Written by Fr. Joe Maier, CSsR “To our neighbors and friends: How arrogant we are to dare tell your stories. But humbly we ask your pardon and forgiveness if we have goofed and not told the story properly or showed any disrespect in any way.”— FR. JOE MAIER, CSSR Editor’s...
Category: Social Justice
September 2014 Jesus tells his disciples they are not to impress people by their authority but by their willingness to put themselves at the service of others. A disciple doesn’t brag, “I’m the one in charge.” Jesus came to serve the least of his brothers and sisters. In doing so,...
Last month Father Stephen Rehrauer described the ethical side of hunger, that we have a moral imperative to feed the hungry. World hunger has reached pandemic proportions. Even in our own wealthy nation it seems to be an unsolvable problem as it affects over 10 percent of the United States.
Human life is a fragile gift, much more fragile than we care to admit. Despite the inspiring stories of rare individuals forced to endure severe adversities and manage to survive, the more common reality of human experience corresponds to the Rule of Threes: the average human being can survive only three minutes without air, three hours in severe conditions without shelter, three days without water, three weeks without food, and three months without hope.
One of the things that weighs heavily on the family budget is the cost of health care: insurance premiums, co-pays, doctor bills. But for the estimated 47 million Americans without health insurance, the possibility of a family member’s needing major medical care is indeed frightening.
As a young priest in Denver, Colorado, I was once asked to accompany a family at the graveside of their infant son, who had died during childbirth. I knew only that they were Spanish-speaking and that I would need to perform the ritual in Spanish. I met the family at the small grave; they were a young couple with a four-year-old daughter. No other friends or family were present, which told me that they were recently arrived immigrants. They were poor and alone.
Dorothy never thought of her hospitality as Catholic social teaching, but she modeled it perfectly. She and her husband, Wally, had the means to build a country home ninety minutes from their suburban St. Louis, Missouri, neighborhood, but they never thought of it as theirs in any exclusive sense. They understood the principle of the common good and shared their country home with anyone who needed space and time away. Local peace and justice groups and Catholic Worker residents, as well as extended family members and friends, treasured it as a place for personal renewal.