A friend in need

Photo Caption: A malnourished child rests inside the pediatric ward at the Banadir Hospital in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. — CNS Photo/Reuters

In this age of social media, we doubt that this child of God is anyone’s Facebook friend. Unlike those familiar, smiling faces of family members or rediscovered high school and college friends in our digital worlds, this unnamed, malnourished victim of the famine in the Horn of Africa can’t update us on his daily experiences.

We can be excused for being a bit indifferent as we scan through the minutia that so many of our friends on Facebook or Twitter routinely post. But as Pope Benedict XVI reminds us, we can’t be indifferent when we learn of the desperate need of others who are hungry and thirsty. And the Horn of Africa, experiencing its worst famine in a generation, has hundreds of thousands of people in need of help like this little one.

Take a moment and be a true “friend.” Visit the website of Catholic Relief Services, and learn more about the famine and the church’s response there. Pray for the victims and those coming to their aid. And in your charity, assist as you can. There are opportunities to donate online, you can call CRS at 1-800-736-3467, or mail a check to: Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090. — Thomas J. Dermody

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