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The Fullness of Thanks


By Gregory Kepferle
Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and President, Charities Housing


“Thank you. I’m full!” How many times have I said this after being offered another helping of food at a Thanksgiving feast? Of course my waistline tells me that I have already had my fill at the table of plenty.

But am I sufficiently full of thanks? And do I sufficiently give that thanks to others?

At a recent staff retreat, we took time to write thank-you cards to members of our teams. I confess that so often I am moving so fast, caught up in the whirlwind of work, that I don’t say “thank you” often enough. Just taking the time to sit and reflect on all the simple gifts we have been given each day is a blessing in itself.

We give thanks for life, for our family, faith and friends, for our health and home, for being able to work, for being able to make a meaningful contribution to our community, for food and drink, for clothes, for energy, for warmth, for all whose labor benefits us, for freedom and safety, for being able to vote, for our country, for nature, for our planet, for recovery from an illness, for forgiveness, for reconciling with enemies, for being able to share with those in need, for God who loves us unconditionally.

I am full of thanks for those we serve at Catholic Charities. For they give us the gift of encountering Christ in just being present to their pains and joys. They, in turn, share their thanks with us for our help – thanks for getting a job, for finding a home, for listening, for healing of mind and heart, for a safe place to learn and play, for new knowledge, for a hot meal, for welcome into our country, for freedom from jail, for a place to get mail, for a community to belong to, for companionship, for respect, for recognition as a fellow human being, for saving their lives.

And I am full of thanks for all of our donors, supporters, funders, volunteers, and allies for enabling Catholic Charities to be the presence in our community that truly changes lives for good – for the better. Your generosity transforms our community. Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving!

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