Editorial by Erica Pegorer, Executive Director
Like most at this time of year, I have been out amongst it getting ready for my family’s Christmas celebration which invariably comes with ‘the shopping’! Together with the stress of finding a car park, bustling through crowds, and the inevitable fatigue. Nonetheless come the day, I take great joy in being with family, indulging in the delicacies of the season and exchanging gifts that try to capture something i=of the love I feel for my loved ones. Quality conversation, moments of laughter and just being together adds to the special flavour of the day.
Sadly, Christmas is not the same for everyone and not all enjoy the promise of the festive season. We only need think of the homeless, refugees, beggars, the lonely and others who will be missing their loved one around the table this year. What might we do to make a difference to the Christmas of people who face bleak times? Have you watched the Pope’s TED Talk yet? He gave it in April this year. It is so rich with inspirational messages that even though I have listened to it about three or four times, I hear something new each time, something that did not grab my attention the previous time, a nuance that had previously escaped me. If you do nothing else this Advent— this time of waiting in preparation for the coming of the new, I recommend the 17 minutes its takes to listen to and then reflect on the Pope’s message about humanity, hope and courage.
The gift of giving something to someone in need "is always right," Pope Francis said, adding that it should be done with respect and compassion because "tossing money and not looking in [their] eyes is not the Christian way of charity”. Whether we give or decline to give, we then have the choice of either looking in the eye of the people who ask for our charity or of giving our money almost furtively with eyes lowered. If we choose the first we make our response personal and opens us to entering into conversation with them. It is easy to give generously to the people we love. Our theme this year was courage, to look into the eyes of the other, to know the other has a name and to acknowledge their dignity and humanity. Over these last few weeks before Christmas, let’s respond personally and enter into conversation with at least one person who asks us for our charity. The best gift of all, is the gift of human connectedness and gratitude.
The Mission and Ministry Team extend our gratitude and thanks for your friendship, support and work this year. We have had many blessed and memorable moments that continue to add to the tapestry of Kildare Ministry. We are stronger for the contribution and commitment of our Trustees and Members’ Council; Principals and Leaders of our Community Works; Board Directors and Stewardship Councils and the many networks of personnel that engage and shape our work. We look forward to another significant year in 2018. I would also like to thank and acknowledge the members of the Mission and Ministry Team – Andrea, Rita and Jeff, Kate and Monica - for all that they have given to Kildare Ministries. We are a small office and a highly effective team because each member is generous, committed and highly professional. Thank you team!
As this year comes to a close, we wish you every blessing for Christmas:-
The Light of the Christmas Star to you
The warmth of home and hearth to you
The cheer and good will of friends to you
The hope of a childlike heart to you
The joy of a thousand angels to you
The love of the Son and God’s peace to you.
With Christmas love and New Year’s wishes to you all.