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The powerful generational gift of compassion

Posted: May 16, 2016

The spirit of love, compassion and service not only makes our families stronger, but it also builds a beloved community. Tied into our aspirations for a more just and equitable community is our faith that by working together we can make a difference. Love that extends itself to complete strangers is inspiring. It shows up quietly without any expectation of reciprocation. It is a reflection of people grounded in Gospel values that speaks volumes without saying a word.

 It shows up in our Emmaus circle praying for men in prison. Friends at other Catholic Churches asked us to accompany their journey by praying for them and the men they serve in their Gospel work at Minnesota prisons. When volunteers shared that over 100 churches were praying for them, the men collectively paused in awe and disbelief that complete strangers were praying for them. Often forgotten, despised and considered worthless, they are reminded that in the eyes of God that they are worthy of prayer.

 Prayer shows up at Meals on Wheels with a smile and a hot meal. This community action provides a connection for elders and people with disabilities so they can remain in their homes and live independently. The inherent dignity of each person is a value that we embrace as people of faith.

 We continue to see the blessings of intergenerational service through our Loaves & Fishes meal at Holy Rosary. Grandparents and parents bring their children and grandchildren to join our work of feeding the hungry. The youth that have joined our team bring a fresh energy. It was a delight to see the youngest members of our team sharing their joy discussing the best new book selections with the delivery of Scholastic Book Sale donations to our young guests.

 This is part of our belief that we can do small things that make a big difference. Sharing books with children and teens living in poverty is a way to lift up the value of reading and academic achievement. Young volunteers worked the table filled with a beautiful selection of new books. They enthusiastically discussed everything from Star Wars books to Science books… This is love in action. These newcomers witnessed the power of giving first-hand. These lessons will carry with them. It’s a powerful reminder of the spirit of giving.

These lessons are the legacy of parents who care deeply about our community. Showing up, being of service whether it is washing pots and pans, mopping floors or washing the laundry from a meal are not jobs that command attention, but are part of the quiet work that we do at St. Patrick’s.

We are getting ready for one of my favorite promotions of the year, Blessings for Babies to help women in crisis pregnancies. Every new born needs a party! At St. Patrick’s we know how to throw parties! St. Gerard Guild and ABC Express Preschool are throwing a baby shower and drive to collect everything babies need! This reminds women in crisis pregnancies that they are not forgotten.

We are moved by the generosity of so many who make our work possible. Our aspiration to love, serve and bring hope to many who feel forgotten is deeply moving. St. Patrick’s Church continues a 156 year tradition of intergenerational love and compassion! Thanks to everyone who prays for us, donates, shows up and makes this work possible.

--Maura Schnorbach