Recently I attended my first-ever Calgary Stampede. While in Calgary, I learned first-hand of the devastation caused by the recent floods in southern Alberta. Like everyone, I had followed the news stories of the floods through television, newspapers and the internet. But being present in Calgary and listening to the first-person accounts from “ground zero” led me personally and as a bishop to renew my prayer efforts and support for those who were directly or indirectly affected by the floods, many among our parishes.
At the same time, I was overwhelmed with pride of a community – stricken by disaster, yet unwilling to be defeated – rallying together as never before. Stories and photos of what were once strangers now friends were everywhere present. And the unheralded volunteers, thousands of them, wanting to lend a helping hand wherever needed, is beyond imagination. For me, these were the hands of Christ touching and healing God’s family that was hurting and in pain.
Calgary and other communities affected by the floods will never by the same. They will be even better because the human spirit and condition has been strengthened by the outpouring of an unprecedented generosity and love. And as Christ’s faithful, in this we rejoice.