Message for the Occasion of the Dedication Ceremony
of the Pope Francis Apartments at Loreto
Cardinal Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, MCCJ
Brooklyn, New York
28 April 2022
Dear Bishop Brennan,
On this day that marks the joyful occasion of the dedication of the Pope Francis Apartments at Loreto, I am delighted to send best wishes and prayers for a grace-filled beginning and a future guided by the Holy Spirit.
I commend the way in which the Pope Francis Apartments joins two initiatives that Pope Francis encourages: care for those in need, and fostering respect for the elderly. Recently, Pope Francis has been highlighting the crucial role of the elderly in our societies. So often, he comments, they are discarded. Along with the youngest, the oldest among us are not valued, depriving the human family of the unique gifts only they can offer. He stated during the General Audience of this February 23rd, “Old age is one of the most urgent issues facing the human family at this time. The unity of the stages of life is at stake: that is, the real point of reference for understanding and appreciating human life in its entirety.” He continued by diagnosing the evident lacks in care for the elderly: in general, there may be “care plans,” “but not plans to let the elderly live to the full. And this is a void of thought, of imagination and of creativity.”
The initiative of the Pope Francis Apartments at Loreto, the fruit of so many people’s work, prayer, and faith, especially those at Catholic Charities-Brooklyn Queens, is the exact opposite of the “throwaway culture” that casts aside the elderly among us. The Pope Francis Apartments will give meaning and new life to the residents and to the whole neighborhood. This project of love shows creativity, putting into practice the desire of the Holy Father and helping to lead the Church along the path of care that God points out to us.
The fact that this project has been carried out jointly with the Buddhist community in your area is another cause for joy and hope. Truly, only together with our brothers and sisters of other religious traditions can we renew our communities as places of fraternity and peace. You and the Catholics of your community are forward-looking in your realization of this fact.
The future will no doubt present challenges. Sustained by the certainty of God’s presence, may you all experience strength for the mission. We extend our sincere respect and gratitude.
From the Vatican, 8 April 2022
Miguel Ángel Card. Ayuso Guixot
President, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue