In giving ourselves to Jesus through Mary's hands, we imitate God the Father, who gave us his Son only through Mary. Likewise we imitate God the Son, who by giving us his example for us to follow, inspires us to go to him using the same means he used in coming to us, that is through Mary. Again, we imitate the Holy Spirit, who bestows his graces and gifts upon us only through Mary. “Is it not fitting,” remarks Saint Bernard, “that grace should return to its author by the same channel that conveyed it to us?”
In going to Jesus through Mary we are really paying honor to our Lord, for we are showing that, because of our sins, we are unworthy to approach his infinite holiness directly on our own. We are showing that we need Mary, his holy Mother, to be our advocate and mediatrix with him who is our Mediator. We are going to Jesus as mediator and brother, and at the same time humbling ourselves before him who is our god and our judge. In short, we are practicing humility, something which always gladdens the heart of God.
Consecrating ourselves in this way to Jesus through Mary implies placing our good deeds in Mary's hands. Now, although these deeds may appear good to us, theyu are often defective and not worthy to be considered and accepted by God, before whom even the stars lack brightness.
Let us pray, then, to our dear Mother and Queen, that, having accepted our poor present, she may purify it, sanctify it, beautify it, and so make it worthy of God. . . “If you wish to present something to God, no matter how small it may be,” says Saint Bernard, “place it in the hands of Mary to ensure its certain acceptance.”
St. Louis Grignion De Montfort
God has a great plan also in what we call the unexpected. It isnʼt unexpected to God. He
planned it from all eternity. There is no happenstance in life, certainly not in the spiritual life. So
often we say, “Oh, I didnʼt expect that to happen!” Well, God did. We could think, “Oh, that is what
caused everything to go wrong,” but actually that is what is supposed to make everything go right.
There is nothing unexpected in all of creation. There is a plan in what we would call the
unexpected. Wasnʼt the Incarnation the most unpredictable thing that could ever have happened?
God has his whole master plan for each of our lives, for the community, for the Church, and we
should delight to remember that nothing should ever take us by surprise, except the wonder of
Our Lady was certainly not expecting the Annunciation, and the whole plan of redemption was
most unexpected to humanity - the whole idea of it, that the Fatherʼs divine Son, himself God,
should become man, should be incarnated through the agency of this young, unknown girl in a city
of which someone was to say, “Can any good come out of that little place?” What was more
unexpected? This was the whole plan.
Fr. Bernard J. Campbell, OFM Cap
As Lent draws near, I would like to offer some helpful thoughts on our path of conversion as individuals and as a community. These insights are inspired by the words of Saint Paul: "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich" (2 Cor 8:9). The Apostle was writing to the Christians of Corinth to encourage them to be generous in helping the faithful in Jerusalem who were in need. What do these words of Saint Paul mean for us Christians today? What does this invitation to poverty, a life of evangelical poverty, mean for us today?
1. Christ’s grace
First of all, it shows us how God works. He does not reveal himself cloaked in worldly power and wealth but rather in weakness and poverty: "though He was rich, yet for your sake he became poor …". Christ, the eternal Son of God, one with the Father in power and glory, chose to be poor; he came amongst us and drew near to each of us; he set aside his glory and emptied himself so that he could be like us in all things (cf. Phil 2:7; Heb 4:15). God’s becoming man is a great mystery! But the reason for all this is his love, a love which is grace, generosity, a desire to draw near, a love which does not hesitate to offer itself in sacrifice for the beloved. Charity, love, is sharing with the one we love in all things. Love makes us similar, it creates equality, it breaks down walls and eliminates distances. God did this with us. Indeed, Jesus "worked with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, he truly became one of us, like us in all things except sin." (
Gaudium et Spes , 22). By making himself poor, Jesus did not seek poverty for its own sake but, as Saint Paul says "that by his poverty you might become rich". This is no mere play on words or a catch phrase. Rather, it sums up God’s logic, the logic of love, the logic of the incarnation and the cross. God did not let our salvation drop down from heaven, like someone who gives alms from their abundance out of a sense of altruism and piety. Christ’s love is different! When Jesus stepped into the waters of the Jordan and was baptized by John the Baptist, he did so not because he was in need of repentance, or conversion; he did it to
be among people who need forgiveness, among us sinners, and to take upon himself the burden of our sins. In this way he chose to comfort us, to save us, to free us from our misery. It is striking that the Apostle states that we were set free, not by Christ’s riches but by his poverty. Yet Saint Paul is well aware of the "the unsearchable riches of Christ" ( Eph 3:8), that he is "heir of all things" (Heb 1:2). So what is this poverty by which Christ frees us and enriches us? It is his way of loving us, his way of being our neighbour, just as the Good Samaritan was neighbour to the man left half dead by the side of the road (cf. Lk 10:25ff ). What gives us true freedom, true salvation and true happiness is the compassion, tenderness and solidarity of his love. Christ’s poverty which enriches us is his taking flesh and bearing our weaknesses and sins as an expression of God’s infinite mercy to us. Christ’s poverty is the greatest treasure of all: Jesus’ wealth is that of his boundless confidence in God the Father, his constant trust, his desire always and only to do the Father’s will and give glory to him. Jesus is rich in the same way as a child who feels loved and who loves its parents, without doubting their love and tenderness for an instant. Jesus’ wealth lies in his being the Son; his unique relationship with the Father is the sovereign prerogative of this Messiah who is poor. When Jesus asks us to take up his "yoke which is easy", he asks us to be enriched by his "poverty which is rich" and his "richness which is poor", to share his filial and fraternal Spirit, to become sons and daughters in the Son, brothers and sisters in the firstborn brother (cf. Rom 8:29).
It has been said that the only real regret lies in not being a saint (L. Bloy); we could also say that there is only one real kind of poverty: not living as children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ.
2. Our witness
We might think that this "way" of poverty was Jesus’ way, whereas we who come after him can save the world with the right kind of human resources. This is not the case. In every time and place God continues to save mankind and the world through the poverty of Christ, who makes himself poor in the sacraments, in his word and in his Church, which is a people of the poor. God’s wealth passes not through our wealth, but invariably and exclusively through our personal and communal poverty, enlivened by the Spirit of Christ.
In imitation of our Master, we Christians are called to confront the poverty of our brothers and sisters, to touch it, to make it our own and to take practical steps to alleviate it. Destitution is not the same as poverty: destitution is poverty without faith, without support, without hope. There are three types of destitution: material, moral and spiritual. Material destitution is what is normally called poverty, and affects those living in conditions opposed to human dignity: those who lack basic rights and needs such as food, water, hygiene, work and the opportunity to develop and grow culturally. In response to this destitution, the Church offers her help, her diakonia, in meeting these needs and binding these wounds which disfigure the face of humanity. In the poor and outcast we see Christ’s face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ. Our efforts are also directed to ending violations of human dignity, discrimination and abuse in the world, for these are so often the cause of destitution. When power, luxury and money become idols, they take priority over the need for a fair distribution of wealth. Our consciences thus need to be converted to justice, equality, simplicity and sharing.
No less a concern is moral destitution, which consists in slavery to vice and sin. How much pain is caused in families because one of their members – often a young person - is in thrall to alcohol, drugs, gambling or pornography! How many people no longer see meaning in life or prospects for the future, how many have lost hope! And how many are plunged into this destitution by unjust social conditions, by unemployment, which takes away their dignity as breadwinners, and by lack of equal access to education and health care. In such cases, moral destitution can be considered impending suicide. This type of destitution, which also causes financial ruin, is invariably linked to the spiritual destitution which we experience when we turn away from God and reject his love. If we think we don’t need God who reaches out to us through Christ, because we believe we can make do on our own, we are headed for a fall. God alone can truly save and free us.
The Gospel is the real antidote to spiritual destitution: wherever we go, we are called as Christians to proclaim the liberating news that forgiveness for sins committed is possible, that God is greater than our sinfulness, that he freely loves us at all times and that we were made for communion and eternal life. The Lord asks us to be joyous heralds of this message of mercy and hope! It is thrilling to experience the joy of spreading this good news, sharing the treasure entrusted to us, consoling broken hearts and offering hope to our brothers and sisters experiencing darkness. It means following and imitating Jesus, who sought out the poor and sinners as a shepherd lovingly seeks his lost sheep. In union with Jesus, we can courageously open up new paths of evangelization and human promotion.
