I'm really getting a lot out of the discussions being led by Amy Welborn at Charlotte Was Both. In one of the current ones, Now for the Catholics, she does a masterful job coming up with several suggestions for how parishes can be more overtly prolife. I'm considering printing it off for the perusal of our parish council and pastor.
In my post yesterday, I hinted that perhaps what I need to do is to figure out more clearly what my own political principles are, and see how I can apply that to perhaps becoming more active politically.
(It's an idea that actually gives me a stomach ache, to tell you the truth.) :)
But Amy Welborn's post makes me realize that my calling may be much, much closer to home. Maybe the place where I can make the biggest difference is right in my own parish.
While this is typically a very Republican county (surrounded by a sea of deep New York blue), our parish houses a (comparatively) large contingent of committed Democrats. A couple of weeks ago, in her Sunday School class, Junie B. shared a story of how someone had helped her (the topic of discussion that day). She told how she had fallen down and skinned her knees such that she had trouble walking. We had given her a shillelagh to use, and this thrilled her to no end!
"What's that?" asked a classmate.
"It's a kind of cane," she answered.
"McCain's gonna lose," immediately sneered an attentive young scholar. (Oh, well; at least he comes to Sunday School.)
His parents, though, are among the strongest Catholics I know in the parish. Sigh. One of the other strongest Catholics in our parish, a Eucharistic Minister, no less, is a big union man. He actively promoted the winning candidate, too. And there's a new young couple in our parish--I really like them; they come with their three little kids every week. Little kids and young parents are a rarity in our parish; it gives me hope. But they had an Obama sign in their front yard. I hate knowing this about my fellow parishioners. It just makes me sad.
People in this nation, a little more than half of us, anyway, wanted "change," whatever that means. Looks like we'll get it, too. But playing politics is not my strong point, and I doubt I could make much headway, especially when I can't strongly identify myself with either major party.
But I can do a lot to ensure that our parish is a welcoming place to children, to expectant mothers, to adoptive and foster parents, to pregnant teenagers and to people with special needs. I can help ensure that we are a place of comfort and care for the sick and the elderly, and a place that seeks to nurture strong marriages.
I'm not sure exactly what that might mean in practice, to tell you the truth.
But maybe that's where I should start.