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Christopher Bell
Christopher Bell
March 7, 2019

Dear Friend,

A Sunday in Lent for Roman Catholics is considered a Resurrection Day, a break from fasting. That’s not been easy for me to embrace.

“Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’” Jesus said, “For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13).

Those words first struck me days before I moved onto 8th Avenue in Manhattan to work with homeless kids. That’s where I first met a homeless young mother. I’m still trying to learn the meaning of those words.

In a chapel on 8th Avenue in mid-town Manhattan, an area called the Minnesota Strip, Jesus spoke again through the Psalmist, “God is Father of the orphan, defender of the widow. The Lord gives the lonely a home to dwell in.” (Psalm 68). Help mothers and babies find a home, is what I heard.

Thirty-four years ago on March 10, 1985, the first young mother and baby walked into a former convent in Hoboken, NJ to begin what we now call Good Counsel.

Another Sunday in Lent, today, and some 80 mothers and babies are in 5 homes in New York and New Jersey thanks to a family of friends and supporters, thanks to you, thanks to your prayers and help.

On Ash Wednesday a group of women and children received Ashes and an explanation of what this means by Deacon Jim in Good Counsel’s Riverside, NJ home.

Niyah was born there on February 10th.  In our Bronx home, Jada was born two weeks before. And Baby Girl Avery is the newest member of the Good Counsel family born on February 23, all of 7 pounds, 13 ounces.  Good Counsel counts 1,167 babies born since opening our doors in 1985.

Another Sunday in Lent, a Resurrection Day to learn the words “mercy, not sacrifice” and with the help of the Lord, offer the “lonely a home to dwell in.” I’m grateful Jesus came to call sinners, like me. Let’s try to offer at least some of that mercy and forgiveness the Lord has offered me and you, again, and again, and again.


Christopher Bell

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