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by Mary Ann Zimmerman

I was thinking the other day that I’ve experienced 15 Presidents, 7 Popes, 3 Bishops, 5 Pastors, 5 wars or conflicts and several holy men and women canonized. Each administration gave what they could to make this a better country – a better world and most importantly, be better Christians. What did we learn? Did we learn anything?

In my opinion, we didn’t learn a thing from the past mistakes! There is still racism, homelessness, unemployment, abortion and maybe even euthanasia. We do not provide for the total needs of veterans, those with disabilities and the very poor. The pursuit of power and wealth is based on greed and is achieved on the backs of others’ labors by underpaying their employees. Don’t give up fighting for what is right!

On the other hand, there are unique organizations that are mostly run by volunteers. Food banks like St. Vincent de Paul Society have chapters at most Catholic Parishes in the valley, Phoenix Missions and so many more have food pantries. If they have donated funds, they help with rent, gas, electric and many other items. BUT they can only operate by the generosity of you and me. Donations of canned goods and dry foods are a must. Paper products, personal hygiene products are also needed. There are also organizations to help folks find jobs online. Thrift stores provide jobs and sell clothing at a reduced price. Donate your unwanted household goods and clothing to St. Vincent de Paul, Goodwill, Savers or White Dove charity shops.

When I was growing up, my mom had a plaque on the wall that said, “I had no shoes and complained until I met a man who had no feet!” I always perceive my ‘glass’ half full rather than half empty. I begin my day with a grateful heart thanking God for the many blessings he gives me. Even when we are challenged or have obstacles thrown at us (car repairs, A/C needs repair, a broken water pipe, and more or worst of all, suddenly lose your job), don’t panic. Keep the faith and trust that our loving and merciful God will help us through it.

What are you grateful for? As you prepare your family’s traditional Thanksgiving dinner, please remember those less fortunate. Before eating dinner, ask each member of the family and guests what is one thing they are grateful for. If time permits, attend morning Mass to give thanks. May God continue to bless you.


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