In accepting a humanitarian award at the Emmy’s the other night, actor George Clooney said that while he recognized and applauded the way we Americans, and specifically, the artistic community, responds with open hearts and open wallets to catastrophes around the world, we need to do a better job after the cameras leave and the headlines change. He said something to the effect that we need to do a better job five years and seven years after a catastrophe.
Of course, Mr. Cooney should become a Catholic and that way, his “we” will include the work of organizations like Catholic Relief Services as well as the countless educational and medical and spiritual labors undertaken by women and men religious, priests and dioceses, lay movements, around the world, in season and out of season. The day after the earthquake in Haiti, I recall a radio interview with someone from CRS. He mentioned in passing that CRS already had more than 300 people on the ground – before the earthquake. I can’t recall a time in the past few years that I felt prouder of my association with the Catholic Church.