There were many attention-grabbing moments in Father Ron Mrozinski’s homily this morning at Nativity of Our Savior Parish, the Portage, Ind.-church where I spend most of my Sundays. But the one that has stuck with me most forcefully was a simple statistic: 10,000 children around the globe die of starvation every day.
It is, as father noted, staggering. And heart-wrenching. And, frankly unacceptable.
Father Ron was a long-time academic in the Catholic university system before a serendipitous journey changed his life. He accompanied a friend on a trip celebrating the friend’s 25 years in the priesthood. But they didn’t make a pilgrimage to Rome or Jerusalem. Instead, they traveled to Haiti, where Father was put to work at a feeding center that fed 3,000 Haitians a day.
He recalled a small boy who came to receive his ration of rice and beans, less than a soup cup worth. But rather than immediately feed himself, as most of the others waiting in line had done, he placed his hand over the can and began walking away. He was taking the can home to share with his family of seven.
Soon, Father Ron was trading in the ivory tower to join Cross Catholic Outreach, an official Catholic ministry devoted to “Delivering Food, Shelter and Hope to the Poorest of the World.” He is assigned to Grenada, a country that most of us learned about 30 years ago during the brief military incursion there but have since mostly forgotten.
Cross Catholic Outreach pursues its mission in South America, the Caribbean and the Philippines by providing food, medicines and other life-saving resources through a network of priests, nuns and lay leaders. They operate and work with feeding centers, orphanages, schools, clinics, job-training centers and home-building programs in their regions.
In addition to his work in Grenada, he spends many Sundays back home, asking for support from parishes across the U.S. for this worthwhile organization. And a little bit of support from us can go a long way in a place like Grenada, as $25 can feed 167 children for a day, $50 can provide life-saving vaccines and $500 can deliver safe drinking water to a village.
To find out more about, or to pledge support to, the organization, visit the group’s website here. And pray for the work of Father Ron and the others in the group, and especially for those individuals and communities they are serving.