BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- A Christmas tradition continued Tuesday morning at the St. Francis House in Boston's Back Bay, where Cardinal Sean O'Malley led a prayer service followed by carols and a meal of Christmas ham with all the fixings.
Since 1984, the St. Francis House has been a place of promise for those in need--an inclusive day shelter which helps those without life's basics--food, clothing, and a safe haven. Cardinal O'Malley has spent part of his Christmas at the St. Francis House each year since he was appointed Archbishop of Boston.
The Cardinal told those gathered that homelessness is a hurdle in society that deserves more attention.
"Having members of the press here is an opportunity for us to remind the whole community of the importance of committing ourselves to eliminating homelessness," O'Malley said. "People are homeless not just on December 25, but all year round, and our obligation is not just to reach out to them once a year."
St. Francis' Vice President of Philanthropy Maggie Burns said O'Malley's presence has a profound touch on those who visit the shelter.
"It means a lot to them," Burns said. "Our guests, in spite of the situations they find themselves in, experiencing homelessness, are very faithful, very grateful, and being able to celebrate Christmas with the Cardinal is special.
O'Malley said there is a lesson to be learned as Christians celebrate the birth of Christ--that room can be made for all.
"The history's changed," he said. "The doors are no longer closed. We open them up. And when people open their hearts to others, that's when they find the real joy of Christmas."
WBZ NewsRadio's Chris Fama (@cfama_wbz) reports