Welcoming a record number of 360 guests, Mother Marguerite thanked everyone for coming and offered prayers in gratitude for their support of the Amazing Grace Gala. She, along with Mother Provincial Maria Christine, presented His Eminence Francis Cardinal George with a sun catcher replica of a stained glass window of St. Jeanne Jugan, holding an elderly person. “The purpose of a sun catcher is to reflect and bend light … a reminder that we are all called, like Jeanne Jugan, to reflect the light which is Christ. Please join me in thanking Cardinal George for being a transparent reflection of God’s light in our world today.”
Cardinal George began his talk thanking the Little Sisters of the Poor. “You are the light that allows people to live with dignity and to die in God’s love. You did that for my aunt and I’m extremely grateful for the care she received at St. Joseph’s Home in Palatine.”
Our guests were captivated as Cardinal George described our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, and his own experience at the papal conclave. “We have a pope who is a member of the Jesuit order, dresses like a Dominican in white and has the heart of a Franciscan. Pope Francis echoes the words of St. Jeanne Jugan, ‘Making the poor happy is everything’ by proclaiming that, ‘The Church is to be poor and for the poor. ‘ “
The conclave is an exercise in freedom, continued Cardinal George. He said, “It’s an electoral process. However, unlike politics in our country in which self and group interests play large roles in the election, the papal election is approached in a much different way. The cardinal-electors spend a lot of time in prayer, freeing themselves from their own interests, so that they can be instruments of the Holy Spirit, whom we believe guides the church. We were making a decision that would affect not only the Church but the world itself. When a Cardinal writes out a ballot, he takes an oath swearing before God as his judge, that he is voting only for the one best suited for the papacy.
“After Cardinal Bergoglio received the majority of votes, he was asked, ‘Do you accept?’ We anxiously waited, because he doesn’t have to accept. But, at the moment he accepted, there was a great sense of relief. The church was complete with all the gifts needed for her mission to the world.”
It was an amazing evening shared with our cardinal and friends. We raised over $170,000 and received a very special gift of $200,000 for one of our new boilers.