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I happened to be in DC the week Pope Francis began his US visit. Aside from the places he was visiting, the city was eerily quiet. I was in meetings with the National NeighborWorks Association and NeighborWorks America so I could not attend any of the festivities. Like most of us, it was not hard for me to understand his powerful messages, his powerful words, and his powerful actions. My favorite image, out of many, was the Pope hugging a young girl with Down’s syndrome who ran to him after he pulled up to the residence Wednesday night. Her look of delight was so beautiful and his radiant smile was so genuine and full of grace.
My favorite quote, out of many, was when the Pope said “Humanity has the ability to work together in building our common home.” I love the quote because it links our collective humanity with home. It implies that if we care enough we can truly make a difference and create home for everyone. My favorite act, out of many, was when he skipped lunch with Congressional leaders to be at the DC homeless shelter to spend time with his brothers and sisters there. How powerful is that!
Pope Francis has clearly touched the heart, mind, and soul of many in our country and across the globe. My sense is that this is caused by his very simple message of caring for each other and the planet we live on – our collective humanity. In our small humble way we are trying to do our part to care for our brothers and sisters. In our little corner of the world, alongside residents, elected officials, and partners, we are trying to improve our collective humanity.
I hope you will join us.
I’ve been working in community development in the St. Louis area for 25 years, and I’ve been the CEO of Beyond Housing since 1993. While I’m proud of our accomplishments, I don’t claim to be an expert. At Beyond Housing, the experts we listen to are the voices of the community members we serve. I’ll be raising issues here that I believe matter to our community. I hope you’ll join the conversation. We do reserve the right not to post comments containing offensive language. To paraphrase Dr. King, we can disagree without being disagreeable.