‘Seeing the Sermon’ with Pope Francis and Sister Rosa

Dear Friends,

This week, I had the extraordinary opportunity to attend Pope Francis’ address to a joint session of Congress. Vice President Biden, four of the Supreme Court justices, members of Congress and their guests of honor filled the room to listen to his historic remarks. As Pope Francis spoke to us all about our shared moral responsibility to care for the “least of these” in our world, I felt peace in my heart that Sister Rosa Alvarez of Georgetown was there as my guest of honor.

Sister Rosa has a lifelong history of helping those in need. Like Pope Francis, she has devoted her life to the service and care of others – especially the “least of these.” In 1995, she co-founded La Esperanza, a community center in Georgetown that supports families in need. More recently, Sister Rosa’s work has focused on health care for mothers and their children. She has helped deliver hundreds of babies, organized parenting courses, helped to translate documents, and helped to arrange appointments and hospitalizations. Her guidance is invaluable to countless families in Sussex County.

I learn best by example, so I would rather see and experience a sermon, than just listen to it. With Pope Francis and Sister Rosa, you don’t just hear their sermons, you see them. They lead by example and truly embody the teachings of Matthew 25: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in; I needed clothes and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.”

I believe we have a shared responsibility to help those in need, and that the government can’t do it alone – the responsibility lies with all of us. And I believe the greatest joy in life can be found in serving others.

Pope Francis and Sister Rosa truly serve as inspirations to me, and it is my hope that their example can serve and inspire Americans of every religion and creed.