THE FACES OF THE FUTURE
Address by LEO J. O'DONOVAN, S.J., President, Georgetown University
Delivered to the Closing Keynote Address Child Welfare League National Conference, Children 2000: Faces of the Future, Washington, D.C., March 3, 2000
Thank you. It is a great pleasure to join you today and a special honor to have been invited to participate in the Child Welfare League of America's annual conference, "Children 2000: Faces of the Future." I am particularly grateful to be here with the League's new director, Shay Bilchik; Deputy Director Shirley Marcus Allen; members of the CWLA Board, today's honorees, and all of you who so proudly celebrate the commitment that brings us together -- our commitment to supporting our children's bright and productive future.
Caring for the future has always been at the heart of activities of the Child Welfare League, the nation's oldest and largest association of agencies devoted to improving life for children and families. And it is at the heart of Georgetown University, America's oldest Catholic university. While I am not an expert in child welfare, I share with each of you a sacred vocation -- a special calling to serve others. Today I want to speak about why that calling is so important and particularly why what you do is critical to the well-being of communities across this country.
In your efforts to provide loving homes for abused and neglected children, decent housing and food for families in need, a second chance for troubled teens, each of you is dedicated to building stronger futures for children and their families. And each of you knows that caring for the future means caring for "the faces of the future." People -- not statistics, not facts, not professional goals or organizational challenges -- people are the center of what you do and why you have come here. You understand that in every person you care for -- the wailing infant, the homeless child, the pregnant teen -- you care for all humanity. In each face of suffering, you help inspire or create a face of love, a face that is the future. …