On Ascension Thursday, Pope Francis officially announced the Jubilee Year 2025 through his papal bull Spes Non Confundit (“Hope Does Not Disappoint”). In it the pope states:

“Everyone knows what it is to hope. In the heart of each person, hope dwells as the desire and expectation of good things to come, despite our not knowing what the future may bring. Even so, uncertainty about the future may at times give rise to conflicting feelings, ranging from confident trust to apprehensiveness, from serenity to anxiety, from firm conviction to hesitation and doubt. Often we come across people who are discouraged, pessimistic and cynical about the future, as if nothing could possibly bring them happiness. For all of us, may the Jubilee be an opportunity to be renewed in hope.”

For 125 years, the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement have been dedicated to the healing and reconciliation of humanity, opening its arms to people of every race, creed and nationality around the world. This mission begins with hope.

Here are two principles we should reflect upon, as we prepare for next year’s Jubilee of Hope.

Nothing can overcome hope.

For people who are suffering — whether it be the death of a loved one, a terminal illness or an addiction — it can seem like despair has the upper hand.

However, nothing can overcome those with hope. To quote Pope Francis again, “Christian hope does not deceive or disappoint because it is grounded in the certainty that nothing and no one may ever separate us from God’s love.”

The men at St. Christopher’s Inn — our ministry to those suffering from addiction — proves this. Many came to us despairing of ever healing, but they did. Here’s what some former residents had to say:

“I was at Christopher’s Inn and just celebrated three years sober.”

“The care and concern by my counselor and supporting staff shows the love that I didn’t know existed.”

“Staff is unbelievable (and) saved my life.”

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the hot meals, warm bed and unconditional love you so easily gave to me. I know if it were not for you, I would truly still be a lost soul.”

We are called to bring hope to others.

Think about the people in your life who need hope. Maybe it’s a lonely shut-in living in your neighborhood or a family in your community struggling to put food on the table.

Ask the Holy Spirit to identify the people you can touch with the message of hope. Sometimes it’s as simple as lending a sympathetic ear to a troubled soul or making an effort to visit someone who needs company.

You can also support our ministry. Your generosity will impact thousands of individuals, families and communities by helping the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement build deeper connections and transform lives with hope, healing and harmony.

Together, let’s go out and shine a light of hope in the darkness! Read the full Vatican announcement here.

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