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#TFImoments: For Sr. Beth Davies, Pope Francis models compassion through encounter

Sebastian Gomes

July 19, 2018
Pope Francis’ words and actions have had a profound impact on countless people of various backgrounds, interests, and beliefs. In the interviews for my upcoming documentary, The Francis Impact, I’ve heard some beautiful and concrete testimonies of this. So I created #TFIMOMENTS, a web series to share some of these profound and personal moments of connection with the pope.

 “Listen to the voices of this place.”

This was the heartfelt plea of Sr. Beth Davies, CND, when our crew visited her in Coeburn, Virginia, during filming for The Francis Impact.
Since the early seventies, Sr. Beth has been ministering to Appalachian mountain communities in the heart of coal country.

The coal industry is not what it used to be.

Corporate interests, including the push for automation and a lack of willingness to invest in diverse industries, have left the Appalachian region void of healthy economic development.
As part of the Catholic Committee of Appalachia — a grassroots network featured in The Francis Impact — Sr. Beth has listened to the cries of the poor and the earth in the region for decades. Those voices have taught her how “everything is connected,” as Pope Francis often says of our relationships with each other and with creation.
Sr. Beth sees the gift of listening in Pope Francis: listening to the cries of the poor and the earth, but also to the people he encounters on a daily basis.
In this edition of #TFImoments, Sr. Beth recounts the meeting between Francis and people suffering from Huntington’s disease in May 2017, and shares how it inspired her to greater compassion.

For more information about The Francis Impact visit the official webpage.

Next #TFImoment: United States Senator Bernie Sanders
The Francis Impact poster