Join Pope Francis in the culture of encounter
(Larry's column appeared in the June 18 edition of the Denver Catholic Register.)
As Catholics, we all know we should have a preference for the poor. What does that look like? Pope Francis calls it a culture of encounter rather than a culture of exclusion. Volunteering is one way you can show your love and preference for the poor. And we have a new way to do that through Catholic Charities.
Volunteering can take many forms. Last week, 15 people (including yours truly) committed to raise money for Catholic Charities homeless shelters by riding the six-day, 471-mile Ride the Rockies bike event. Nearly 300 people have donated to Team Samaritan House, raising more than $28,000 to support five homeless shelters in northern Colorado, which serve those in the greatest need.
Other volunteers, as always, are giving of themselves through the many ministries of Catholic Charities, to serve lunch, make dinner or drive someone who needs a ride to the doctor, or to Mass. Others volunteer as part of Savers of Souls, taking turns praying in front of Planned Parenthood (across from our Lighthouse Women's Center) for an end to abortion every hour of every day it is open.
To see all the volunteer opportunities—and express in action your preference for poor—we invite you to go to the Catholic Charities website and click on "Volunteer" to see our new Volunteer site.
There you can register and review dozens of volunteer opportunities to find one that fits you. We will be working throughout the Archdiocese of Denver to assist parishes in their volunteer efforts, since charity begins at home—and in your parish.
Join Pope Francis in the culture of encounter and help us help those who need the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. A hair stylist—who every month cuts the hair of residents at the Samaritan House homeless shelter in Denver—said it well. "I don't have money to give," she said. "But I have a talent."
Please think of us, pray for us, and if you feel so moved, also send a donation of whatever size fits your budget. Thank you and God bless.