On Monday, December 9th, our President and Executive Director Gabriele Delmonaco accompanied a delegation of A Chance In Life’s donors, board members and friends to a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican. After listening to the welcome remarks of Mr. Guy Chiarello, ACIL's Man of the Year and major donor, Pope Francis addressed those assembled, saying, "I thank you for your sensitivity and concern for the least of our brothers and sisters. May God reward your passionate commitment and always accompany your efforts to build a world of greater fraternity." These words are also for you, our wonderful community of supporters. Thank you for helping us serve the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters for almost 75 years.
Pope Francis spoke of our founder Monsignor Carrol-Abbing's legacy and thanked those who made our work for children possible. Read his full remarks here. You can also read more about A Chance In Life's audience with Pope Francis in articles by Vatican News, Zenit and Osservatore Romano (In Italian, page 7).
The photo above is one of the lighter moments of my trip last month to northern Mexico. After the suffering I saw there, I was grateful to these children for giving me a chance to smile. Because of A Chance In Life's reputation as an advocate for vulnerable children, I had been invited by local organizations to explore possible partnerships in support of the children victims of ‘narco-trafficantes’. They offered me an all-expenses paid trip – including the cost of a bodyguard …
I want to share with you a brief note I wrote to the Chairman of our Board while I was in Mexico to give you an idea of what I experienced.
Dear Mauro, I hope all is well …
I am writing from Mexico. We are at the center of the area where the terrible killing of a family took place a few days ago.
The situation is very tense. While people try to get back to their daily routines, it is clear that the city of Chihuahua is under high alert. The news on tv constantly shows bulletins of people shot. Today, someone was shot outside my hotel. Yesterday, I was invited to a cultural event at the theater and hours later there was a fatal shooting right outside. It looks like a war zone.