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Editorial | Spreading God’s love — to everyone

Opportunities abound to reach out to others, no matter their background

A phrase often repeated in the Archdiocese of St. Louis is “We serve people not because they are Catholic, but because we are Catholic.”

It’s commonly heard at Catholic Charities of St. Louis, which receives funding from the Annual Catholic Appeal. It’s evident in this issue of the Review in a story about a dinner prepared by recent refugees from Syria as a fundraiser for them. Several Catholics who attended the dinner or are part of a group that reached out to the refugees expressed that point in answering why they are welcoming their neighbors.

Another example is the story of two of the recipients of the Archbishop John L. May Service Award. The honor recognizes the outstanding leadership and community service of students in the Catholic high schools in the archdiocese. These seniors show extraordinary volunteer achievement in their schools and communities. The two students profiled volunteer with Team Activities for Special Kids, showing care and concern for children from all backgrounds.

The 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal is underway in the archdiocese. The Appeal funds the many programs of the archdiocese that reach out to people who are suffering and in need, the weak and the abandoned regardless of their faith. Brian Niebrugge, executive director of stewardship and the Annual Catholic Appeal for the archdiocese, points out that “not everyone who benefits from the ACA is Catholic, but we don’t help people because of their faith; we help people because our faith in Jesus Christ compels us to share His love with everyone. We hope that others will want to share that love too.”

One of the newest programs to be funded by the Appeal is a medical service to working, uninsured rural residents in an impoverished area of the archdiocese. Health care and family social services will be provided in rural Washington County through Catholic Charities of St. Louis to augment the ministry of the Rural Parish Workers of Christ the King. A medical clinic will be staffed by a doctor working with volunteers and may set the stage for a Catholic mobile health clinic to also bring health care and social services to uninsured people in and around nearby areas.

The Rural Parish Workers, a group of lay women bound by religious vows whose efforts are funded in part by the Appeal, serve about 2,500 people a year, mostly nonCatholics, with food, clothing, shelter and utility assistance.

As pointed out in this week’s Scripture column by Bishop Robert J. Hermann, “who we are doesn’t depend upon place of birth, race, nationality or position in society. Who we are is determined by the Father who created us in His own image and likeness.”

Following the example of the people helping refugees and the students serving children with special needs, we should all lend our support to share God’s loves to others. If you haven’t done so already, please support the Annual Catholic Appeal.

Editorial Spreading Gods love to everyone

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