By Tim Lilley
The Message editor
In an email about the ongoing work of the coordinating committee working to bring Habitat for Humanity to northern Posey County, I asked Deacon Mark McDonald about the group’s vision and what they would like readers of The Message to know:
“No homes, no town. We look forward to building more Habitat homes all across northern Posey County, in Cynthiana, Griffin, Poseyville, Wadesville, Stewartsville and elsewhere. We also need subdivisions, apartments and rehabilitation of current homes in need of repair.
“Our Catholic parishes, protestant parishes and even those individuals not having a church have accepted the reality that, if we do not do anything, we are making a choice not to grow. Rural Americans do not want to take away anything from urban environments. What they do want is to perpetuate the opportunities small town America provides.
“Healthy small towns bring in retail businesses to available spaces, grow existing businesses, increase housing and provide opportunities for our churches to once again grow.”
What about COVID-19?
If you think about the timeline, the committee formed and its efforts began at about the same time that COVID-19 arrived in America. Deacon Mark said the project actually helped folks deal
with the pandemic. He explained, “It became apparent that this project gave the community an outlet for social justice pursuits in the middle of their fear. It helped them look to the future, not dwell solely on the uncertainties of the virus."
He said it’s also clear that the project is making otherwise-abstract concepts of our faith very real. "Habitat has brought social justice to us as a living vision not just something to talk about. It exists because the people want it to exist and has created a sense of church community. Our parishes are becoming destination places to grow faith and not just where people go to meet the weekend Mass obligation.”