Dear brothers and sisters, may this Lenten season find the whole Church ready to bear witness to all those who live in material, moral and spiritual
destitution the Gospel message of the merciful love of God our Father, who is ready to embrace everyone in Christ. We can do this to the extent that we imitate Christ who became poor and enriched us by his poverty. Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt. May the Holy Spirit, through whom we are "as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything" (2 Cor 6:10), sustain us in our resolutions and increase our concern and responsibility for human destitution, so that we can become merciful and act with mercy. In expressing this hope, I likewise pray that each individual member of the faithful and every Church community will undertake a fruitful Lenten journey. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you safe.
His Holiness, Pope Francis
From the Vatican, 26 December 2013
Feast of Saint Stephen, Deacon and First Martyr
It all began in the month of October, 1843, one-hundred and seventy-one
years ago. He was a crusader for the poor and uneducated of his era. The decision
to write this “Ghostly little book” happened as Charles Dickens made his return
train ride from Manchester to London. The most read and famous book in the
world is the Bible. A Christmas Carol, 30,000 words long, can be compared to the
global popularity of the Bible. This writing is as popular today as it has been each
year for the past one-hundred and seventy-one years. With the passage of time
there is a greater demand to share in this writing than in the nineteenth century.
Why, despite the passage of a century and one-half does A Christmas Carol remain
At the very beginning of the book, Charles Dickens answers this question
with the following hand written words: “I have endeavored in this Ghostly little
book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which will not put my readers out of humor
with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their
houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it (put it down). Their faithful friend and
servant. C.D.” To paraphrase Charles Dickens’ words A Christmas Carol is — “A
Ghostly little — story which — raises the Ghost of an Idea.” Dickens tells his
readers that this yuletide tale is more than an entertaining Christmas story. This
yuletide tale of a covetous old sinner who has lost touch with his humanity because
of his obsession with money contains a message for all of us. This message about
a conversion has moved generations of readers worldwide.
One reason for the attraction is that A Christmas Carol delivers a timeless
message of — a conversion based on Mercy and Hope. It is more than a
“Victorian Celebration.” It is a story about how each one of us can be converted
from a life motivated by obsessions with money, possessions, power, pleasure, etc.
It is a story about how we, like Scrooge, with the help of the supernatural, the
assistance of our friends, family, and loved ones can redeem ourselves.
It is amazing that in the midst of our abundance, contemporary men and
women are experiencing despair about their future and the future of their children?
One reason for this despair is the violence we see in our world. As a nation we
have been at war for ten continuous years. Yet, our despair is more than military
combat and terrorism. In addition to this violence is the disruption we experience
in our lives, such as, the sudden loss of jobs, income, homes, opportunities. This
loss has almost extinguished the spirit of hope and mercy in our lives. We are
becoming cynical and despairing. This chaos can eliminate the spirit of joy in our
Charles Dickens experienced this despair in his life, when his family was
suddenly forced to live in a poor house. We are reminded of Dickens’ family
experience when Ebenezer responds to a request for a charitable donation, “Have
we no poor houses!” The despair and cynicism of Scrooge is described in the
scene, when Ebenezer responds to his nephew’s praise of joy created by Christmas,
“A time when women and men open their hearts to each other.” Scrooge response
with words filled with cynicism and despair, “Bah, Humbug!!”
Pope Francis like Charles Dickens has expressed his concern about the
negative effects of the “globalization of capitalism.” Like Dickens, this son of
Italian immigrants, lived in the midst of the degradation and murder of human
beings in Argentina. He has witnessed the effects of unregulated capitalism on the
life of families and ordinary women and men.
The pontiff’s desire to minister to the needy is certainly a goal with merit.
The Francis has the statistics on his side to prove his point. In early 2014, Oxfam,
the controversial antipoverty organization operating in more than ninety countries,
revealed a near-unbelievable fact: The eighty-five richest people in the world have
more money than all of the 3.5 billion poorest people on the planet combined.
That means that the 1 percent off the richest people in the world control 46 percent
— nearly half — of the world’s wealth.
