Sister Margaret Keaveney, D.C., President and Chief Executive Officer, St. Vincent's, was the keynote speaker at the Catholic Charities of Santa Barbara County Seventh Annual Partnership In Service Awards Dinner on June 1, 2014, at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton. The event honors those individuals who have worked long and hard to serve the needs of our parishes, especially our most vulnerable sisters and brothers.
In her remarks, Sister Margaret recalled the words of St. Vincent de Paul, who said: "The poor will forgive you the bread that you give them because of your love - only because of your love." She tied the words of St. Vincent to the lyrics of the song "Love Changes Everything."
"Love, love changes everything, hands and faces, earth and sky. Love, love changes everything, how you live and how you die." Sister Margaret explained that we who minister to those who are poor need to be more than just benefactors. We must become friends to our sisters and brothers who are poor. We must love them as Christ loves each one of us.
She went on to say: "We must be willing to go out of our way to simply love one another. Love is the one thing that changes the world; it decreases the violence. When we become the change that we want to see in the world today, that's when we see that change does happen, because we're serious about it." Sister Margaret concluded her remarks saying: "Yes, love, love changes everyone. Live or perish in its flame. Love will never never let us be the same."
The Reverend Mario Prietto, S.J., (left) Pastor, Our Lady of Sorrows Church, recognized the many contributions of parishioners Barbara and Art Najera (on the right). He praised the couple for their commitment, faithful service, and wonderful works in the parish. We at St. Vincent's congratulate Art and Barbara on receiving this honor. We are pleased to see this acknowledgement for Barbara, who serves on St. Vincent's Foundation Board. God bless you both for your dedication.
Frank C. Bognar (left), Regional Director, Catholic Charities of Santa Barbara County, thanks Sister Margaret Keaveney, D.C. (right) for her keynote address.