By Linda Kaiser
As I reflected on “wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident. … Wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy,” I asked myself: Does this statement reflect the Diocese of St. Cloud?
My first response, like most people, started to dwell on all the negative examples of this: a person at a parish who told a mother who was grieving the loss of a child to suicide that the child wasn’t going to heaven, or the couple who was told they didn’t fit in a certain parish. But then I read Bishop Kettler’s pastoral letter, “Be Merciful, Just as Your Father is Merciful,” and said to myself, mercy is about forgiveness and asking God into our lives.
The road to putting God in our lives is through the corporal and spiritual Works of Mercy. A disciple of Christ embarks on a journey of doing good through these works of mercy. We have parishes that offer Church of the Week and provide food and shelter for the homeless. Many of our Catholic schools, religious education programs and parishes collect food and money for the food shelves in their communities on a regular basis. Prison ministry and marriage ministry are a passion of many members of our parishes. The diocese and many parishes have adopted a sister diocese in another country. I believe if everyone could see Christ in each other, mercy would abound in everything we do and in every aspect of the life of the Diocese of St. Cloud.
Kaiser is director of Catholic Education Ministries of the Diocese of St. Cloud.