Many people have asked us why we moved to Caruthersville. Most know the story of Don growing up here, our daughter moving to Tennessee with the grands, and our choice to move here to be closer to them. What many people don't know is that we were here, serving on a domestic mission, in the winter/spring of 2014, one of the worst winters ever.
Back in 2013, I was writing about preparing for that visit here. After that experience and now actually living here for a year, I've discovered that some of what I wrote five years ago is still fresh for reading today. So, I thought I would share one of those posts from five years ago.
Mission Post #16 - What Unites Us?
What unites us as human beings? What is it that we all have in common that makes us one? In answer to this question, at its most essential, what unites us is blood and bone. We are all human. We are men and women. We may come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, but, we are all human. We all experience joy, satisfaction, and the desire to do good. We suffer pain and sorrow, know hunger, want, and thirst, and we all experience the impulse to commit acts for good or evil. We are complicated creatures that act on more than instinct. Sometimes this sense of unity comes home in a very real way and we find that we may be the sum of our individual parts but we are all also brothers and sisters beneath the skin.
This weekend Don and I took our next big step in preparing for our mission to southeastern Missouri this coming winter/spring 2014, Saturday and Sunday we spoke at all of the English and Spanish Masses telling our community of Catholic brethren at St. Anthony's of our upcoming mission; we introduced them to the small community of Glenmary nuns, priests and brothers who serve Appalachia and the South and their mission to serve the poorest of the poor in areas where there is often no Catholic presence at all.
We spoke of Mother's House in Hayti, MO and Sr. Darlene's mission to serve the many impoverished single moms of the area. We asked, not for money but, for donations of maternity clothes, baby clothes and baby food and baby toys. In a community where children wear uniforms to public schools, we asked for navy and khaki pants and red, blue and white polo shirts that would fit teens..
After seven Masses, I found myself reflecting on what unites us. We of St. Anthony's are a community of people where some have great wealth, many are ordinary middle class, and more than a few are the working poor and not a few who are undocumented and living in the shadows. We are Anglos, Latinos, and Filipinos. But at the end of the Masses, at the end of our appeal, I felt so united with all of them. The response was so overwhelming and positive. People understand need no matter their "station" in life. Giving is something we can all do. There is always someone who has less than we ourselves have and giving fills the need to reach out and help another even if we have a hard time helping ourselves.
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