One day last week on the car radio I heard an interview between a well known commentator and a writer who had recently published a biography of a famous politician known for his religious conviction. What struck me about the interview was the surprise – even thinly veiled scorn – the commentator and writer evinced about the sincerity and centrality of faith in the life of this political figure. Actually, it wasn’t so much their surprise as it was their incredulity, as though for them religious conviction is impossible among rational people.
The next day I had the privilege of seeing again the priest who is the principal beneficiary of one of the designated funds here at the National Catholic Community Foundation (a fund with the rather challenging name of “Global Works of the Missionary Movement of Jesus In Thy Neighbor”). What an experience it was for me to witness the contrast between the incredulousness of the radio commentator and his guest and the unquestioning commitment of this missionary.
Father George Grima is from Gozo in Malta and has established there the headquarters of the Missionary Movement of Jesus In Thy Neighbor. Inspired by the works of St. Teresa of Calcutta, whom he personally knew, Father George has over the past 20 years offered hope and sustenance to tens of thousands of destitute orphans and children in Brazil, Ethiopia and Kenya by providing them with homes, day-care centers, clinics and schools. No stranger to the blind, the crippled and the leprous, this soft-spoken multi-lingual priest is now concentrating his compassionate energy on the drought stricken peoples of East Africa. At our meeting he presented heart-rendering photos of members of the Pokot tribe in Northern Kenya who are slowly dying because of lack of water and food.
With the help of good friends in the Philadelphia area, Father Grima has been able to have a fund created at the National Catholic Community Foundation so that those individuals who want to support him financially are able to do so on both a sustained and tax deductible basis. It is crushingly clear that without this support from his donors the people to whom Father Grima ministers would perish. In the limited literature his organization prints, Father Grima boldly but charitably states that while in this world the poor require the rich to survive in heaven it is the rich who require the poor.
Any radio commentator or T.V. “talking head” who finds himself succumbing to the jaded cynicism so endemic in our mainstream media would find a salubrious, albeit sobering, antidote in this humble priest’s website: www.gesufilproxxmu.com