Pope Francis has said that, “It is vital that government leaders and financial
leaders take heed and broaden their horizons, working to ensure that all citizens
have dignified work, education, and healthcare.” In early 2014, Francis urged
global leaders gathered in Davos, Switzerland, to consider their broader roles in the
world order: “I ask you to ensure humanity is served by wealth, and not ruled by
During that return trip to London, Dickens decided to write A Christmas
Carol in order to change the societal attitudes of his fellow woman and man. He
invented Ebenezer Scrooge so that he could hold up a mirror to ourselves. He
invented the apparitions from another world so that we might realize that we need
the assistance of God to change our lives. This is the reason we celebrate the Birth
of Jesus into our lives. His life has revealed to us that by means of the divine gift of
mercy and hope we will combat the global evils of ignorance and want. Pope
Francis like his predecessors has emphasize this same message. If we want peace
combat ignorance and want in our global society. So as we celebrate this
wonderful gift of the entrance of God into our lives, the birth of Jesus of Nazareth,
let us pray that we will make the following New Year’s resolution: That we will
pray for a growth of hope and mercy in our lives. And we will work to end want
and ignorance in the world around us. Happy New Year!
Rev Bernard J Campbell OFM, Cap.
A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside. “Your son is here,” she said to
the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patientʼs eyes opened.
Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young
uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine
wrapped his toughened fingers around the old manʼs limp ones, squeezing a message of
love and encouragement. The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the
night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old manʼs hand
and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the
Marine move away and rest awhile. He refused.
Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the
night noises of the hospital the
clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff
members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients. Now and then
she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his
son all through the night.
Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he
had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.
Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted
her, “Who was that man?” he asked.
The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered. “No, he wasnʼt,” the Marine
replied. “I never saw him before in my life.”
“Then why didnʼt you say something when I took you to him?”
“I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and
his son just wasnʼt here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was
his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed. I came here tonight to find a Mr.
William Grey. His son was killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to inform him. What was this
Gentlemanʼs Name? “
The nurse with tears in her eyes answered, “Mr. William Grey.....”
The next time someone needs you ... Just Be There!
For the past three decades, Council #5112 has been a council that wanted to –
“Just Be There,” for the Church and the Community.
The members as a group or individually made it a
point to “Just Be There.” The council members served in
many activities and local groups. Members assisted in
of the Grange Hall. They have served in
elections. They funded and served in activities that
served the needs of persons with disabilities. They have
marched in the Manchester, “Christmas Parade.” There
have been numerous occasions when members have
served as an “Honor Guard” at diocesan celebrations.
Some members have assisted at the Bishop's
Seminarians' Barbecue. Over the years council
members have sacrificed and dedicated many hours to a
variety of community, church and state council activities, such as, the Annual State
Convention and Quarterly meetings. The numerous hours
of dedication that have kept the council existing for
years are a credit to our Brother Knights
and their families.
It has been an exciting three and onehalf
fun and commitment to the Church and society. It has
been a privilege to “Just Have Been There,” – chosen
to serve as your chaplain of your council since 1980.
As 2014 enters its final two months, let us Praise God for all the blessings we have
shared in during these active years. May we continue to be a council that dedicates itself
to be a “Just Be There” council.
Fr. Bernie, O.F.M. Cap.
This has been the – “Month Of The Rejected.” The violence in the Gaza. Both groups reject each
other. So they proceed to kill each other.
The war in the Ukraine. Two groups reject each other. So they proceeded to kill each other .
Also, two hundred and ninety passengers and crew of the Indonesian Airline lie dead in a field in
Eastern Europe, because of this rejection
The violence in Nigeria. Two hundred young African women from Nigeria have been
abducted. They could possibly be sold into sex-slavery. God help their families, especially their
mothers and fathers. The rebels reject the families of these girls, so they could kill all those young
Then there is the violence at our southern border. Thousands of children are fleeing violence .
If returned home they will be either murdered, used for sex or forced into a life of violence. Some of
our elected representatives want to reject them. They want to send them to their deaths. Do you
agree with this decision?
If you were a parent of a child in this situation, what would you do? Wouldn't you send your
son or daughter to America. You send them to school for a better education? Why do Americans find
this situation hard to understand? Returning these children to Honduras is no different than
supporting abortion. . . . It is amazing to me, when “reading the signs of the times,” I see Rejection!
I am finishing the final book of a trilogy on the WWII, “The Guns of Last Light: The War in
Western Europe, 1944-1945.”
