Editorial — Jewels in our crown

The people of the Archdiocese of Louisville were rightfully proud when Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI looked into the local presbyterate and picked two of our own priests to be new bishops — Bishop Charles C. Thompson now leads the Diocese of Evansville, Ind., and Bishop William F. Medley heads the Diocese of Owensboro, Ky.

And if that was cause for pride and celebration, just think how we, the people of the archdiocese, feel now.

Our own shepherd, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, has earlier this week been elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. For the next three years, Archbishop Kurtz will lead all of America’s bishops, providing the church and her people with guidance and appearing in news media all across the nation and the world as the face of the church in the United States.

It’s quite a moment in the history of the archdiocese; another jewel in a crown that has become luminously bedecked with faceted gems of all size and stature.

In fact, ours is an archdiocese with not only profound reasons for pride in its history, but one with plenty of cause to celebrate its present and future. In addition to Archbishop Kurtz’s presidency of the bishops’ conference, here are just a few other “jewels” in our collective crown:

  • As the front page of last week’s edition of The Record illustrated, the archdiocese’s Catholic Charities continues the work of the Gospel year in and year out, and one of the best examples is the work they do with and for the immigrant community. As Assistant Editor Marnie McAllister noted in her story last week, Catholic Charities and another archdiocese jewel, the Office of Lifelong Formation and Education, have combined to produce Seeking Refuge: Forced to Flee — a soon-to-be published 40-page curriculum guide designed to give students a feel for what refugees face when they are resettled into camps in countries that are not their own.
    This curriculum — which also was created with the help of a dozen educators and volunteers from local parishes and schools — will be available to schools and parishes throughout the nation, once it’s published. Mark Bouchard of Catholic Charities said the “premise is for Catholic Charities around the county to use the guide and partner with schools and youth groups in their dioceses.”
    It’s worked here. Last year 23 schools and parishes used the curriculum to provide their students and young people with a hands-on, personal experience that will help bridge any gaps in understanding they might have about the realities of life faced by refugees.
  • This week Record Reporter Jessica Able produced a story about the annual Teacher Awards Luncheon that honors those in the archdiocese who have devoted their lives to a pedagogical ministry.
    The luncheon, held at the Olmsted, honored 235 Catholic school teachers who combined have nearly 4,000 years of teaching experience. That experience has produced one of the nation’s finest school systems, one that we honor each March when the Catholic Education Foundation holds its annual “Salute to Catholic School Alumni.”
  • Another jewel — the continuing generosity of the people of the archdiocese. Everyone knows and much has been written about the success of the Building a Future of Hope campaign, and last year’s Catholic Services Appeal — coming on the heals of that fundraising effort which produced gifts and pledges of $48 million — nevertheless topped its own goal of $2.75 million.
    This year’s goal of the appeal — which has continued to use the effective and accurate “Bringing Christ to Others” campaign theme — is an ambitious $3 million. But last week Ann Marie Kelly, coordinator of annual giving for the archdiocese Office of Stewardship and Development, announced that the campaign had already reached the half-way point on the way to that figure.
    That’s amazing.
  • So is Christy Brown, the Cathedral of the Assumption member who helped lead the campaign to restore the cathedral years ago and who was active in the creation of the Cathedral Heritage Foundation, known now as the Center for Interfaith Relations.
    Those who know Brown the best have known for quite some time that she’s an effervescent ball of fire, and now she’ll demonstrate that positive personality — and her commitment to interfaith relations — on the world stage.
    Brown, as reported in last week’s Record by Jessica Able, will address the Religions for Peace 9th World Assembly in Vienna, Austria later this month. Brown and her late husband, Owsley Brown II, are charter members of the international trustees of the Religions for Peace organization, which holds its world assembly every six or seven years. She’ll be addressing a global organization that works to end wars and poverty and protect our earthly home.

And in doing so, she — and all the others mentioned above — will continue to demonstrate the faith, hope and charity of an extraordinary archdiocese.

Glenn Rutherford
Record Editor

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One reply on “Editorial — Jewels in our crown”
  1. says: Beverly McAuliffe

    Glenn,
    What a well written summary of the outstanding contributions to our Archdiocese by so many generous, caring people! Thank you for helping us realize the gifts we have in the work of so many committed Catholic men and women! If I may add one very important contribution to your list: our Archdiocesan newspaper, The Record! I look forward to reading it every week as I have for many years!

    Thank you, Glenn, for helping the people of the Archdiocese strengthen our faith, celebrate the contributions of so many local Catholics, and make us proud (in a good way!) to be a part of this great Archdiocese!

    Beverly McAuliffe

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