When Pope Francis exhorts us to see the face of Jesus in the suffering poor, that doesn’t mean poverty automatically makes a person Christ-like. Even so, those who are lowly in the world’s eyes are often just the sort of people God uses to humble the high and mighty by demonstrating a life rich in faith.
Recently, Cross Catholic Outreach received a letter that touched my heart. It was written by 12-year-old Chama Mofya, who attends a Catholic school we partner with in the Luanshya area of Zambia, run by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi.
Rosita Bernard is a teacher at Kobonal Haiti Mission’s school in Haiti’s Central Plateau. She is also a former student. In fact, many of the Mission’s 62 teachers were previous students. Rosita arrives early to school every morning to read the Bible and pray with her fellow teachers. This fellowship keeps her focused on the importance of her role in her students’ lives.
She couldn’t take it anymore. Sixteen-year-old Suyen had been helping her ill mother with housework and her father with farming — plus riding her bicycle to school 12½ miles each way. Something had to give.
Mother Candelaria, of the Servants of the Lord and of the Virgin of Matara (SSVM) helps care for children while they stay at one of two boarding homes run by priests of the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE).
Here are some moving insights from the administrator of Carmen Pampa University, one of our ministry partners. It was founded by a Franciscan nun to serve the needs of poor but hardworking high school graduates from rural areas of Bolivia, the poorest country on the South American continent.