The other two books were on the war in Northern Africa and Italy. These books describe the
loss of millions of lives. It was the prayer and the hope of all people that we would not see this
devastation again. Yet, each time we see people rejecting others, because they are different, we are
fostering a situation that can lead to violence and war. That is the price we pay when we reject the
world around us. Our unwillingness to listen to the problems of others – rejection – results in war.
We either study history and its sad events or history will visit us with its sad events. What
creates war is the question. And time and again the answer is the same – Poverty and Ignorance,
which is the results of rejection. We must not reject. We must care for all.
Rev Bernard J Campbell OFM, Cap.
When a cardinal complained that a rise in Vatican salaries meant a particular usher earned as
much as the cardinal, Good Pope St. John XXIII remarked: "That usher has 10 children; I hope the
When Good Pope St. John XXIII went to visit a friend at the nearby Hospital of the Holy
Spirit in the evening, the nun answering the door said: "Holy Father, I'm the mother superior of the
Holy Spirit." The Good Pope replied: "Lucky you! What a job! I'm just the 'servant of the servants
It seems from the above quotes that Good Pope St. John XXIII used humor to deal with –
bewilderment. Few of us respond to our experience of bewilderment, with humor. Based on the
descriptions contained in Resurrection stories found in the Christian gospels, the first followers of
Jesus were bewildered. They were frightened. In fact the first words as Jesus appeared to his
disciples were, “Peace Be With You.”
We are the same as the disciples. When we are frightened, we are confused and bewildered.
The events in our personal, societal and global lives are often confusing. They are bewildering. At
times like these we are fearful or angry. The disciples are fearful after witnessing the tragic and
horrible death of Jesus.
They gathered in the upper room, behind “locked doors for fear of the political and religious
leaders.” The disciples, on the road to Emmaus, expressed anger at their leaders, “How our chief
priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him.” Their words of
bewilderment contain anger.
Once again human existence is challenged by its own evil or sinfulness. We are our own
worse enemies. We refuse to see life as God sees it – “It is Good.” Bewilderment arises from our
evil. It will always be present in our lives. It results from the mystery of life. The first followers of
Jesus, Peter, John, Mary Magdalene, the disciples on the road to Emmaus, etc., were bewildered.
This mental state comes from our fear and anger.
The authors of the Gospels offer us a remedy to cope with this bewilderment. The solution is
community and the Eucharist. If we want to have a strong belief in the Resurrection, we need to be
an active participating member of the Christian community. This is a clear teaching contained the
Resurrection stories of the Gospels. They come together in the upper room. They share in the
“breaking of the bread,” the Mass. We need to do the same, if we are to believe in the
Contrary to common thinking – belief – in the Resurrection does not come with our Baptism.
Rather belief in the Resurrection comes as we see in the Sacred Scriptures, after walking in the
community of Jesus – the Church.
Despite the tragedy of Jesus death, the disciples stay, pray and eat together. And it is in the
setting of the Christian Community – the Church – Jesus appears and strengthens his first followers.
The authors of the Gospels are showing us that the community of prayer and service will strengthen
our belief in the Resurrection. “Lord to Whom Shall We Go? You have The Words of Eternal
Rev Bernard J Campbell OFM, Cap.
Following the con-celebrated Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, I joined my friends and brothers, who were gathered at the back of the Cathedral. It was decided that we would have a light brunch. Each of us had to rise early to be able to attend theeight o'clock morning Mass, at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
In that Monday morning, I left our Friary at six-thirty. The best way to get to the Cathedral was by means of the subway. About one million people are commuting to work each morning in New York City. The subways are great, but they demand a lot of walking and climbing of stairs. The fast pace of the crowds in addition to the standing and walking is very tiring. After climbing up the subway stairs, I had to walk two long blocks to the Cathedral. When I arrived there it was necessary to ascend and descend many more stairs before I accompanied about sixty priests in procession to the altar and the con-celebration of the Mass.
There are about three-hundred members of the “Fighting Sixty-Ninth” dressed in battle fatigues on one side of the main body of the cathedral and many political dignitaries on the other side. The Cathedral, despite the scaffolding was jammed with a worshiping community of about a thousand people. At the end of the Mass, the entire community sang the Irish national anthem. This was followed with great gusto by the singing of the American national anthem.
