World Day of the Poor 2022
Responding to Pope Francis’s Plea for the Poor on November 13, 2022, the Third “World Day for the Poor,” the Community of Holy Family Home invited a young adult group, “Christ in the City,” to come to share our Sunday prayer time, supper, and stories. The Little Sisters learned lots from this group of young Catholics who commit one or two years to live close to and bring friendship to people living on the streets. Reciprocally, these young missionaries learned lots from listening to our Residents and from their encounter with the charism of St. Jeanne Jugan being kept alive at Holy Family Home.
“Christ in the City” is a youth movement enabling young adults to live together, pray together, and walk the streets together in order to build a culture of encounter with the poor. They consider a person’s relationships the most basic need. Yes, the homeless need the same things we do: food, shelter, and loving relationships. Unfortunately, the need for loving relationships is often overlooked, making it one of the greatest poverties on the streets. The missionaries try to give of themselves to those they encounter on the streets, and they view those they befriend as a gift. Some call these missionaries the “Christ Kids.” “What a compliment!” we all agreed—to be identified with Christ just like the first disciples being called “Christians.”
Father Sullivan warmly welcomed the Christ in the City Missionaries to our Chapel for Holy Hour with Evening Prayer and Benediction. The Residents’ faces then gleamed to be served supper and “make friends” with these youngsters. Afterwards, we enjoyed food and fellowship in the Cappuccino Corner. During the lively conversation at table, the Little Sisters could easily relate with what the missionaries explained as their core inspiration, namely, Our Blessed Mother Mary and St. John at the foot of the Cross. Jesus’ Mother and Beloved Disciple didn’t try to remove the nails that pierced His feet; they were simply steadfastly there, with Him. These missionaries don’t feel called to or capable of solving problems. They simply try to befriend the homeless as persons worthy of a listening ear and a respectful presence. We, daughters of Jeanne Jugan, are likewise called to imitate Our Blessed Mother and St. John, not striving to “fix the world,” but to be a loving presence with our Residents.
The missionaries left Holy Family Home with boxes of our extra warm blankets to distribute to their friends on the streets, and we Little Sisters left our meeting with them with warm thoughts about our shared commitment to Christ in the “least of His brethren.” Thank you, Pope Francis, for promoting another enriching “World Day for the Poor!”]