When I mentioned to my family who lives in Rome that I wanted to give Pope Francis our A Chance In Life t-shirt with the new logo, they thought I was dreaming.
On Saturday, June 18, that dream became reality. At a special Jubilee audience, a delegation of board members and staff of A Chance In Life had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis and talk to him.
“Your Holiness, this is a gift from our children in Italy, Ethiopia and India,” I said to the Pope as I handed him our A Chance In Life t-shirt. I asked him if we could pose for a picture and he kindly agreed. I didn’t take that picture for my family … but for all our children and for you, our donors. I was there representing you all, telling the Holy Father about our organization and the great work you allow us to do with your generosity.
Our Chairman Mauro Romita asked Pope Francis to bless the 1,500 children in our program and the benefactors who make this possible. Board member Steve Bellini and his daughter Danielle said at the end of the audience, "The visit with the Pope will be locked in our minds as one of life's richest moments.”
It was indeed a wonderful moment, not only for us who were present, but for our organization. Earlier, in his remarks, Pope Francis thanked the donors, board members and staff of A Chance In Life who have been supporting at-risk youth around the world for over 70 years. The next day, the Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Holy See, wrote an article mentioning the wonderful work that A Chance In Life is doing in continuing the legacy of our founder Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing. Aren’t you proud?
Thank you for your support. Know that Pope Francis is blessing you and our work.