Naturally, my friends and brothers were tired and in need of some coffee and light refreshments. We found a fine coffee-restaurant shop a short distance from the parade. Because of the cold and our weariness, we all welcomed the time eat and chat. A little more than an hour later we all departed from the restaurant. But to my surprise, none of us returned to the parade?
It has been ten years since I last marched and shared in the parade. In the past, we all participated in the parade, marching or as a spectator. Now all chose to return to the warmth and comfort of their hotel rooms. It was a welcome choice for me. For I realized that with age, my ability to be part of the parade is history. While returning alone on the subway to my friary, I was reflecting on the difference of our involvement this year in the parade. I thought to myself that, “The parade has passed by us,” we are no longer part of it. And none of us seemed to regret this choice.
After a hiatus of ten years, I realized that we all have changed. And this change could be called – “disengagement.”
Some would like to describe this choice as “getting old.” I prefer the word disengagement. This word describes more accurately what is happening in your life as you enter seventies +. Disengagement is a choice to seek satisfaction in a different life style. We realize that a purpose in life is not accomplished by intense activity. Rather, life is an experience to be immersed in rather than taken over by activity. There is an old Russian saying, “God created men and women not to study life, but rather to experience life.”
This is one of the reasons for the season of Lent. We try to diminish our activities. Then, in place of these activities, we are encouraged by the Church to increase our time for prayer. Prayer is not a matter of words. It is a time we try to experience the presence of God in our lives.
Very often we realize that our activities can be a distraction. Our activities can distract us from the most important reality in our lives, namely the presence of God. We are created to be in union with God. This union, by means of prayer leads us to experience God in the activities of our daily life.
As we enter more deeply into the season of Lent, let us pray, that by means of “disengagement,” we will experience God's presence in each daily activity.
Rev Bernard J Campbell OFM, Cap.
Dear Lord, “Being a Christian means being in you, thinking like you, acting like
you, loving like you. It means letting you take possession of my life to change it,
transform it and free it from the darkness of evil and sin.”
This is the goal of our daily lives. We intensify this daily effort during the season
of Lent. For forty days we intensify our focus on efforts to be like Jesus. To be a
Christian means to be “Christ-like,” an “Altus Christus,” aka,“Another Christ.”
The challenge for all is not “to be” a Christian. Rather the challenge is “how to
be” a Christian. There are many who claim or support a Christian“WAY” of life. They
can be Congregational, Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, etc. We chose to be Roman
Catholic. Also, we chose to live as brother knights. This choice helps us in our attempts
at “how to be” a Christian, a Roman Catholic.
Our council has specific activities, which support us in our efforts at “how to be” a
Christian. These activities are religious, e.g., Marian Devotion, Right to Life Activities,
Monthly Meetings, Donated Services given to the community and in the parish, visiting
the in-firmed and the grieving, etc. Christ encourages us to be active when he says that,
“when you give a glass of water in my name, you will receive a blessing.” We do all this
so that we can “be in Christ.”
There are many things our society needs, such as, the end of wars, end of poverty,
medical care for all, better education, good paying employment, eradication of drug
addiction, curing of disease, etc.
These are all very important needs. But added to this list is the need for good
Christians in our society. Our society needs Christian role models. These role models
do not need to “registered” Christians. They may not be of the Christian faith. But, their
behaviors and life styles indicate that they are “in Christ.” They are people who are
Christ-like. Like many of you I see this “Christ-like” actions in the lives of many people.
They are people of all ages, all creeds, all nations, male or female, all economic levels,
etc., who live as Jesus teaches, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
This Christ-like life happens in the class room, the hospital ward, the prison cell,
the market place, the family, facilities for the aged and in-firmed, entertainment/artistic
During this season of Lent/Easter, let us pray for a renewal of strength and
enthusiasm for a Christ-like life. We pray also, that more people will follow and listen to
the teachings of Christ as conveyed by the Roman Catholic Church/Community.
Let us not forget to pray for those who are suffering from physical and mental
illnesses. Lets us pray for those who suffer from poverty, denial of human rights, lack of
a decent job, for an end to abortion, etc.
Rev Bernard J Campbell OFM, Cap.