Pope Francis has offered another hopeful message that should inspire each one of us to strive to be the person God created us to be. The Holy Father calls all of us to bear witness to God in our everyday lives and in all that we do, in particular by treating everyone we encounter with dignity and respect, especially the most vulnerable and those in need of our compassion and assistance – the unborn, the poor and destitute, migrants and refugees.

Our Holy Father states, “Let the grace of your baptism bear fruit in a path of holiness. Let everything be open to God; turn to him in every situation. Do not be dismayed, for the power of the Holy Spirit enables you to do this, and holiness, in the end, is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life.”

As we reflect with gratitude on this Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis reminds us that our identification with Christ and His will involves a commitment to build with Him a “kingdom of love, justice and universal peace.”

Read the Apostolic Exhortation here: Rejoice and Be Glad

On this date 50 years ago – April 4, 1968 – our nation and indeed the world were shocked by the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – a true apostle of peace, equality and non-violence.  As we mark that tragic event, we also commemorate Dr. King’s great achievements to promote racial equality, dignity and justice for all people – ideals that are at the very core of our Christian faith. And we again commit ourselves to working, through prayer and action, for peaceful resolutions to the issues that still challenge us as a society. This is the mission that will truly honor Dr. King’s legacy.