Building A Community
In the past year, our nation and our parish has heard a great deal about a variety of Building Projects. The SJA community can now celebrate the completion of your new Welcome Center and acknowledge the hard work and dedication that members of SJA brought forth in this effort to improve the physical campus of our parish. The financial investment speaks to the generosity of of the SJA community. In the past year, our nation has heard a great deal about an entirely different Building Project. We are well aware of the need for some politicians and some of our citizens that support the construction of a physical wall to keep our borders "safe." It is clearly an entirely different attitude and spirit than the welcome that was extended to all of our ancestors over the years that have come to embrace America as their homeland. To continue the Building Project metaphor, I can't help but think about our SJA community and what your true success has always been when it comes to building something that will not only last, but actually makes a difference in the lives of human beings around the world. No brick and mortar necessary! SJA are expert builders of open doorways. Welcoming everyone wherever they are on their journey and insuring that we all have a place at the table. SJA are also expert builders of floors that provide opportunity, as well as sustainability to countless programs and partnerships that impact the lives thousands of human beings, both locally and internationally. It is my privilege and honor to acknowledge another Building Project that the SJA community has been involved in for the last eighteen years. Arm In Arm In Africa, one of our Sustaining Partnerships will be the focus our our celebration at all of the masses next weekend , November 18 and 19. It is an honor for me to embrace and celebrate the two loves of my life; the community of SJA and the ongoing eighteen year relationship we have with our brothers and sisters in South Africa. I look forward to providing you with a more detailed understanding of our shared community organizing efforts and how integral the spiritual and financial support of SJA is to the success and the future of Arm In Arm In Africa. The SJA community has been a doorway of justice and compassion that continues to touch the lives of hundreds of our family members in South Africa. I want to express my gratitude to the administration of SJA for welcoming me once a year to update you on the mission of Arm In Arm In Africa and for being able to ask you for your ongoing and much needed financial support. Your financial contribution to the mission of Arm In Arm In Africa, a 501(c3) is 100% tax deductible. I am fully aware that we live in a parish and a community that asks us to stretch our charitable dollars, particularly this year. We are blessed with so many worthy causes. I want to close with a brief quote from Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement.
"We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love, we must know each other. We know God in the breaking of the bread, and we know each other in the breaking of the bread and we are not alone anymore. Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too, even with a crust, where there is companionship. We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community."