“When our daughter saw pictures of Haiti, she asked us why we wouldn’t send them all our food and extra money,” says her father, Francis. “I explained that we did send a donation to Catholic Relief Services when the earthquake hit, but I could tell that she thought that was pretty marginal in terms of really helping. She said when she grew up, she was going to go there herself and help.” His daughter’s response made Francis re-examine his own. “She made me look at Haiti through new eyes. She made me wonder how we can allow people to live in tin shacks when our own family has four bedrooms and two bathrooms.”
We can bring the poor into our home. When Charlotte and Jack went to Mass with their two young daughters, the messages about serving the poor hit hard. “We’d go back to our comfortable house, and it didn’t seem enough to continue to be active in programs for the poor,” says Jack. “We didn’t really get to know the people we were serving.”
Eventually the two became licensed foster parents. “Almost all the children in our county’s foster system come from poverty. For us, foster care is living the works of mercy every day. I can’t list them all, but I know the gist—feeding the hungry, giving shelter, clothing the naked,” Jack says. “It’s all there with the kids who have come into our home. It’s so difficult, but it feels right for us.”
Judy, a foster mother to dozens of children through the years, agrees. “Jesus said that the kingdom belongs to the least ones, and these are the least ones.”
By Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the Best in Class award in 2014 from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for four years running. Here’s a sample issue.
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