Catholic Charities event presents the sound of faith
by Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic
November 1, 2012
Elisabeth von Trapp provided entertainment at the biennial fund raising gala for Catholic Charities and Mother Teresa Shelter.
Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic
Von Trapp mesmerized the audience with her soulful voice and Bishop Mulvey spoke of the mystical challenge, “to see the face of Christ in every face you serve.”
“Unless you and I are mystics we will not survive as Christians. A mystic in my definition is one who can see beyond…what is tangible, what is understandable. Who can see the other dimension of life. Who can see that there is more to life than just what is in front of me, and can look beyond just the exterior and see into the presence of God, the life of God and the love of God in everything,” Bishop Mulvey said, paraphrasing German Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner.
The bishop quoted Pope Benedict XVI from his apostolic letter opening the “Year of Faith,” saying “Faith without charity bears no fruit, while charity without faith would be a sentiment constantly at the mercy of doubt.” Bishop Mulvey said that if we did not have faith we would judge and it would create a barrier between those who give and those who receive.
“It’s in that faith that one learns to be joyful, that one receives more than he gives. How many have gone to the hospital room of a friend to console and yet they were consoled. Who go to give and yet they received.
“This is the logic of God; this is not human logic. We walk away and say wow I went to help them and they helped me. That’s because faith in action and charity becoming faith helps both of us grow,” Bishop Mulvey said.
The bishop said that the work of the Mother Teresa Shelter and Catholic Charities demonstrates the Holy Father’s observation that we can recognize the faith of the risen Lord in those who ask for our love.
After his talk Bishop Mulvey introduced von Trapp, the granddaughter of the Maria and Baron von Trapp portrayed in the 1965 blockbuster musical film The Sound of Music.
Elizabeth von Trapp has sung professionally since childhood. Now she honors her deceased father Werner von Trapp who was portrayed as Kurt in the movie.
She spoke of the story of the famous von Trapp family that was based on the musical. It was when they came to America though, that miracles began to occur. They were penniless, homeless and spoke no English. She said that it was Catholic Charities of America who first offered her relatives a helping hand.
Earlier that day, von Trapp visited the Mother Teresa Shelter and told the recipients and staff that people may get weary in their good works. “Maybe one song or something I say will encourage them to go on. I am encouraged to do my work by being with you,” she said.
“’Dinner and Dialogue’ raises money for operational expenses throughout a period of two years. Donations given throughout the year actually go to the clients,” Executive Director of Catholic Charities Linda McKamie said.
Bishop Mulvey thanked all the employees, volunteers and benefactors, “because you really are the incarnation of Christ’s love of humanity.”
“Mother Teresa Shelter, Catholic Charities is a place that gives aid to those who are in most need. It is a place where the mystical encounter of Christ in us and Christ in others happens,” Bishop Mulvey said.
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