By John Norton
It’s likely that you’re going to start hearing less and less about Haiti, now that the shock of the mid-January quake is receding further into the past.
One OSV reader sent me an anonymous note saying we have gone over the top with our Haiti coverage. But most of the feedback I’ve received has asked us to keep our eyes on the tragedy, the good that is coming out of it, and ways to help. So, in the coming weeks, we’ll be looking for unique ways to “bring you” to Haiti.
Don’t miss this week’s cover story: an interview with a Connecticut deacon who was in Haiti when the quake hit and was buried, injured, for 10 hours, along with another American charity worker (see Pages 6-7). The tale is gripping. He says that in the long ordeal he found he is not afraid of death, and that he thinks God spared his life to continue to help Haiti, long after the television cameras leave.
His recounting of the experience, in which he nearly died from renal failure, is an aid to reflection as we begin Lent this coming Wednesday. Are our life’s priorities where they should be?
This year of all years may be a good one to stand back and spend time taking stock. As our editorial notes, there are many Catholic Americans who have had such a penitential year because of the economy and unemployment that they may wonder what Lent — and the prospect of 40 days of self-imposed penance — could possibly offer. But, actually, the spiritual orientation provided in this liturgical season takes (at least some of) the sting out of suffering, and offers a real chance at joy and peace promised in the Resurrection.
And if you’ve got “giving burnout,” you’ll find our special section on charitable giving full of interesting articles, tips and insights (see Pages 9-20).
Many charities report that they receive more than 50 percent of their annual revenue in the last two days of the year. Valerie Schmalz asks donation’s experts how our fellow Catholics trend (see Page 10).
If you’re looking to be inspired by the good Catholics do in our own communities, see Emily Stimpson’s roundup of facts and figures about the charitable work done by dioceses around the country (see Pages 12-13).
It is no secret that of the three “pillars” of Lenten observance, almsgiving usually takes a back seat to prayer and fasting. But that’s backward to how Jesus presents it in the Bible, an expert tells Mary DeTurris Poust. In fact, alsmgiving has pride of place because “it is prayer, and it involves fasting” (see Pages 14-15).
On Page 16, three readers tell us which charities they gave to this year, and how they made their selections. On Pages 17-19, we update you on Haiti relief, how to give safely and take advantage of tax incentives.
Today, happy feast of St. Valentine to you all!
As always, I look forward to hearing from you at email@example.com.
Please note: Comments left online may be considered for publication in the Letters to the Editor section of OSV Newsweekly.
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