May 21, 2021

Editorial

Fourth-grader offers heartfelt example of discipleship

Sometimes the simplest acts of children can teach us poignant life lessons.

And fourth-grader Quinn McGill of St. Mark the Evangelist School in Indianapolis recently shared an idea with Indianapolis Mayor Joseph Hogsett, which led to the city leader following the 10-year-old’s heartfelt suggestion.

In a letter last month to the mayor, Quinn encouraged him to make May 10 “Be a Friend Day” in Indianapolis. (See related story here)

The tragic shooting at a Federal Express facility near Indianapolis International Airport that claimed the lives of eight victims on April 15, a crime that shook our city, state and nation to its core, was among the reasons Quinn asked the mayor to make such a proclamation. The sadness that resulted from the shooting planted a seed in the student’s heart to write about the importance of never taking friends for granted.

“I think it is important,” Quinn wrote in her letter, “because a lot of people have friends and we never really get to celebrate them. Some people don’t have as many friends, and we should be a friend to them.

“ …There has been some sadness in Indianapolis, and I think that this would bring some joy.”

Not surprisingly, Hogsett wholeheartedly agreed with Quinn’s suggestion.

“Friends are an important and valued part of our lives. Friends support us, care for us, and love us uncondtionally,” the mayor wrote in his proclamation declaring May 10 “Be A Friend Day” in Indianapolis. “Friendships are part of human nature and are one of the deepest bonds people can share with one another. These relationships enrich our lives and fill our days with laughter and joy.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic has led to frustration and uneasiness for some in society—including in some school settings—Quinn’s love of her friends and her letter to the mayor offer a beautiful example of discipleship.

No matter where we are in life, we would be well served to follow her example.

—Mike Krokos


Scouts called to be witnesses, to carry out missionary message

The witness of young people was also on the mind of Pope Francis when he met with Scouts on May 14 at the Vatican celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the French national organization for Catholic Scouting.

The Holy Father told the group of young girls and boys that as Catholic Scouts they have a “noble mission” to witness to the Gospel with their faith, service and care of creation.

With their commitment to helping others, Scouts are also “called to work for a more ‘outgoing’ Church and for a more human world,” the pope said.

“I urge you to be both dynamic Christians and faithful Scouts,” he told them.

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic when it wasn’t always possible to meet in person, Scouting has been “a sign of encouragement to young people, because it invites them to dream and to act, to have the courage to look to the future with hope,” the pope said.

Despite the selfishness that some demonstrate in today’s world, Pope Francis encouraged the young people “not to close in on yourselves, not to be inert young people, without ideals and without dreams.

“Never lose sight of the fact that the Lord is calling you all to fearlessly carry the missionary message wherever you are, especially among young people, in your neighborhoods, in sports, when you go out with friends, when you volunteer or at work.”

Going out. It is part of our Gospel mandate as missionary disciples. And as we continue to take steps to work through a pandemic that has dominated our way of life for the past 15 months, we must have the courage and wherewithal to let the light of Christ shine through us—especially in places where there continues to be darkness.

“Always and everywhere share the joy of the Gospel that makes you live,” Pope Francis told the young people. “The Lord wants you to be his disciples and to spread light and hope, because he counts on your boldness, your courage and your enthusiasm.”

—Mike Krokos

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