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No matter your age or circumstance, the holidays tend to spark up emotion. Why is that? My theory is that this pause in the calendar and the rituals surrounding it are an annual reminder that every one of us is a part of something bigger.

It’s likely you’ll reflect on the family that counts you as a member over the next few days. Our Good Shepherd team has the remarkable honor of helping create families through adoption and of strengthening families through support services. We get to watch as each person – from the tiniest infant to the most honored elder – plays a part in strengthening those generational bonds.

As Catholics, we get to experience fellowship across the world and across time as members of the church. We can feel it as individually as recalling a Bible verse to guide us in daily life, as collectively when we sit in a pew and wish peace to our neighbors, or more widely when we consider our part in the ancient tradition of building God’s Kingdom on Earth.

I’m approaching my first anniversary as executive director of Good Shepherd and it’s reminded me of how this moment is the continuation of nearly 200 years of organizational work. I sat at my new desk last year, at the end of 2020, and immediately felt the immense weight of what I had agreed to take on. But I was also strangely comforted by this historic space, which holds the history of so many people doing so much to help others within its walls.

I believe we’re put in this world to make a mark on the time we have and to use the gifts we are given to meet the opportunities in front of us. Our Good Shepherd board, staff, and volunteers are incredibly generous with their time and talents. I sit in a singular place that allows me to see how each piece of themselves they give creates positivity across the organization and impacts the lives of those we serve.

I’m thankful for those who trust Good Shepherd to serve them, for being a part of our exceptional team, for the people who have supported me throughout my life, and for God’s sustaining love.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,

Kathy