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Mission Moment—December 2022

By Arianna Inferrera, St. Anthony’s Educational Program Coordinator

During this holiday time, I have reflected a lot on what it truly means to recognize the dignity of each individual, one of the characteristics of Franciscan ministry. I often share a story with our youth volunteers related to this theme:

My dad had been experiencing homelessness for a few years. I called him one day and greeted him by using his first name. He was silent at first, then answered with a shocking response: “I haven’t heard my name in a while.” 

Recognizing the dignity of each individual means giving attention to the whole person; not just physical needs, but also emotional needs. We are social beings who need human community and to be treated with dignity and respect. It is inherent that we as people want to be seen, listened to and understood. This can be as simple as asking for someone’s name. Often times at St. Anthony’s, our community is brought together by this simple ask. Whether it be through serving in our Dining Room, greeting guests in our Hygiene Hub, or simply being on our block with community. Everyone is our brother and sister, meaning we must put people first. As one who is always challenging myself and our youth volunteers, I give this challenge: ask, use, and remember someone’s name.   

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