by Sister Francis Bangert
published January 2016
During this Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, I invite you to step out of your comfort zone with me and be open to learn about another’s misery. Let your faith become action. Here are some starters:
- Make peace with someone you’ve not talked to in many years ... a parent, a sibling, a former friend, a neighbor.
- Clean out your closet -- bring unused clothing to St. Vincent de Paul.
- Visit a friend or a stranger in the nursing home.
- Write to or visit someone you know who is in jail or prison. Learn from them without judgment.
- Donate blood at the Red Cross Center. Give life!
- Give material, financial or emotional support to someone who just lost everything in a house fire.
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
- Speak up when you witness words or actions that violate another’s human dignity.
- Become a volunteer at a literacy council -- teach an immigrant to read.
- Pay attention to and take time to talk with your teen about the dangers of social media, as they navigate the troubled waters of adolescence.
- Become a mentor at Big Brothers/Big Sisters. A consistent supportive adult in the life of a child is very important.
- Join the Justice and Peace committee in your parish ... to learn and to act.
- Provide caring support for the young adult struggling with his or her sexual orientation.
- Connect with JOSHUA (Justice Organization Sharing Hope United for Action) or a similar organization in your area to learn about and become active in the areas of immigration, prison reform, mental health.
- Sign up to participate in a mission trip to a foreign country.
- Build a house with Habitat for Humanity.
May sharing the mercy you have received from a loving God with another bring you a “wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace” (Pope Francis in announcing the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy).
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