By Ashley Klick
Last week, Father Gillespie shared insights on Fratelli Tutti, the latest encyclical from Pope Francis. During the Q&A, he challenged participants to reflect on the top 10 events of 2020, to name the graces of the year. I have seen God's grace in my life these past month in many ways. One is peace. Peace in purpose. Peace from life giving relationships with parishioners, partners, friends and family. Peace in His forgiveness when I may not have been as patient as I could have been....
As we read about the best books, movies, and music of the year, I asked some friends of Social Justice to name a grace.
The daily morning homilies in my inbox.
Eric Nicoll, Social Justice Committee Member and SOME Liaison
Throughout this year, I've often thought of Mr. Roger's famous quotation: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. '” I feel so blessed to have been surrounded by so many helpers this year. In spite of the challenges that 2020 has posed, I've seen Holy Trinity teachers, parents, and students helping like never before, and there is most certainly grace to be found in that.
Kate Devlin, Holy Trinity School Assistant Principal
For lessons learned from life in other countries and cultures. I've lived/worked in countries where there were frequent curfews, daily uncertainties, civil strife, shortages of goods and limited choices. Who knew that the patience and acceptance learned then would be so valuable now?...I'm grateful for the gift of faith — without it, I could neither have coped nor thrived this year.
Margie Legowski, Maria Madre Committee & HT Migrant Team (and Chief Giving Tree Wrapping Elf!)
During the pandemic, we have had dinner as a family nearly every night. It has been a tremendous blessing.
Beth Gray, Social Justice Volunteer Extraordinaire
There have been multiple graces given in 2020, but thanks to God, who lighted the path to Zoom, I was able to work around the multiple impediments caused by the pandemic, and thus was able to continue 1) working as an Ignatian Volunteer, 2) praying with a community, 3) engaging in book discussions and Scripture study (via the Little Rock Scripture Study program), and 4) (best of all) keeping in contact with our 4 adult children and our 10 grandchildren. Not sure this falls under “one grace,” but my gratitude is to our God for opening a path into the future that certainly was not initially evident to me when we were first hit by the pandemic.
Bob Stewart, Coordinator, Parish Life Book Discussion Group
Celebrating the graduation of our first "St Jean Baptiste Scholarship" recipient from a university in Haiti and starting our 8th year of the "Weekend Meals for the Marginalized," which gives parishioners the direct service opportunity of providing meals and hospitality in Georgetown to the marginalized.
Mike Conway, St. Jean Baptiste Committee, HT Migrant Team, and Coordinator of Weekend Meals for the Marginalized
A grace during this pandemic for us older folk has been pervasive gratitude. This more slowed-down time has provided opportunities for us to see more clearly the sustained suffering of African Americans, Native Peoples, Mother Earth, the impoverished of this land…and has provided us with opportunities to respond. Additionally, the Holy Trinity daily homilies, Richard Rohr's daily meditations, and then the time for prayer has been an extraordinary grace all through these pandemic times. Grace abounds!
Annie & John Hisle, HT Green Team
Wrapped in prayer from my Holy Trinity community, family, and friends and cared for by amazing doctors, nurses and other medical support staff, I survived my battle with COVID-19.
Debb Kalceviv (Unofficial "Fairy Godmother" to Giving Tree, Hope and a Home and more!)
A tremendous grace of this ineradicable time of memory for me is a heightened awareness of the profundity and complexity of the issue of racial justice, and an appreciation for the daily work asked of me to bring it into the Kingdom of God.
One welcome — and challenging! — grace of 2020 is the nine-month period I've spent at home with my young daughter. I never would have expected the opportunity to see her this much prior to the pandemic. Though it's been tough to juggle work in tandem with spending time with her, it has been a joy to see how much she's changed, grown, and faced her particular pandemic-related challenges during a period when time has otherwise stood still. Some may chalk up her attitude to blissful unawareness of the wider world, but she is aware that our world is greatly changed while people are sick. She has had to adjust many of her behaviors as a result, and she's been a big inspiration in a small but growing package to both her dad and me.
Nina Santiago, Social Justice Committee Member