Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has captured the world’s attention with his infectious joy. What is striking to me is that in his actions we see the source of his joy. He loves sharing God’s love with others. His words, his gestures, his preaching teach us how to imitate Christ who is the human manifestation of God, the Father.
What Pope Francis is also quick to say is that all of us are called to be joyful followers of Jesus. Our Holy Father asks us to “bear radiant witness to communion, service, ardent and generous faith, justice and love of the poor” (The Joy of the Gospel, 288).
As a way to welcome Pope Francis, the Knights of Columbus want to invite you to consider sharing the joy you have found in your Catholic faith by taking the Walk with Francis Pledge and thereby transform our community. This initiative of the archdiocese and Catholic Charities is an opportunity for you to make a commitment to follow the Pope’s example of faith and service. We are asking everyone to consider signing the Pledge which invites you to:
- Pray regularly for the Holy Father and learn about the message of the joy of the Gospel, the mercy of God and the love of Christ.
- Serve by reaching out and caring for those in need and supporting charitable efforts in our community and beyond.
- Act to promote human life and dignity, justice and peace, family life and religious freedom, care for creation and the common good.
Pledges can be made by individuals or families, book clubs or Bible study groups, whole classrooms, or afterschool clubs. Teen groups are welcomed and senior groups as well. We invite you to make this pledge your own. And this pledge is not just for Catholics – I am happy to say that already we have interest from local businesses and our brothers and sisters of other faiths who desire to show their gratitude for Pope Francis’ example ministry by taking the pledge. They show us that we have many partners in the work of building communities of compassion and mercy. Now I invite you to consider asking your co-workers, neighbors and friends to join you in taking the pledge.
The pledge can be a commitment of spending a little more time in prayer each day or volunteer once a week. The length of your commitment is for you in conversation with our Lord to decide. Pope Francis reminds us “not to be a part-time Christian, only at certain moments, in certain choices. Be a Christian at all times” (General Audience of May 15, 2013). The Walk with Francis Pledge is our opportunity to deepen our relationship with Christ and be more confident, courageous, and creative followers of Jesus.
It is hard to imagine a more perfect gift to present to our Holy Father than the promise that those most in need of prayer and healing, compassion and hope will be touched by Christ’s love by all of us who have taken the Walk with Francis Pledge. While touching those most in need of our love, Cardinal Wuerl can also assure our Holy Father that we will be praying for him, for his ministry and for the Church, that all pledge takers will grow in love of God and others. Please join us in taking the Walk with Francis Pledge. Go to walkwithfrancis.org to learn more and to sign the pledge.