I bet the Joplin tornado victims and volunteers could help us here. They might have a story or two (or three hundred) about how their ordinary life exists no longer, and what remains is a rich life, full-to-the-brim with gratitude. Immediately after the tornado, waves of volunteers came out of nowhere, handing out barbecue sandwiches, sorting through debris, helping in countless ways. Groups from Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church (my parish) have gone twice to help in Joplin (see article), witnessing first-hand not only the devastation but the renewed hope in those who have lost everything. To the above right is a picture of the St. Mary's Catholic Church in Joplin. Thankfully, their parish priest survived the destruction but they will need to rebuild their church, starting from scratch. We can't all physically travel to Joplin, but we can each do something of value to help, especially pray for the health and strength of those who survived. The Salsa Mama sale from June and July 2011 will support the Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, who has already helped thousands of individuals and will play a large role in rebuilding St.Mary's.
As always, thank YOU for support of the various charities throughout the year!