Writers share message of people loving people
Archbishop George J. Lucas mentions it in his Shepherd column on Page 2 of this issue. Father Ronald Rolheiser discusses it in his column on Page 16. And News Editor Joe Ruff features it in a story beginning on Page 1.
What is the “it” these writers share in their work?
In a general sense, people loving people … the call to Catholics, to all people, to help the poor, assist the disadvantaged, welcome the stranger.
Archbishop Lucas addresses that call in two themes of the church’s social teaching – attending to the needs of the poor and vulnerable and in being one human family.
Serving the poor and vulnerable is at the heart of Christian discipleship, the archbishop writes, and “love of neighbor has global dimensions” ranging from the plight of refugees to children getting a basic education.
Father Rolheiser focuses on how Jesus tells us we’ll be judged based on our response to the poor and the vulnerable, making a special point about welcoming the stranger. He becomes more specific in writing about refugee and immigrant issues in the United States and around the world, and our need to welcome, not reject, to help and not hinder.
Ruff, in his story, puts names and faces with this concept of people loving people, highlighting Syrian refugees being welcomed and helped – being loved as Jesus would love – by several faith-based groups in the Omaha area, including five Catholic parishes.
His story talks about the refugees’ joys of being welcomed and helped, their fears of what might happen with government actions here in the United States, and their grief in the loss of their native homes, their families and more.
It’s all about people loving people. Country singer Garth Brooks sings about it in a song by that name. One verse ends: “All the colors and the cultures circle ‘round us on a spindle. It’s a complicated riddle, but the solution is so simple.”
And then goes to the first line of the refrain: “It’s people loving people. That’s the enemy of everything that’s evil.”
While that might be a country song and to some, just so much idealistic babble, it carries a Christian message … one we’ve been hearing from Jesus for more than 2,000 years.
A Catholic Press Association promotional piece for Catholic Press Month – February – lists eight reasons to thank heaven for the Catholic press. The Catholic press, according to that listing:
• Celebrates our faith, traditions and identity.
• Deepens spiritual lives.
• Provides teaching and promotes understanding of the faith.
• Offers a faith perspective to issues of the day.
• Reports on stories no other sources cover.
• Challenges Catholics to live their faith.
• Inspires noble acts.
• Draws people closer to Jesus, their parishes and their church.
While valid, the reasons could use a personal touch. And that’s what we try to do here at the Catholic Voice. Most of our local stories focus on faith lived through individual Catholics across the archdiocese.
The Catholic Voice celebrates and teaches the faith through the words and lives of Catholics in the pews. The newspaper challenges and inspires through the blessings and struggles, the successes and failures of everyday Catholics. And the Voice brings people together through reports on parishes and schools, clubs and prayer groups.
The Catholic Voice is at the heart of the archdiocesan communication efforts, but it’s more than a communication tool. It’s a newspaper about people, their lives and their faith. In short, it’s about the Catholic community of Northeast Nebraska.
And at the Catholic Voice, we thank heaven for the community every day.
Deacon Randy Grosse is editor and general manager of the Catholic Voice. Contact him at email@example.com.