Director Jere Cole

When Hard Work Spills Into Lost Perspective

            Together this year, we have been seeking to understand how to promote and create a pro-life atmosphere amidst very realistic and serious issues in our current culture.  These issues – such as abortion and immigration – are so important because the way we approach them truly can decide whether or not we are promoting life….or opposing, if we are stifling life.

How, you ask, can we be stifling life?  After all, we care about these issues because we believe in life.  We promote these issues because we believe that life is important and should be treated as such.  We work on these issues because we believe that we are called as human beings to protect the sanctity and uniqueness of life that is given to us.  So, how is it possible that we can be stifling life?

Just like anything else that we truly care about in life, sometimes we get so involved in an issue, we spend so much time working on it, and our hearts are so fixed on making sure that the “right” thing gets done, that we lose our perspective on why we are fighting for this issue in the first place.  Sometimes, the “what” overshadows the “why?”  What are we going to do?  What is the outcome?  What is our next step?  The “what” is not bad by any means.  We need to act, we need to be proactive.  But, if the “why” is not clear and is not the basis of what we are doing, it is so easy to lose perspective in our desire to support pro-life.

So then, the important question is: Why are we promoting these issues?  The Conference of Catholic Bishops states that our role is to protect and nurture human life at every stage of its existence.  That is a good start.  But let’s look at something that Jesus says in the Gospel of John.  In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Jesus came so that all people would have life, and not only life, but life to the full.  His desire, God’s desire, is that all people would have abundant life….life that is overflowing.  Abundant life is God’s will for his people.  Broken life, therefore, is contrary to God’s will for us.  This is so important to remember, especially when working on pro-life issues.  When we promote life, it should be in a way that stimulates abundant life.  Because when our efforts steal and kill and destroy life, it is not God’s true desire for us.

So, as we continue to journey through these issues, let’s also ask ourselves these important questions: Is this making people more whole and healthy?  Is this helping people to heal?  Is this creating a life that is more abundant and overflowing?  Because that is God’s ultimate desire for all of us.

 

From The Editor’s Desk

I hope you enjoy this end-of-year issue of the Digest.

I think it’s important to note that more then 90 AOH and LAOH members contributed the contents of this edition. And who knows how many other brother and sister Hibernians helped them produce that copy and take and caption the photos on these pages.

It’s understandable, but wrong, to think that the newspapers and books we read, the shows we watch, the websites we visit, are things, somehow automatically produced, disembodied from the minds and hearts that informed their creation. Don’t we often refer to a newspaper article by saying “The New York Times wrote…”? We forget that some person actually wrote the story, is responsible for the research and reporting, took the time to craft the article, choose the right words, go over it and over it until it’s just right.

It’s the same with all the projects Hibernians take on and accomplish. Whether it’s the Barry Gate, Project St. Patrick, the 175th Anniversary Celebration, the 175th Commemorative Coin, the actions taken on immigration, freedom for political prisoners, and the hundreds of state, county and division charities and missions activities the Order engages in, the achievements aren’t automatic. Whatever gets done is accomplished by at least one and more typically a group of Hibernians acting in friendship and unity to perform acts of Christian Charity and other works the Order.

And why? Because those who take on the tasks believe in the Order and its good and welfare and want to build the Order up, strengthen it, expand it, and help it achieve its missions.

With this in mind, officers should remember that there may be many members at our meetings and events who are ready, willing and able to work. One of our goals as leaders should be to identify those members and figure out what we can ask them to do for the Order. Then we guide them and follow up on how they’re doing. This is how new leaders are developed. Don’t be afraid to ask someone who isn’t doing anything now to do something. No one joined the Order to sit in a meeting room once a month, right? Many are waiting to be pressed into service.

 

On a different matter: I’d appreciate your suggestions for how the Digest can be improved. What’s not here that you think ought to be? What’s here that you don’t like so much? What could make this better? Let me know at EditorHibernianDigest@yahoo.com.

Also, if you know of an Irish store in your community that does business online as well as locally, that you think may want to advertise in the Digest, where they could promote their products to so many Irish-American men and women, please ask them to write to me at EditorHibernianDigest@yahoo.com or send me their name and address and I’ll contact them. We need more ads in the Digest!

And while I’m on the subject of advertising, if you have sales experience and would like to help me get ads, I could use some help. Write to me and let me know if you can assist the Order in that way.

There are great articles and reports in this issue. I hope you enjoy them all.

The deadline for the next issue is December 17.

A very Merry and Holy Christmas to all!