In 1950, one of our priests in Korea, Father Phil Crosby, heard that the Red army was coming into his town from the north. He thought he might do good by staying; so he stayed behind, watching other prisoners of war dying. After three years of malnutrition he was near blind. But, on a prisoner exchange, Phil was sent back to us, and he became a helpful neighbor for me.
One day, another priest and I, on our way to visit with Phil, saw some homeless people starving by the roadside. When we got to Phil's rectory we mentioned those people, and Phil immediately asked, "How should we go about helping them?"
To be good people, it isn't enough that we avoid doing wrong, we must do the right things. As Jesus said, "He who does not gather with me scatters."
We are mourning Joe Elius, who died here last week after donating thousands of ours to the desk at St. Vincent's. Once when Joe asked me if i had any needy friends I mentioned out-of-work people who were trying to get high school graduation certificates, but who lacked the thirty dollars for an application. Joe gave me a thousand dollars that have helped forty people along.