Sometimes events can surpass a weekly newspaper that prints early Wednesday morning each week. Take last week’s culmination of the World Series, won by the Phillies on Wednesday night; or this week’s election on Tuesday, the results of which emerged too late for inclusion in this edition.
Nevertheless, this newspaper reports on one of the Phillies heroes, Brad Lidge, a Catholic. Viewers of the post-game interview heard the champagne-soaked pitcher proudly give glory to God by mentioning the holy name of Jesus Christ in gratitude. Our sports columnist John Knebels caught up with the Lidge family in the afterglow of the biggest win in a generation.
The parade that celebrated the Phillies’ world championship brought a red wave of up to 2.5 million people to Philadelphia on Friday. Among them, something deeply significant took place. Strangers shared smiles, cheers and a deep joy that reflected unity and fittingly, brotherly and sisterly love for which the city is named. This sweet, unexpected joy is a sign of sports’ lasting contribution to society, and the Phillies final gift to the Philadelphia region in 2008.
And couldn’t we use some of that after a year of political campaigning? The extent of spanision among American voters became apparent in the recent election, which ended late Tuesday. As of this reading, the nation has elected a new president.
Just as the Church went to great lengths to teach Catholics about the issues our country faces before the election, so will the teaching continue. Increasing respect on behalf all Americans for the sanctity of life and human dignity remains as important a duty for Catholics now as before the election.
The Church will not cease its efforts to call Americans to be more just and loving. It will engage with the new administration come Jan. 20, 2009 to enact policies that are more protective of defenseless persons (especially the unborn), more responsive to the needy and more reflective of a society that more perfectly lives its credo as one nation, under God.
The election is over, but the work of Catholic Americans to transform the culture must continue.