The Bubar family, one of the program’s host families, graciously hosted a welcome mass and dinner to kick off the first year of the NPH International Leadership Program on Sunday, September 25th. Longtime supporter and close friend Fr. Tom Belleque said mass in the Bubar’s home for all of the host families and other friends who will serve as our leaders’ support network during their year in Seattle.
Before the mass began, each of the five young leaders stood up and introduced themself and their host family to those gathered. Kara King, the leadership program director, gave a heartfelt welcome and thank you to all those who have made this program possible. Fr. Tom’s homily reflected on how God calls us to be leaders, and named many qualities good leaders have or strive for. Digyana added that the gospel reading tells us God values actions more than mere words and that we don’t always need to wait around until we are told what to do, but rather a leader knows what needs to be done and does it.
After mass everyone shared a potluck meal and talked about their various connections to NPH and Friends of the Orphans. There was a palpable excitement in the house for this pilot year of the program and the wonderful potential and opportunity it holds.
Juan Manuel from NPH El Salvador is also in Seattle for a couple of weeks to participate in Friends of the Orphans fundraising events by sharing his story through music. Juan Manuel is a very skilled guitarist and he played a couple of his original songs for a part of the group. We have been lucky to have so many special members of the NPH family in Seattle this fall.
The group eventually disbanded with many hugs and well wishes for the young leaders as they begin classes this week as last week was dedicated to orientation and class placement. Thank you to those who were able to share in the mass and dinner with the program participants. We would like to extend a special thank you to all those around the world who have made this program a reality, despite not being in Seattle, because you recognize the importance of a program like this and the wonderful fruits it will bear. Our young leaders are anxious to begin in earnest this new adventure.