Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and President, Charities Housing
A friend painted a beautifully poignant icon of a Mayan mother carrying a child. In the background, a road winds through hills and fog in the distance, while mysterious constellations fill a dark sky. The mother looks down pensively as the child gazes into her face with wonder. Each time I encounter the icon, I see and feel something deeply moving, even as my interpretations change. Sometimes I see the Madonna and Christ Child. Sometimes I see a refugee family fleeing danger and seeking hope – like the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt. Sometimes it feels simply peaceful and comforting. The artist simply calls it — Sacred Bond.
This Christmas, Sacred Bond invites me to reflect not just on the beautiful connection between mother and child, but also on the holy connection between Mary and the Christ Child and us. And on where we have those opportunities for sacred encounters each day. Do I take the time to be open like the child and gaze with wonder and love upon the faces of those I meet? To gaze with awe on the creation that surrounds us? Like the mother, do I take the time to be thoughtful and gentle and strong and determined to save those who are vulnerable?
I think of all the blessed families that our staff encounter every day at Catholic Charities, especially the parents and young children in our Family Resource Centers, Immigration Legal Services, Parish Engagement program, Charities Housing family apartments, Family and Children Counseling programs, Refugee Foster Care and Kinship Resource Center. I am in awe of the moms and dads, grandparents and foster parents, who desperately love their children and who, even in the midst of terrible adversity, courageously seek help to strengthen their sacred bonds. I am humbled that because of generous donors, Catholic Charities can be an avenue for their healing, reconciliation, stability and hope.
I invite you to give generously through Catholic Charities this Christmas season as we strengthen the sacred bonds with those we serve.