Last Tuesday we had a splendid turnout for the discussion about refugees arriving to the United States from Afghanistan. Our local community is welcoming them here.
Almost 100 folks listened to the presentations given by Lisa Hoyt, Director of Refugee & Immigration Services at Catholic Family Center, Lauren Frye, Refugee Program Coordinator at the Catholic Family Center and Ellen Smith Executive Director of Keeping Our Promise.
I was impressed with the turnout, the presentations and discussions.
Unfortunately, I had to leave early to attend another parish meeting. Karen Luke, Pastoral Associate of Formation was in the audience. I asked her to share her observations and thoughts from this evening. These are her words: “At the end of mass when we hear “go out to serve the Lord and one another” literally means to be the hands of Christ. Jesus didn’t choose only certain times to be nice or perform miracles or to help those in need. He was just always there and ready to serve.
I went to the Afghan Refugee Resettlement meeting on Tuesday and I went thinking they were going to ask for money and I would drop in a donation but the speakers spoke nothing about monetary or material donations.
What they are in critical need of is my time, your time, our time. Yes, I know time is a hot commodity and that we are somewhat back to normal. Yes, I know many of us could use an extra hour or two or even ten!
They need help setting up apartments for the families so when they come here it’s ready for them. They need people to make hot dinners to bring to the families on their first night in their new home. They need drivers to take them to appointments, or to mentors to help the families navigate and learn about all the amazing stuff to do in Rochester and the Finger Lakes.
After a presenter stated they needed people to teach English, she told us the story about a lady saying she couldn’t help teach because she wasn’t a teacher. The presenter said to her, knowing she had children, “you taught your kids to speak English didn’t you?”
My family is looking into being a mentor family or helping families learn the English language. We’ve already talked about it and are excited for our children to greet to meet, engage, and learn a different culture from the Afghanistan families.
You know the saying…If you want something done, ask a busy person. They always find the time.
I’m asking everyone to find time, even if it’s an hour a month, or a couple hours a week to reach out to the Catholic Family Center and Keeping our Promise to see where you can be a faithful steward of Jesus.
Remember “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me.”
Let’s not only walk the walk of being Jesus’s disciples, let’s talk the talk as well.”
I want to thank Karen for sharing her reflections.
These sisters and brothers who are arriving from Afghanistan are our wartime allies who served our U.S. troops, diplomats and contractors working to combat violence perpetrated by al-Queda, ISIL, and the Taliban in conflict zones. God Bless them and may we be generous in sharing our God given blessings with them.
On another worthwhile sharing I received is in regards to organ Donation. Mary Jane Milano from Transfiguration is Community Development Manager for Finger Lakes Recovery Network. November 12 – 14 is National Donor Sabbath. This is a time for faith communities to encourage their parishioners to give the gift of life through organ donation. Mary Jane will be at our weekend masses November 13 – 14 to address this worthy life giving cause. More details will follow in the bulletin and the two parish websites. I have filled out my intentions on my driver’s license and informed my health care proxy that I wish to be a donor. If you are thinking about this gift of life, please speak with Mary Jane or myself.
And finally, Gerry Gacioch, parishioner of Transfiguration, who is so faithful to our environment and world of creation would like to invite everyone to a ZOOM meeting to discuss this sacred gift in our procession. They meet the third Thursday of the month. Next meeting is November 18th at 7 PM. They look forward to when they can meet again in person. We will have Gerry share the ZOOM information when the date gets closer.
So much to think about and reflect upon. How did Jesus do it? He did it with the help of faithful followers. And that is us!!!!
Blessings (and Happy Halloween, All Saints Day too!),