Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Thank you for your response to our appeal for Haiti after the August 14th earthquake. Last weekend 207 of you gave $ 2,668. We sent it to Catholic Charities which is putting together the collections from around the Archdiocese.

On Monday another parishioner brought a check for $200, and hopefully there will be more as time passes. I think we can do better.

You know I don’t preach a lot about money. You hear about money from me once a year at ABCD time. Last weekend when I said “we” sent the 5K at the Masses, you must understand that the “we” was a very wee group.

I wondered if telling you that we had already sent $5,000 to Catholic Relief Services perhaps diminished your sense of what more “we” might do considering what “we” had already done. That 5K had an interesting history.

Two days after the earthquake we celebrated a funeral for a Haitian family, who later gave us a $1,500 donation. I usually never accept money for sacramental celebrations. That day, two days after the earthquake, it seemed it might be a special moment for me to enable one group of Haitians to reach out to another.

I was very excited by the prospect of helping Haiti quickly because some years ago on a visit to Haiti, I saw the work that Catholic Relief Services was doing in the southern part of Haiti, the precise area where the earthquake hit. They were – and are – really good with their understanding of the people, their nobility, their culture.

So, I took the donation of the Haitian family and matched the gift with my own $1,500. Another person added $500. We had $3,500. Then I checked with Jim Guerin, our great St. Vincent de Paul man, and he okayed another $1,500 from our St. V de P fund to sort of “round out” the number. So, there it was, 5K we could get out the door. For me it was a no brainer. The check went on the 16th. From my point of view having the personal experience of knowing the money would go to good and quick use was a blessing.

I usually have felt, when it comes to giving, the fact that I give is more important than the person or event (like Haiti) that I’m giving it to. But this time, I felt a very close relationship with the “end” of the money. Knowing it would be used well, just raised my sense of gratitude. It seems like Haiti has always been a difficult climb if not almost hopeless at times. But that is precisely why the country and its peo¬ple are an opportunity that God offers us on our own door-steps. We need to have the courage to keep walking through the doors.

Long before this Twitch materialized, I had written the closing two paragraphs. I wanted to share some good experiences. I was going to drop the references to the restaurants. Then I remembered that “Life is Messy.” So, I’m going with the conviction that some good experiences can help you walk through difficult issues. At the risk of truly adding the ridiculous to the sublime...

Café Seville, on south side of East Oakland Park Boulevard, just west of Bayview, has the very best seabass I have ever had in my life. Some friends took me there for my birthday, and what a treat it was. Everyone loved their entrées.

La Bamba is the Mexican restaurant in our own Harbour Beach Publix shopping center. Try the crab enchilada. Wow. What a great surprise. Nice people in both places.

May Jesus help us to love people in ALL places,

In Him,
sign frjim

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