This October 2017, President & CEO Karen LaFrazia shared a reflection.
Today is the Feast Day of Saint Francis and the anniversary of the founding of St. Francis House. Thirty three years ago today we opened our doors for the very first time. The picture shows the line of guests that formed in the days there after, a line that stretched all the way to Washington Street as people waited for lunch.
What the picture doesn’t show is the incredible commitment of our founders to alleviating suffering and the core belief that people can change the trajectory of their lives. A belief and commitment that each of us holds today. Today is a day to remember why our work matters, to celebrate the accomplishments of our guests and to recommit to moving our work forward.
Everyday I am so grateful for the opportunity to be working here, alongside all of you. For the past weeks, months even, I have been feeling, as I am sure you too have been, the weight of a world that feels angry and out of control. The devastation of hurricanes, earthquakes and forest fires and the evil of this week’s massacre in Las Vegas take their toll and depletes us emotionally. It is at times like these, when the world makes no sense, seems out of control and I feel helpless to do something, I think of the work we do every day and the words of Saint Francis. Regardless of one’s religious beliefs the prayer of Saint Francis from its first line, Lord make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred let me sow love, reminds us of how important our work is and how in the face of evil, together we are healing the wounds of the world.
We are so fortunate to be doing work that everyday makes a difference and to be doing it alongside each other. Coming to work everyday, witnessing the incredible acts of kindness shown to our guests and how profoundly we help others to improve their lives, is replenishment. For it is in giving that we receive.
So on this the Feast Day of Saint Francis and our anniversary, I say thank you for all you give everyday and for making the world a better place for all.
Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.