At the 68th Annual Cardinal Christmas Luncheon that Catholic Charities and Our Ladies of Charity hosted this week, I had the opportunity to reflect on how this event that helps support the services we provide to those in need represents values that are at the heart of Catholic Charities. They include the Christian faith that motivates our work, the dignity of each individual regardless of religion and the solidarity that bridges differences for the sake of doing good.” Let me say a few words about each: Our Catholic Christian Faith: Unabashedly and explicitly we name this a Christmas luncheon celebrating the coming birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, We recognize how much his saving power and the message of his gospel inspires our Catholic charitable work and continues his saving presence for others in the world until He comes again. Human Dignity and Human Potential: In the mystery of Christmas – and the word made flesh - we celebrate that our humanity made from the very first moment of creation in the image of God is now revealed as capable of embracing and holding the Divine. Therefore each human person – of whatever religion - is worthy of dignity, respect, caring and concern, especially the most vulnerable and poor. Together we help in a way that creates hope, a hope that every human person might live in the dignity that is every person’s birthright. Human Solidarity: We believe in a solidarity that bridges, partners and pulls people together to help those in need. Together we build a society that is more compassionate and just. We honor “angels” rather than out “wayward demons.” We celebrate the generosity of St. Nicholas rather than pointing out the stinginess of “Scrooges.” And so we celebrate that we have individuals – angels and St. Nicholas’s from business, from media, from government, from different religions, from schools and from our Catholic Charities agencies. And we call all of us together to lend our talents, resources and perspectives to the simple, necessary and profound mission of ensuring that every person made in the image of God has basic human necessities. In solidarity we seek to provide help to ensure that children are protected and nurtured, that the hungry fed and those without homes sheltered, that families are strengthened, that those with emotional and physical challenges are supported and that the immigrant and refugee are welcomed and integrated into their new homes.” Thank you for by joining in solidarity with us at Catholic Charities so that together we promote the dignity of all individuals both now during the Christmas season and throughout the year.