May God reward you for your generosity!

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

It’s been almost 3 months since Sr. Agnes Thérèse, Franciscan University of Steubenville student Morgan Gilchrest and I completed our wonderful and grueling trek through Raccoon Creek State Park.  Before I get down to the business of formally thanking you for raising more than $15,000 for the sisters, I’d like to relay a couple stories from the day of the hike.

I must admit that Sr. Agnes Thérèse laid the hurt on me.  At about mile 20 we were praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and I was jogging every 50 meters or so just to keep up with Sr. Fitness.  Thinking that my running was actually an encouragement for her to go faster, she kept picking up the pace.  Finally, mid-prayer I had to ask her if she was trying to make this hike an object lesson for me and force me to beg both God and her for mercy.  Thankfully, Sister took the hint and mercifully slowed down to a more leisurely pace.

One of the other great memories of the hike was the lunch that Sr. Miriam O’Callaghan prepared for our group, including Sr. Maria Clare Smith and FUS student Marissa Bella, who hiked with us to the halfway point.  We were already feeling fatigued and it seemed that 13 miles was plenty long when we stopped to enjoy the delicacies filling the back of the TOR mini-van.  The hearty sandwiches, homemade chocolate chip cookies and plenteous Gatorade helped put some bounce back in our step, and that excellent meal couldn’t have come at a better time.

I believe that Our Lord Jesus, through the ministry of the sisters at Samaritan House Thrift Store and LAMP Ministries, likewise nourishes many people along the arduous journey called “life.”  I know from first-hand experience that their presence in downtown Steubenville is invaluable for many.  The light of Christ shining through the sisters and many wonderful volunteers gives hope to many and brings joy to folks whose pilgrimage through life can feel like a marathon hike on a regular basis.  Thank you for donating and helping to make their presence in Steubenville sustainable.  I trust that the sisters will continue to be good stewards of the money you have donated.  May God reward you for your generosity!  Thank you for supporting the Helping Hike for the Poor.

In Jesus Christ the icon of God’s Mercy,

Fr. Matt Russick, T.O.R.

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