jueves, 21 de enero de 2016

Our HHS Journey Continues

It’s been a busy week to say the least!

The long journey upon which we find ourselves as a result of our opposition to the HHS Contraception Mandate has taken some unexpected turns. One of them came this week as we accepted an invitation from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to attend President Obama’s final State of the Union address.

I refer to our journey as one on which we find ourselves because it is surely not one we sought out. And we have been so surprised by how long and winding it has become! As Little Sisters we are not political beings. We usually live our lives very far from the public eye, especially when that eye takes the form of media cameras focused directly on us!

But that is where we found ourselves Tuesday evening as we made our way first toward the Speaker’s office, and then toward our seats in the balcony of the Congressional chamber. The evening began with a reception in the Speaker’s office, where we met some truly inspiring people like the 4 year old who sent care packages to servicemen and women, a diverse group of “front-line poverty fighters” from around the country, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff!

No doubt this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us (and we don’t mind that at all). We were honored to be guests of the White House for the Papal welcome back in September, and we were equally honored to be guests of Speaker Ryan for the State of the Union.

More than a few people asked us our impressions of the President’s speech, but commenting on such
things is well beyond our expertise. There was one passage that stood out for me, however, no doubt because the President evoked Pope Francis’ visit to our nation. This is it:

“We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn’t a matter of political correctness. It’s a matter of understanding what makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith. His Holiness, Pope Francis, told this body from the very spot I stand tonight that ‘to imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.’”

We pray that these words may reflect the true situation in our country and ask you to pray that the outcome of our Supreme Court case will allow us to return to our quiet lives of humble service to elderly persons in need. Our foundress, Saint Jeanne Jugan used to say that “Making the elderly happy is what counts.” Making them happy is what really matters to us.

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