June 15.   Preston had been a gang member since his early teens   He had felt abandoned by his alcoholic mother, didn’t  know his father and his sister who had been looking after the younger siblings had run away.    Patrick and his mom had heard about the case and been praying for this boy for some time when Patrick decided to invite him to come to a mission for young people at their church.  During the mission just one sentence “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” had touched Preston as he shared with Patrick.  “I think I will be able to change my ways, but please carry on praying for me and please be my friend.” 

Read Matt 5:43-48.  Pope Francis:  The real question is not where our children are physically or whom they are with but rather where they are existentially, where they stand in terms of their convictions, goals, desires and dreams. Each child will surprise us with ideas and projects born of that freedom which challenges us to rethink our own ideas.  Education involves forming persons who readily understand that their own lives and the life of the community are in their hands and that freedom is itself a great gift.   AL261-2