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HOPE Program: Embracing the Spirit of Mother Teresa

The Saint William HOPE (Homeless Outreach Program for Empowerment), inspired by the life and teachings of Mother Teresa, is dedicated to offering support and compassion to the homeless. This initiative draws deeply from the poignant lessons exemplified by Mother Teresa, particularly in her encounter with a young priest who sought her guidance.

The story begins with a young priest who traveled to Calcutta to visit Mother Teresa. Upon arrival at Mother’s house, he was informed that she was not present and was invited to wait for her return. Restless, the priest decided to explore the streets of Calcutta. On his walk, he encountered a homeless man, dirty and foul-smelling. Uncomfortable, the priest crossed to the other sidewalk to avoid him. This scene repeated itself the next day.

On the third day, Mother Teresa returned. She welcomed the priest warmly and asked him to follow her. To his surprise, she led him directly to the homeless man he had been avoiding. Mother Teresa instructed the priest to hold the man and take him to the house. Initially disgusted, the priest hesitated but complied. Mother Teresa then asked him to bathe the man. As he began to clean the man’s face, the priest suddenly smiled.

Mother Teresa, observing the transformation, gently asked, “Do you see Him now?”

This powerful story encapsulates the essence of the HOPE program. It teaches us that true compassion goes beyond physical aid; it requires seeing the inherent dignity and divinity in every person, especially those marginalized by society. The program aims to foster a community where the homeless are not merely recipients of charity but are recognized as valuable members who have much to offer.

Through the HOPE program, volunteers are encouraged to engage with the homeless on a personal level, offering not just material support but also emotional and spiritual companionship. By following Mother Teresa’s example, we learn that every act of kindness, no matter how small, has the potential to transform lives, including our own.

In Naples, our homeless are not like those in Calcutta. They don't need bathing; they just need for us to see the Lord Jesus in them. For the last 3 years, the programs initiated by our Parish provided over 40,000 acts of kindness to the homeless, (hot meals, clothing, toiletries, survival gears, help in their lost paperwork, etc. and above all love and compassion) Nevertheless, they give us way more than we ever will give them…for they give us the opportunity to serve the Lord!

 

We need your help: Please consider donating 3 hours a week, Try it You will Love it!

Call Marie Christine Blanc: 239 249 9792

Email: HOPE@saintwilliam.org