Category: Faith & Family
FOR THE GLORY OF GOD
As many of you know, the Chicago Marathon holds a special place in my heart. It’s where my journey to follow our Lord began and where it has led. The life of St. Francis of Assisi has greatly inspired me over the past few years for two reasons: his love for the poor and love for the church Christ’s instituted. In 1206, Francis was praying in a little church outside the walls of Assisi when he heard our Lord say, “Francis rebuild my church which you see is falling into ruin.” Francis obeyed our Lords command and rebuilt abandoned churches in the area, one of which was called Porzioncula. The small Catholic church is now located within the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels in Assisi. To this day, Franciscans continue to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Angels of the Prozioncula on August 2nd which also happens to be my birthday. So naturally I feel a special bond. God communicates and reveals the mission He has prepared for us in various ways. It was during the Jubilee year of Mercy in a small replica of the church in Assisi in which the Lord was asking me to help ‘save His church’ as witness and share in the gospel.
When we are seeking our Lord everything in life happens through Divine Providence. Gratefully the Lord has asked me to play a role in the 2017 Chicago Marathon. The role He has asked of me is to help support Mission of Our Lady of Angels – a Catholic outreach to the very poor in West Humboldt Park, one of the worst neighborhoods in Chicago. The children suffer the most. Of those that attend high school 67% never finish and 97% are dependent on free food and special lunch programs. The unemployment rate is 42% leaving 50% of families below the poverty line. The Mission addresses the dire needs of the community through the eyes of faith. It help meet the basic needs of 700+ families a month, assists 900+ at risk kids in various programs and provides assistance for seniors. But most importantly the Mission brings the Hope of Christ to an area that is plagued by gangs, violence and poverty. The Mission provides a prayer presence in the face of our brothers and sister who are suffering. The Mission recognizes the human dignity of all by addressing the spiritual needs and material necessities to survive.
To find out more about the Mission, please visit their website here: Missionola.com. Please make sure you read about the devastating fire that occurred back on December 1, 1958. The school had over 1600 children in attendance that day of which 92 died. We also lost three sisters from the BVM order. To read more go to History-OLA-Parish-Fire.
First and foremost, please pray for all those who are running and participating in order to help support the Mission. Pray that the runners will persevere as they offer up the struggles of training and racing for the Missions and people it serves. Secondly pray in how you might be able to help support the Mission who is continually in need of financial support. The Mission is only able to provide for the poor because of many generous donors. If your heart is compelled and you feel a little nudge from our Lord, please consider donating. Go to (Link/ paste your support Mission of Our Lady of the Angels). Every dollar counts. Remember the Lord looked favorably and blessed the woman who put in all she had, two small coins.
Well that covers my passion for the poor. Now onto what God has recently placed within my heart: the desire for everyone to know and love Jesus. It is estimated that there are7.2 billion people in the world today, 3.0 billion of them live in unreached areas with little or no access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That means 40% of the world has never heard the gospel and has no one to share it with them. Up to 50,000 die every day without ever hearing what Jesus has done for them. An alarming statistic is that one-third of the unreached people groups live in one country: India. India has missed out on the good news of the gospel more than anywhere else on earth. And that breaks my heart....”to the ends of the earth,” Jesus commissioned the apostles. Yet centuries later half a million Indian communities still lack any witnessing body of believers. Four of five Indians will go their entire life without knowing a single Christian. Life is hard in India and thus is in need of the peace and love that only Christ can offer. Why go to India? Because as St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta came to know personally; God thirsts for every soul, including those who live in India.
Thank you for allowing me to share in my life and desire to help the Mission of Our Lady of Angels. I hope my story inspires you to always seek the Lord in all you do. Please keep me in your prayers as you are in mine.
God Bless You. Wendy