Joy, Renewal, Blessing, Encounter

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Did you hear Pope Francis speak directly to us when he addressed Congress?! I felt like he was talking about IVC when he said older Americans are “a storehouse of wisdom forged by experience, and who seek in many ways, especially through volunteer work, to share their stories and their insights. I know that many of them are retired, but still active; they keep working to build up this land.”

I heard this with great emotion, especially because it came just after I had spent such a joyfully exhausting and exhilarating day in service with 40 Ignatian Volunteers, helping with the distribution of Holy Communion at Pope Francis’ Canonization Mass of Junipero Serra at Catholic University. What joy, renewal, peace and blessing Pope Francis offered our communities during his visit!

What struck me most about the “Francis Effect” was how Pope Francis touched so many people along his journey. He reached out and touched so many people’s hands and faces, blessing them with his presence, as Christ did. He lived Christ’s love in his interactions. This is what Ignatian Volunteers do in their service sites.

Ignatian Volunteers reach out to the poor and vulnerable as Pope Francis did at Catholic Charities, in the Philadelphia prison, in the New York school.   They minister with their loving presence. They are Christ’s body on earth, reaching out and sharing time and community with those shunned by our society. They help feed, clothe, shelter, teach, and support men, women, and children who need to feel this love.

The “Joy of the Gospel” is alive in IVC! As our new service year has begun and 513 Ignatian Volunteers are actively engaging in service, I feel such gratitude to all of you for your part in our IVC family! I ask that you continue to pray for us as we continue to build Christ’s kingdom and show his love to all we touch.

With gratitude,

Mary McGinnity