Request for Special Collection to benefit the people of Nepal affected by the April 25 Earthquake
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal toppling buildings and homes, causing widespread panic and claiming more than 5,000 lives on Saturday, April 25. Officials anticipate the death toll will climb as the extent of damage is realized in the densely populated region of nearly 2.5 million people.
People urgently need basic essentials. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is partnering with Caritas Nepal to target 75,000 people affected by the Nepal Earthquake to supply them with emergency shelter materials, blankets, water treatment and hygiene kits. CRS and Caritas Nepal will continue to identify the most pressing needs in the hardest hit districts between Kathmandu and Pokhara and will scale operations accordingly.
CRS desperately needs our help so that people and communities most in need can be helped. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has appealed to all bishops. I am asking that all parishes consider adding a special collection to benefit the victims of the Nepal earthquake on the weekend of May 16-17. As with previous large-scale relief requests, make the check payable to your local parish with ‘CRS Nepal Earthquake Relief’ on the memo line.
Thank you for your consideration and please continue to pray for those affected by the earthquake.
Sincerely in Christ,
Everything is different now
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We began our Lenten journey 40 days or so ago with Pope Francis’ challenge to confront the problem of what he calls the “globalization of indifference.” Our traditional Lenten practices of prayer, charity and fasting have offered us ways to open ourselves to Christ’s love and to share that love with others, to resist the temptation to indifference.
We are about to enter into the three days, the heart of our liturgical year, when we will recall Christ’s command to follow his example by celebrating Eucharist and washing feet, when we will stand at the foot of the Cross with Mary, when we will wait in the darkness for the dawning of the new day of resurrection life.
And then? Hopefully, it will not mean a return to “life as usual.”
Mary Magdalene could not go back to life as usual. Neither could Peter and the Beloved Disciple. Neither could the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Neither could Thomas. Neither should we.
The church gives us 50 days to follow on the 40. Yes, 50 days of feasting to follow the 40 days of fasting. But even more than that: 50 days to make sure that what has happened to us over the last 40 takes root and bears fruit, that the seeds that have been planted begin to bear new and abundant life, resurrection life.
We are given these 50 days to make sure that we will come from the font, whether as the newly-baptized neophytes or as those who have renewed their promises, filled with joy and eager to live as an Easter people; to understand more deeply what it means to have died and come back to life again in the waters of baptism.
As we were given 40 days to make our way to
Calvary and the empty tomb, we are given 50 to make our way back to Jerusalem, to the upper room, to the whirlwind and tongues of flames that marked the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost.
The Spirit calls us and empowers us to be a resurrection people: those whose lives are an offering of praise and thanksgiving to God, those whose lives echo Christ’s care and compassion for others, those whose lives bear witness to the Good News of God’s mercy and gift of everlasting life.
After the Resurrection, and after Pentecost, we cannot — we dare not — go back to “life as usual” because everything should be — everything is — different now.
Full English/Spanish Easter Message is available here at The Catholic Messenger.