Special to The Message
Editor’s note: In an email interview with The Message about the impact of the March 3 storm on St. Joseph Parish and Church in Vanderburgh County, Pastor Father Gene Schroeder included the following, which we consider to be a message to his parish family and to our readers. We are honored to share Father Gene’s thoughts.
“Our watchword is flexibility and kindness.
“Our church has taken a big body blow, and that makes us very sad; and that is as it should be. But the church is only a building, and it can be repaired.
“As we embrace this moment in our parish life, we might be able to feel all the pain that our ancestors felt back in 1886 when the church burned down. And maybe the experience can help us stand with so many others who are in pain; in many cases, much worse pain than we feel.
“I think of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, whose homes, property and livelihood has been destroyed in the ongoing war there. “I think of our brothers and sisters in Turkey and Syria, whose homes have been lost and many of whose family members have died as a result of the earthquake. I think of our brothers and sisters in faraway places like Yemen, Ethiopia, Sudan and so many other places, where people are facing starvation. And I think of our brothers and sisters in Haiti, who are living in such difficulty that we cannot even imagine.
“So yes; shed a tear for our poor church – and then, remember that what we’re facing pales in comparison to so much that others are suffering around the world. As the poet Mary Oliver says, ‘Be joyful, having considered all the facts.’”