A Time to Speak — We bring about the Good News together

By  Sister Mary Schmuck, R.S.M.

Life often poses interesting questions. Has God created us as social beings as well as fascinating individuals? Do we actually accomplish much or anything all by ourselves? These questions bear on our reflections and plans to enhance our Catholic evangelization efforts — helping make God’s love and presence evident to others.

Now, we certainly have personal responsibility to share God’s Good News and love for us all. Renewed emphasis on this personal responsibility is well taken.

But if we are also social beings, is there a wider realm of efforts and considerations, too (not instead, but also)?

I recently participated in the Catholic Conference of Kentucky’s annual health forum at the Lexington Diocese’s Catholic Center this time. I came away, again, so grateful for all our people in Catholic health care ministry and proud to be a Catholic. I hope that good news registers with others, too.

I also take justifiable pride in our Catholic Charities’ agency based in Louisville being the third-largest diocese in the United States engaged in refugee resettlement. And I recall prayerfully that Jesus and his family were refugees. (Refugees are in the U.S. quite legally and are legally different from immigrants.)

As one who can only partially master one language, I am in awe of our Catholic Charities people successfully and compassionately teaching people English — and some know languages beyond that of their country of origin.

Together as Catholic Charities we welcome these very challenged refugees and get them settled for life in Louisville with great competence. No one of us could pull all this off as individuals. I hope this exercise of Good News registers with others, too.

Granted, we are a sinful bunch of human persons. I look around Louisville and across the miles in our central and southern archdiocesan parishes — at the churches and the decades/centuries of persons who built those buildings and kept the faith in themselves, their families and us as the “future generations” in their time.

Our whole Catholic education system soldiers on with great success. This is likewise good news for all touched through these faith communities, right?

Each of us in our circles of influence help so many people in need. As needed as that is, it is also true that much good can be accomplished through wise public policy that can help a lot of people and protect creation with a (hard-won) signature of a governor or president.

Catholics in Kentucky have cause to be very proud and grateful for our Catholic Conference of Kentucky, the collaboration of our four Catholic dioceses in Kentucky working together on public policy. And CCK works very closely with our U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops based in Washington, D.C. This very competent and compassionate work is great cause for benefitting from the Good News.

Building on the teaching of the prophets, the life and teaching of Jesus, Catholic community reflection for over 2,000 years, we now have precious moral principles for our life together in society and as an economy. Morality applies to us as persons and in our personal relationships. But it also applies to our life together. This indeed is Good News!

Sister of Mercy Mary Schmuck works in Catholic Charities’ office in Nazareth, Ky.

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