Jesus in disguise: Find him by helping the poor
The poor. The hungry. The sick and dying. We may not even notice them. To many of us, they are invisible. But they are there, on our streets, in our neighborhoods, in our communities, throughout our country and throughout the world.
Jesus told us: Whatever you do for the least of my people, you do to me. Jesus is really disguised in the faces of the poor, the hungry, the disadvantaged. Yet as followers of Christ, we must try to find him in these faces - and reach out to help those in need of our love.
It's not easy. Most of us would rather sit back in our comfortable lives and forget about the poor and hungry of our world. But Jesus won't let us. He calls us to serve the poor and work for justice.
Supporting CRS. One concrete way to help is by supporting the work of Catholic Relief Services (CRS). CRS is the official international and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community. It has provided emergency relief, human development, and peace initiatives in 99 countries around the world for over 60 years.
The annual CRS collection will be taken in parishes in the Diocese of Madison this weekend, March 25 and 26. The annual appeal supports agencies that build the international social ministry of the Catholic Church. How? Through advocacy on behalf of powerless and impoverished people and relief and resettlement services to victims of earthquakes, floods, war, and religious and ethnic persecution.
Personal experiences. In the Diocese of Madison, many of us have had personal experiences with CRS in recent years. Our diocese has been participating in the CRS-sponsored Global Solidarity Partnership with the Diocese of Navrango Bolgatanga in Ghana. Two delegations from Madison have visited Ghana, and last year a group of people from Ghana traveled to Madison. We are selling Divine Chocolate to help buy donkeys for the farmers in Ghana.
Tom Brodd from Madison is also sending back monthly reports - published in the Catholic Herald - from The Gambia in West Africa. He is one of 16 participants in CRS Volunteer Program, which provides American Catholics with the opportunity to share their skills and live in solidarity with their brothers and sisters around the world. Reading about Tom's experiences helps us understanding just what CRS is doing around the world.
How funds are used. Here are some other examples of how funds from the CRS collection are used:
Supporting a program for orphans and vulnerable children run by the Diocese of Solwezi. This program assists more than 2,250 children whose parents suffer from or have died from AIDS.
Resettling refugees from countries such as Afghanistan and Liberia who have fled persecution and threats of torture.
Responding quickly to the aftermath of the Asian tsunami, which killed as many as 200,000 people and left countless others without shelter or food.
Reasons to give to CRS. If this hasn't convinced you, here are five reasons to give to CRS:
1. CRS is efficient and effective. More than 94 percent of support goes directly to relief and development programs.
2. CRS has a spiritual base, yet its mission is humanitarian. CRS helps people in need without regard to race, belief, or nationality.
3. CRS is experienced. CRS has been delivering humanitarian assistance for more than 60 years. Its staff is made up of seasoned professionals.
4. CRS has a vast network of programs and partners.
5. CRS is committed to long-term recovery and rehabilitation. CRS focuses on giving survivors tools to rebuild their lives and become self-sufficient.
Catholic Relief Services can help us find Jesus in disguise. Through CRS we will discover the presence of Christ in each of our brothers and sisters in need.
Please give generously to the annual collection this weekend, participate in the CRS program Operation Rice Bowl during Lent, and consider giving to CRS throughout the year. Visit the CRS Web site at www.crs.org for more information.
Mary C. Uhler
We reserve the right to edit or reject letters. Limit letters to 200 words or less. All letters must be signed. Please include your city or town of residence.
Send letters to:
The Catholic Herald
P.O. Box 44985
Madison, WI 53744-4985
Memories of St. Raphael
To the editor:
My sister-in-law, Mary Aschenbrenner, recently sent us a copy of the March 9th Catholic Herald with the articles about the cathedral. We really appreciated reading the most recent news about the tragic fire of one year ago. Then we got to thinking about our connection with the cathedral and decided to let you in on a little Mulady history.
My great-grandfather, James Francis Mulady, was baptized at St. Raphael Cathedral on February 25, 1861. I met my wife, Tillie Aschenbrenner, at the cathedral exactly 100 years later during Holy Week, 1961. I waited outside after Mass on Mother's Day of that spring and she accepted my invitation to dinner. We were married in May of 1962.
Prior to our marriage, my dad, Edward Mulady, was living with me in my very small apartment just down from the cathedral on West Main St. He loved attending the liturgies at St. Raphael. He passed away in the fall of 1969 and we had his funeral Mass at St. Raphael Cathedral.
So, we Muladys mourn the fire as well as the physical and spiritual loss of the cathedral, but because cathedrals belong to the people and are for the people, it only makes sense to rebuild it and keep its physical and spiritual presence in downtown Madison in the heart of the community.
Our prayers are with you. God bless!
John and Tillie Mulady, San Antonio, Texas
Outstanding young people
To the editor:
The people attending the Darlington Community of Churches Ecumenical Lenten Service Wednesday night, March 8, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Darlington, were privileged to witness a faith filled portrayal of the crucifixion of our Lord. The "Living Stations of the Cross" was presented by a group of Holy Rosary Confirmation students who did a superb job with poise, respect, and an awesome display of their faith. They were directed by two dedicated, hardworking, and capable parishioners, Becky Taylor and Nancy Winslow.
This group of students is an example of the outstanding young people in our area who show us that the future of our churches and communities will be in good hands. I, along with many others, thank these young adults for sharing this impressive experience with us.
Mary Flanagan, Darlington
Gratitude to diocese, paper
To the editor:
I would like to express Care Net's heartfelt gratitude for the special friendships we share with the Diocese of Madison and to expressly thank you for the excellent coverage we have received in the Catholic Herald. Thank you for making the extra effort to attend our Grand House Warming Celebration, and thank you for the beautiful piece you wrote in recognition of that special and blessed afternoon.
The Elizabeth House is full . . . as we had twins born to a young mother. All are doing well. Please continue to pray for them.
Liz Osborn, executive director
Care Net Pregnancy Center of Dane County