For your apostolate use the one most effective means: personal contact. With this you enter into the lives of others, you understand them and love them. Personal relationships are more effective than preaching and writing books. Contact between people and “heart to heart” exchanges will be the secret of your perseverance and your success. (Cardinal Van Thuan, Five Loaves and Two Fish)


An Italian friend of mine once remarked, “You Americans seriously underestimate the power and importance of friendship.” We so focus on our projects, programs, calendars and meetings in order “to make a difference and do something meaningful” that we run right past the abundant opportunities present everyday in personal contact. Because of this life easily becomes frayed and narrowed.

Life is enriched and hope is found in the gift of personal contact with another. It is, after all, how Jesus and the apostles carried out their ministry and proclamation of the Kingdom.