Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, one of Pope Francis’ favorite authors, used to say that as a kid, he felt embarrassed on his birthday. He didn’t think he deserved all those presents his parents and friends gave him on those days.
I have been feeling like a very young Borges these days. Here at The Tablet, we have been receiving thank-you letters from the diocesan programs, organizations and parishes that received grants from the Bright Christmas Campaign. Of course we feel grateful for the wonderful letters we receive, but we know that whatever good comes from the Bright Christmas Campaign is the fruit of our readers’ incredible generosity and commitment.
One of these letters was sent by Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, C.S.J., the executive director of Hour Children. She writes:
“On behalf of Hour Children – staff, board members and women and children we serve – I thank you for the generous donation in support of Hour Children programs for women and children impacted by incarceration. We are so grateful to The Tablet and its readers for helping brighten Christmas for Hour Families.
“As you know, Hour Children’s mission is to help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children successfully rejoin the community, reunify with their families, and build healthy, independent and secure lives. With efforts grounded in two core beliefs – ‘Change takes time’ and ‘Love makes the difference’ – our practical, compassionate and comprehensive services help families realize lasting, positive change.
All we do here at The Tablet is help to connect two groups of amazingly good people – those working at the parishes and diocesan organizations that help kids have a wonderful Christmas every year, and our generous readers whose contributions to the campaign help make their efforts fruitful. We thank all of them for all the good deeds they do. The Bright Christmas Campaign funds totaled $106,000 this year. We want to thank every person who made a contribution.
As we have mentioned before, it would be hard to imagine a better or more Christian way to celebrate Jesus’ birthday than by helping others. And that is exactly what the people who contribute to the campaign and the people who receive the grants do during Christmas – and the rest of the year.
Father Thomas Ahern, pastor of St. Augustine’s parish in Park Slope, runs the Families, Fathers and Children program in his parish. They help children of incarcerated parents. He wrote:
“Thank you!! Thank you for the Bright Christmas gift to Families, Fathers and Children. Because of the generosity of the Bright Christmas fund and the people of the Diocese of Brooklyn, an often forgotten group, namely children of incarcerated men, not only had a better Christmas but, hopefully, a better year. Thank you again!!”
Marisol Canales, a laywoman, started a program several years ago serving breakfast to day laborers. She wrote to us:
“In the name of the Day Workers from Queens, I would like to say ‘Thank you so much’ for the donation that I received from DeSales Media. May God bless you and all your family.”
These are some of the people and the programs that you, our readers, helped this year. You made a little miracle happen for many children in this diocese, and their families, this past Christmas season. Thank you.