This Sunday we will celebrate Epiphany, one of the Great Feasts of our liturgical year, which signifies the end of the blessed Christmas season.
My family has a yearly Christmas tradition. After a marathon day of holiday baking, we all settle down with warm cups of peppermint hot chocolate and watch the Christmas classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life”. I always find myself cheering for the film’s protagonist, George Bailey—especially when he uses his own money to help save the poorest residents of Bedford Falls from the impact of the stock market crash.
For those of us who work in the office here at Cross International Catholic Outreach, it’s a treat when one of our partners from across the globe pays us a visit. We were pleasantly surprised when Father Bob Johnson stopped by on the way back to St. Maarten. He led our morning staff prayer and devotion time, and shared some firsthand insights from the field.
Don’t forget to wish a happy birthday to Charles Dickens, who turns 199 next Monday – but doesn’t look a day over 40! You may remember the British novelist as one of those “dead white males” you were forced to read in high school, but hopefully you paid attention, because his voice still strikes a relevant chord on issues of poverty, greed, and charity.
Imagine a guy from Iceland arrives at your doorstep. He says he heard you needed help and he came to provide it. He tries to show you how to ice-fish and how to insulate your home against the weather, and how to grow hearty varieties of vegetables, and how to collect glacial runoff for drinking water. He’s brought boatloads of equipment, seeds, and buckets, and a team of Icelandic volunteers to pitch in.
Cross International Catholic Outreach was founded in 2001 with a staff of three sharing one donated office space. Today the organization has more than 100 employees, and has served the poor in more than 30 countries through more than $1 billion in donations over the last decade.