.- Pope John Paul II deep commitment to charity and justice was “a source of inspiration, affirmation, love, and hope for all of us in the Catholic Charities network,” said Fr. Larry Snyder in a statement released after the 84-year-old pontiff died Saturday. Pope John Paul “enriched and challenged us by forceful advocacy on behalf of the world’s oppressed and poor, the sacredness of family and human life, the God-given dignity of the human person, the solidarity of the human family, and, the rights of working men and women,” said the president of Catholic Charities USA.
Fr. Snyder recalled the visit the Pope made to Catholic Charities’ annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 13, 1987.
“Gather, transform, and serve!” the pontiff urged that day. “When done in the name of Jesus Christ this is the spirit of Catholic Charities and all who work for this cause, because it is the faithful following of the one who did not come to be served but to serve,” he proclaimed.
“Throughout his papacy, Pope John Paul II called on us all to come together as a Church and a society to work for compassion and justice for those living in poverty and suffering from oppression.”
Fr. Snyder pledged that Catholic Charities would “continue to heed [the Pope’s] call and live out his legacy through our services.”