Our work at Cross Catholic has always had a strong focus on children – the most innocent victims of poverty.
That’s why we couldn’t help but notice that the Vatican has released a new statement about our Catholic duty to help children in need, and how this Advent and Christmas season should serve as a reminder of that holy calling:
‘What will become of this child?’ The Gospel relates that this is the question on the lips of friends and relatives at the birth of the young John, who will be known as the Baptist. It is also the question that we all ask when we contemplate the wonder of a child coming into the world. And in that question there is hope, but also a certain concern.
It is the question we asked at the Pope’s meeting with children two weeks ago – certainly the most wonderful and moving moment of the entire visit to Benin – with the elderly Pontiff surrounded by delightful little children dancing and holding his hand. The synodal document brought to Africa by the Pope enumerates, in a striking passage, some of the ‘intolerable treatment inflicted on so many children’; ‘children killed before birth, unwanted children, orphans, albinos, street children, abandoned children, child soldiers, child prisoners, children forced into labor, children ill-treated on account of physical or mental handicap, children said to be witches or warlocks, children sold as sex slaves, traumatized children without any future prospects’. The Church knows she must work for all of these children. Of the more than 125,000 health institutions and charities headed by the Church in the world, over 20,000 are specifically dedicated to children; many others are dedicated to education, or to the rescue of children from a life on the streets or other difficulties.
It’s an honor to me, and to everyone here at Cross Catholic, to be a part of this global mission – bringing food, shelter, health care, education, and the love of Christ to vulnerable and destitute children. This Christmas, let’s remember that Jesus came to bring hope to the hopeless, proclaiming, “Let the little children come to me, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”