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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

Things You Say...

A few weeks ago, some old friends rolled through town on their way to the Appalachian missions. You can see them in the featured image, left to right: Sister Pat Himmer, Sister Ann Redig, and Sister Marcan Freking—all Rochester Franciscans—accompanied by Glenmary Brother Dennis Craig.

My wife, Cathy, and I had worked with three of them in various ways—and knew of Sister Pat via friends—during our mission years. We remain close to Dennis, who lives not far from us. The sisters are another matter. There are many miles between here to Minnesota.

Many moons ago, Brother Dennis and these sisters, in various locations, taught my wife and I about what it means to work with poor, and how to do it both effectively and with a spirit of joy. We had been friends of Glenmary before that; these sisters were the first Franciscans I met.  I never imagined that I would spend so much time among Franciscans in the following years!

It is said that you never know just how something you do or say might influence someone, even years later. That’s certainly the case with these four. The little things they said, the important works they did, smile after smile—all of these changed me and they changed Cathy in the best of ways.

It makes me pause for a moment. How have I encouraged the people who crossed my path today?

You can read about the sisters’ version of their travels to Kentucky at their Web site. Brother Dennis’s is here. Oh, and my book, Thank You, Sisters, loaded with stories of many people’s—famous and not—wonderful encounters with sisters, is in our catalog.


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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."