September 12, 2014

Editorial

Helping our brothers and sisters in the Middle East

The stories of persecution, displacement and even death are heartbreaking.

The pictures, including families fleeing for their lives, speak volumes about the challenges our brothers and sisters in Christ face each day, too.

The chaos and civil unrest in the Middle East these days begs the question: Will that part of the world, known as the cradle of Christianity, ever see peace?

We can debate the political landscape and discuss the various faith traditions and religious persecution that have engulfed the region, but we cannot ignore that, more than ever, we must pray for the suffering people whose lives are being turned upside down by a dire situation.

As Catholics, we are also being asked this weekend in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to contribute to a special collection to assist with the most urgent humanitarian needs facing the people in Iraq, Gaza, Syria and the surrounding countries.

The funds will be used by Catholic Relief Services and other Catholic agencies working in partnership with the local Church.

“These organizations have well-established partnerships with the Catholic Church in the region which allow them to respond quickly and efficiently to victims in some of the hardest-to-reach areas,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Collection funds will also be used to support Church programs to aid persecuted Christians and to respond to rebuilding needs of Catholic dioceses in the impacted areas.”

Our local Church has an outstanding history of assisting our brethren in need around the world. When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines and cut a path of destruction across the central part of the country last November, killing 6,300 people, members of archdiocesan parishes donated nearly $300,000—$277,244.68 to be exact—to that relief effort.

As Archbishop Kurtz noted, “Our Christian brothers and sisters and other innocent victims of the violence in the Middle East urgently need the assistance of the Catholic community of the United States.”

When it comes to helping others, our faith implores us to be among those to take the lead.

May our assistance—through prayers and donations—again help so many in our world who desperately need it.

—Mike Krokos


Remembering our lost children

There will be a solemn observance across America this weekend.

This Saturday, Sept. 13, marks the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children.

Thanks to the efforts of Citizens for a Pro-life Society, Priests for Life and the Pro-Life Action League, memorials are being hosted across the United States for a second year to memorialize society’s tiniest innocent victims.

According to organizers, mourners across the country will visit the gravesites of aborted children whose broken bodies were recovered from trash dumpsters and pathology labs and solemnly buried over the four decades of legal abortion in the United States. To date, more than 55 million children have died since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion on demand in 1973.

Simultaneous memorial services will be held at more than 40 such gravesites, as well as at scores of other memorial markers set up in memory of the aborted unborn at churches and cemeteries.

Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-life Action League, said, “It’s sobering to realize that grave markers for the unborn victims of abortion list only a date of burial. They have no birthdays because they were never allowed to be born. We can list no date of death, because those who killed them discarded their bodies like garbage. But they are not garbage to us. They are our brothers and sisters. That’s why we buried them, and that’s why we visit their graves to mourn for them and testify to their humanity.”

For more information about the National Day of Remembrance, including the stories behind the gravesites of aborted children and the locations of memorial services being held on Sept. 13, visit AbortionMemorials.com.

And take a few moments on that day—and each day—to pray that we continue to convert hearts in our nation, and take steps to build a culture that embraces every life, from conception until natural death.

—Mike Krokos

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