At last weekend's 2013 Annual Gathering I was fortunate enough to deliver the opening address. Below is an exerpt of my speech, and please click here to see the full version. Thank you again for all who attended and made it yet another wonderful Annual Gathering.
“Good morning! Let me offer my warmest welcome to all of you to the 2013 CCUSA Annual Gathering. These convening’s are for us a time of blessing as we renew friendships, tackle the pressing challenges of our time, learn and create together, and renew ourselves through common prayer.
This year we are exceptionally fortunate to be meeting in the great city of San Francisco, home to an outstanding Catholic Charities organization. Their venerable history of service to the local community and impressive innovation in meeting the needs of those most vulnerable today have made them important leaders in our Catholic Charities movement. On behalf of all of us, let me say a huge word of thanks for the tremendous hospitality they have already shown us, and that we can anticipate enjoying over the next couple of days. Let’s show them our gratitude.
San Francisco is a city full of iconic symbols that are recognizable the world over. Perhaps none more famous than the Golden Gate Bridge. Architect Joseph Strauss who built 400 bridges across the country throughout his career considered it his crowning achievement. Every day it carries over a hundred thousand vehicles across the Golden Gate, which is the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. Frommers Travel Guide calls it “possibly the most beautiful bridge in the world.” And it is the perfect backdrop for this year’s conference as we explore the urgency of building bridges to opportunity for all those in need."