I was quite moved by Victoria Hugo-Vidal’s Maine Millennial column in the Dec. 30 edition of the Portland Press Herald (“I’m not leaving the great state of Maine, for better or for worse“).

The commentary was an inspiring way of ending a long year, filled with bad news, on a positive note of hope as we prepared to enter an uncertain new year. Her praise of the hospitality that she has received from her fellow Mainers over the past year resonates with my own experience, having lived in many other areas of the country before settling down for good in Maine.

More importantly, I think, is that Victoria clearly demonstrates how simple, seemingly insignificant acts of everyday kindness and compassion and service to others have the promise and power to make huge and lasting positive differences in the lives of those we encounter on a daily basis. Most of us are not called to dramatic and heroic acts of self-sacrifice. Nor are most of us financially endowed to the point of making great philanthropic contributions to noble causes.

Victoria’s wonderful column encourages us to recognize that simply being good and compassionate to one another in everyday ways does indeed enrich our own lives, and makes us heroes in the eyes of those we serve. What we need most, I think, in 2018, is a sense of hope. Each and every act of hospitality and kindness is, in itself, also an act of hope.

The Rev. Louis J. Phillips

pastor, Sebago Lakes Region Catholic Parishes