Saturday, December 14, 2013

Our Beloved Muslims Neighbors

I recently received one of those Emails that urges you to send it to all your friends. It was a two part message that started with a positive review of all the good things that Catholics have contributed to our nation's life. It then goes on to imply that Muslims don't do those kinds of things.

I did not forward or file the document. I do think that we Catholics have contributed greatly to our culture, most remarkably in health care, education, art, science and social services. However, any suggestion that Muslims never contribute to our common good is patently false. Even here in a small rural town on the prairie I know Muslim neighbors who do volunteer, do work in health care and do support community interests.

Today I came across a story of Muslims in the Philippines helping to rebuild a Catholic Church. The story begins as follows:
"ZAMBOANGA CITY – Christian residents of this city’s Santa Catalin a district found nothing unusual about Muslims bearing carpenters’ tools — until they realized the Muslims had volunteered to help rebuild a Catholic chapel.
“We thought they were just looking for damaged mosques to rebuild,” said Jimmy Villaflores, Santa Catalina barangay (village) head.
But to the surprise of the mostly Christian residents, the Muslims, a number of them residents Zamboanga City who returned home from abroad recently, announced they had come to Santa Catalina to rebuild the Christ the King chapel."

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