Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pope Francis sends greetings to Charlotte

Every week, it seems, another group holds its national convention in Charlotte.

But how many of them get a video greeting from Pope Francis?

Just one that we know of: This month’s meeting of Catholic Charities USA – professionals and volunteers from dioceses around the country who work to reduce poverty.

“My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,” the pope, speaking in Spanish, began his video message. “I send you my warmest greetings of peace and abundant joy as you gather together in Charlotte, North Carolina.”

Or “Carolina del Norte” – North Carolina in Spanish.

The pope spoke for more than 12 minutes and stressed, as he has repeatedly in his papacy, the need to care for the poor.

“They will precede us into the Kingdom of Heaven, they will open the gates for us,” he said. “We are called to be a church, a people of and for the poor.”

He signed off with a blessing and this humble plea: “I also ask you to pray for me because I need it.”

Catholic Charities USA met in Charlotte Oct. 4-7.

(Video courtesy of Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte.)

-- Tim Funk