What can’t we do together?

What was accomplished under one roof in Champaign last weekend should inspire big hopes, dreams and actions among the people of God throughout the Diocese of Peoria.

After all, if 5,100 Champaign-area volunteers could assemble and package more than 1 million meals for earthquake victims in Haiti in less than 12 hours (see our related story), what limits should we place on the Catholics of our diocese working hand-in-hand, 150,000-strong, day in and day out, empowered by Christ’s love and the Holy Spirit?

Anyone who witnessed the “Million Meals for Haiti” effort — at which people of all faiths cheered each other on toward a common goal unattainable by any one church or organization — would answer that in a single word:


What can’t we do together? If 1 million meals can be packaged for another land in a dozen hours in one location, why should anyone ever be hungry in our own diocese? Why can’t we provide enough support for desperate pregnant women so that abortion isn’t seen as the only way out? Why can’t we make our Catholic schools affordable to all and pay our teachers a living wage? Why can’t we bring the good news of the Risen Christ to everyone in our 26 counties? Why can’t we influence our culture with Gospel values?

You tell us. What can’t we do together?

The Annual Diocesan Appeal is now being conducted throughout the Diocese of Peoria. Tens of thousands of Catholics are determining what they will “give in love” to support efforts seeking to accomplish the above, and more. Most will make their decisions prayerfully in private. But this year, imagine all the Catholics of our diocese under the world’s largest roof. Hear the applause of a spiritual neighbor in Lincoln when your contribution from LaSalle is added. Feel the unity that really does exist between Rock Island and Danville. Imagine the possibilities.

What can’t we do together? What we can’t do is let apathy, division, or fear limit the great mission of the Catholic Church in our parishes, diocese, and world. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “Believe the incredible, and you can do the impossible. It is our want of faith that holds us back.” Thank you, Champaign-area volunteers, for your belief, faith, and action in providing such an inspiring and challenging example. — Thomas J. Dermody

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