Skip to content

How do we respond?

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

A month ago, a bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, Minn., tossing cars into the Mississippi River and demonstrating the vulnerability of mankind even with all of its incredible architectural techniques and materials.

Both disasters should introduce a note of humility into our claims of mastery over nature. Despite our wealth, and technological prowess, we are not ultimately in control of our fates. Our pride continues to go before the fall. But these two disasters are also occasions to remember what the human spirit is capable of.

Last year, Father William Maestri, spokesman for the New Orleans Archdiocese, told Our Sunday Visitor that the wrong question to ask is why God allows such disasters to happen. The question that should be asked in these circumstances, he said, is "What do good people do when bad things happen?"

In Minnesota, good people rushed toward danger. Stories of heroism abounded as the bridge cracked and collapsed. A young man led the rescue of a school bus full of children. Another man dove heedlessly into the swirling waters and pulled a pregnant woman to safety. Many more people might have perished, if not for great acts of selflessness.

The same was true of New Orleans. Despite initial, and often exaggerated, media accounts of lawlessness, countless acts of heroism and sacrifice helped keep a terrible situation from getting worse.

Particularly noteworthy has been the Archdiocese of New Orleans' response to the crisis. The sacrifices it was called to make were not the snap decisions to jump or not to jump, but the costly and complicated long-term commitment to do anything possible for its grievously wounded city.

While public schools shut down for the year and local and federal governments hemmed and hawed in their response to the crisis, Catholic schools were opened, and teachers who may have lost everything showed up to do their jobs anyway. It was a gospel moment, and the church responded by teaching, feeding, clothing and comforting the abandoned and the needy. They continue this work to this day.

Such disasters can be occasions of despair, but we are challenged to trust. As Red Cross volunteer Judy Dawley told Our Sunday Visitor this week, "I saw people who relied tremendously on their faith, and in what most of us would consider unfathomable circumstances, they were able to say that whatever happens, that God is a good God. They were able to trust that whatever happened to their loved ones and their families, that God would take care of them."

In Minnesota, even as the search for bodies goes on, plans are being made to replace the bridge.

In New Orleans, the situation is complicated by a legacy of waste and corruption and a maze of bureaucratic red tape and poor leadership. Archbishop Alfred Hughes of New Orleans called the flooding of his city a "man-made disaster," and critics warn that the next killer storm may inflict worse damage. Even without a new storm, it may take a generation to recover from the Katrina tragedy.

Yet, come what may, the church is in for the long haul. With the heroes and victims of Minnesota, with the heroes and victims of New Orleans, the church is with its people, reminding all of us that when bad things happen, we are challenged to do good.

Contact

Our Sunday Visitor
http://www.osv.com ,
- ,

Email

Keywords

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,717

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.