SACRAMENTO — It’s not so easy for Sister Libby Fernandez to move around the 5-acre Loaves & Fishes campus, a campus she spent 20 years building.
So many people want a word, a hug or a moment to say thank you. And chances are, Sister Libby will know and greet them by name.
“Whether it’s a friend, family member, or a stranger, if you can see them eye-to-eye, and of worth, that’s what the purpose of life is,” said Sister Libby Fernandez.
The moment Sister Libby first set foot there, serving food as a volunteer 20 years ago, she was hooked. She’d found her calling. In the next two decades, the outreach grew, and Sister Libby grew along with it, becoming an inspirational leader.
But lately, after much silent reflection and conversation with God and trusted advisers, she’s made a new plan.
“I’m very human. So when I was thinking ‘Oh my God, am I really ready to move on?’ The fear starts setting in. ‘What am I going to do?'” she said.
What she’s going to do now … go for a ride. Literally.
She’s planning to make a new ministry astride a tricycle, bringing comfort and counsel, the word of God and maybe a warm meal, directly to Sacramento’s homeless right where they are on the streets.
“She is the conscious of the community. She has the rare ability to be tough as she needs to be, working on behalf of a population that’s often forgotten. But with a grace,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.
Sister Libby says she’ll need Sacramento’s help. Her plan is to nurture and grow her new ministry the Mercy Peddlers, just like she did Loaves & Fishes.
“Because I do believe in teamwork and collaboration. I want to get other Mercy Peddlers to join me,” she said.