I recently received a letter of thanks from the Catholic Relief Services for the $17,414 raised through our participation in the Lenten Rice Bowl program. While we do so much to assist those in need in southern Missouri, it‘s impressive to see our witness to our concern for the poor reach the countries of Africa, for example. Through our support in Rice Bowl, farmers are being trained in innovative methods that improve harvests and prevent crop disease. Ultimately, we are ensuring that people will have enough food to eat, which is a corporal work of mercy. We should be proud!
I recently invited a group of Poor Clare sisters to open a convent in our diocese. Mother Mary Giovanna, of the Poor Clare Nuns in Belleville, IL, wrote back: “We would be happy to establish a monastery in your diocese. If you could send us 10 young ladies with Poor Clare vocations … and give us about 10 years to form them. …” While I detected a hint of sarcasm in Mother Giovanna’s letter, I do believe the vocations are out there.