June 2017 Newsletter Pilgrimage of Hope Pt. 1
Bishop Pilla’s Legacy
“Come with me on a pilgrimage of hope”
The theme of the evening’s presentation was, “Come with me on a pilgrimage of hope.” These words were spoken by Bishop Pilla at his installation mass as Bishop of Cleveland on January 6, 1981, only one month after receiving the body of Sr. Dorothy Kazel, OSU, at the airport as she returned home for burial. These are excerpts from Bishop Pilla’s remarks upon receiving the Fr. Ken Myers Service Award on May 13th, the day before Mother’s Day.
Jose, [see article on page 1], I want you to bring this back to El Salvador: we may have done things for you. But I want to tell you, that we have been blessed by our association with El Salvador. We have received more than we have ever given. . . Maybe I had a part to play. But I could have done none of that without you good people. It would have been just words. . . And I want to thank all of you.
I was standing there with Ken, all those kids around me and I saw just a little girl, she must have been about kindergarten or younger. She was just sitting over there under a tree all by herself with her fingers in her mouth . . . After that picture was taken I went over to see her. I held her. I tried to comfort her. When I was ready to go and put her down, she wouldn’t go down. She clung to me. I said, “Sister, she won’t let go.” Sister said, “Bishop, you don’t understand. That little girl . . . is all by herself. . . We don’t have an opportunity to hold them or for very long so when a human being picks her up, that is so comforting to her, that she doesn’t want to lose that feeling of being held.” My goodness. I know how my nieces and nephews were born. They were smothered with love. They were smothered with love. And those kids didn’t have that. They didn’t have their mother to run to.
And that’s why what we are doing. . . you’re doing, to the best of your ability, by making COAR available, is to give them that human touch. It’s not words.
You are the mothers of COAR. You are the fathers of COAR. There’s no substitute for you. Thank God we’ve had that opportunity. What I’ve learned in ministry, is that whatever you do for somebody else, you bless yourself. . . You’re blessed. You’re blessed.