With his historic visit to the United States, Americans of all faiths and creeds are finding a message of hope in Pope Francis. His teachings about love and mercy transcend religious identity and invite all of us into a deeper sense of responsibility to each other, to our broader community and to the natural world in which we live. This is a message of loving goodness the world needs and hungers for. Care for the poor, works of justice, and love of neighbor are part of our common heritage as Americans. Let us work to revitalize this message in our communities and neighborhoods and seek out those in need of care and concern. With almost one in five people in Idaho living in poverty (for a family of four, an income below $24,000), too many hardworking families struggle to make ends meet. We are a people blessed with abundance, and we have a duty to reach out to those without proper nutrition, health care, housing and living wages. Pope Francis’ visit is an opportunity to respond in love. The needs are great, and thankfully so are the ways in which we can help.
Doug Alles, Boise