By Liz Quirin
Cards and Letters Meaningful
So often over the years we have responded to disasters and their victims on a local, national and even international level. We have collected food, clothing, school supplies, whatever folks needed whether they were in our diocese or out. Now, it’s our turn to see people respond to the needs of our people, most recently in Harrisburg and Ridgway after the Feb. 29 tornado.
It’s exciting and humbling to see the responses. One young man who doesn’t know anybody in either community, asked for the support of his parish and his own community to reach out to us. The people in Harrisburg and Ridgway still seem a bit shell-shocked, but now their shock and joy revolves around so many people who have made donations to help them get back on their feet.
The photo at left shows drawings of elementary school students at St. Francis de Sales School in Lake Zurich, Ill., who wrote to the people in our diocese. Here’s what some of them said: “Dear St. Mary and St. Joseph parish members, I am sorry for the tornado. We are keeping you in our hearts and praying for you.” Jaclyn and Erin. Another one says: “Help is on its way. Our school feels very bad about the tornado that went through your town, and we all want to let you know that you have not been forgotten.” Another one says: “Dear Ridgway and Harrisburg, Sorry for this awful experience! May God help rebuild the beautiful lives you deserve. My parish and I will keep you in mind and in prayer. God be with you!!!”
One reads more like a Hallmark card than anything: “Be strong, God is with you. Even though we are miles apart, our prayers and thoughts are with you.” It comes from a fourth-grader at St. Francis de Sales School.
Seeing and reading the cards pulls at the heart strings, especially when you watch supplies being delivered to the relief center in Harrisburg. And the people are truly grateful, first for the food and other supplies that are brought in but also for the care and concern that are expressed with the deliveries.
Disasters will always be with us, some of them striking without warning, and we can rarely do anything about them, especially the tornadoes and floods that have visited us over the years.
However, we also know that people we know and people we don’t know will reach out to help us as we will continue to reach out to those in need. Maybe the people in Harrisburg and Ridgway are continuing to suffer through their Good Friday experiences, but they know that Easter, like the help that continues to flow to them, will surely follow.
We offer a sincere and heartfelt welcome to all of those who joined the church at Easter Vigils across our diocese. Easter blessings to everyone.
|Mail your request:
2620 Lebanon Ave.
Belleville, IL 62221