Thursday, December 9, 2010

Compassionate Farmers and Other Inspiring News

I spent the day with my cousins in Long Beach, LI. I have a newly adopted two-year-old cousin from China and she is just adorable. Being able to spend the day having lunch, bonding and playing with her was a real joy. The simple pleasures of life..... getting to know and love a lucky little girl who was brought from an orphange from half way around the world to a loving, caring family on Long Island. There are so many generous Americans, who do so much good for others and that's good news.
In other good news, compassionate and generous farmers from across New York State recently attended a meeting on Long Island and they came bearing gifts. They gave food donations to Island Harvest, Long Island's largest hunger relief organization. Including this most recent donation, farmers across the state have donated more than 4.7 million pounds of food to organizations and over 1.5 million pounds on Long Island alone. "Food is collected through the 'Harvest For All' program." According to John Evers, the Director of the Food Bank Association of New York, "Due to the generosity of NY farmers from every part of our State, millions of people have been rescued from hunger this year. Farm donations of fresh produce has not only helped us feed the hungry but also added to the overall health and well-being of our local communities" (from I hope they receive many blessings for their generosity and good example!
In other interesting news, I read at the Deacon's Bench (he's always moving......) an inspiring story coming out of Billings, Montana about an Episcopal priest who converted to Catholicism today and is becoming a Catholic priest. What's unusual for the people of Billings is that Fr. Bart Stevens is bringing his wife and five children along with him and that's a first for the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings. According to the Billings Gazette, "he joins a small fraternity of married Roman Catholic priests. Since 1980 slightly more than 100 former Episcopalian priests in the U.S. have been ordained in the Catholic Church." The reason Fr. Bart gives for his conversion is very inspiring, he said that, "He found fullness of faith in the Catholic Church that he had been seeking all his life." Many blessings on his ministry and his family!

I just love the Catholic Church and my hope, my earnest desire as a Catholic priest is to help Catholics rediscover the richness, the beauty of their Church and their tradition. (Rev. Bart Stevens)