world-wide organisation with over 1.5 million volunteers helping 30 million people in 140 countries. They also set up housing and senior centres.
During the winter of 1976 some Dublin firemen were horrified to discover elderly men and women seriously ill, dying or dead in derelict houses in the city centre. The firemen had re-discovered a sad truth about global urban living: the elderly and marginalised are often lonely, neglected and abandoned. The firemen established ALONE.
All helping organisations, religious and secular, need support and volunteers. But individuals and families can play an important part too. Be mindful of those living near you. Remember Jesus invited into God’s kingdom all those who had cared for him: ‘…for I was hungry and you gave me food…and you gave me something to drink…you welcomed me…you gave me clothing…you took care of me…you visited me.’ (Matthew 25).
- Fr Hugh Duffy SJ, extracted from Living Prayer