Mother’s Day is a special day. I’ll tell you why . . .
On Mother’s Day, we recognize the exceptional women in our lives; those who have loved us with the powerful love of a mother. She may be our mother, biologically, through legal adoption, or someone who has been like a mother to us.
On Mother’s Day this year, I invite you to join us in praying for all mothers; mothers like Teresa, who with tears in her eyes gently
laid her three week old baby on the door steps of St. Francis of the Angels Home in Ecuador. Why?
She knew that this would be the only way that her baby would have a chance to live.
You see, Teresa is dying from AIDs. That day would be her last time to hold her baby
in her arms . . . feel her baby’s soft skin . . . hold her tiny fingers . . . cuddle her to sleep.
There is another Teresa; a mother in Africa, who brought her baby to the Franciscan Medical Center,
praying that the friars would have the medicine that her baby needed, and they did. The baby lived because of you, my friend, and others who care and support the Franciscan missions.
I knew another Teresa—my mother. We were a very poor family in Italy. My father was a prisoner of war, and my mother had no financial support for raising four children. She earned a little money as a domestic worker, but without help from the nuns and priest of our local Franciscan church, we probably would not have survived.
By age eleven, I knew that I wanted to be a Franciscan priest and missionary.
As a Franciscan missionary, I was occasionally in the company of another Teresa; another woman—Mother
Teresa of Calcutta. It was a humbling experience to be with her in India, Africa and Albania. Unforgettable was the moment when she looked straight into my eyes and said, “Dear Fr. Sereno,” and continued with these words of wisdom, that are often quoted, “In this life we cannot do great things—only small things with great love.”
In loving others, we do our best—God does the rest. God uses our small hearts, our fumbling hands, our tired feet and our weak voices to make great things happen.
I can still remember what it was like to be hungry and cold. Most of all, I remember how it felt to be loved and cared for by a mother and the Church.
God is making great things happen through the financial support that you provide, enabling the Franciscan
missionaries to serve the poorest of the poor, especially the orphans; victims of poverty, war and diseases
that stigmatize them—children without mothers.
On Mother’s Day, I invite you to join us in praying for mothers, living and deceased. May God bless them
for the ‘small things’ they did for us, that God made ‘big’ because of their great love.
Enclosed is a Mother’s Day card; my gift to you. Give this card to a special woman (relative or friend) or, to someone dear to you who has lost a mother. Send us the name of the person for whom you wish us to pray at our special Novena, beginning on May, 12th. And, please remember all the children who are growing up without
a mother’s love. Send them your love now. No gift is too small, if it’s given with great love.
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