Dear Friend,

In a chamber accustomed to receiving foreign dignitaries, His Holiness Pope Francis’ historic address stirred an energy and enthusiasm that I have rarely seen at the U.S. Capitol. Over 50,000 Americans from across the country gathered outside on the West Lawn to listen to his words and to catch a glimpse of him.

Pope Francis’ resounding message was the need to work together towards a more perfect union – the very foundation for which our great country was built – should serve as both an inspiration and a challenge for all her citizens.

His Holiness reminded us in a tone that was warm and sincere that Jesus Christ calls us to live by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Mt 7:12).” He expounded, “This rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.”

His words echoed throughout the House Chamber and across our country, as he continued “If we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities…The Golden Rule reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”

Regardless of one’s faith, the unconditional compassion and acceptance edified by Pope Francis is universal and serves as a guiding light for all of us as we work toward peace and the betterment of our world.

With all that was going on today, I was honored that my guest to Pope Francis’ address continues to devote her life to the service of Jesus Christ and to the service of others: Sister Dorothea Sondgoreth of St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson.

As we were set to say goodbye, Sister Dorothea aptly stated what the Pope’s directive to all of us was, “Let us all go forth with gratitude and reflect on how we can better serve one another.”

God Bless,

Gregg Harper