A few days ago, three representatives from Catholic Relief Services (CRS) came to our Catechetical Office Staff meeting. One of them, Pascasie Musabyemungu, is from Rwanda, the African nation that 21 years ago experienced a terrible civil war and unspeakable genocide

She spoke to us about a remarkable peace and justice effort that goes on in Rwanda with the help of Catholic Relief Services' justice and peace-building program.  This effort is working to provide reconciliation and forgiveness among those who perpetrated the genocide and those who were its victims

Ms. Musabyemungu cited this example. A young man whose father had taken part in the genocide and a young woman whose mother's family were murdered fell in love and decided to be married. Imagine that. Shakespeare did in his Romeo and Juliet.  However, thanks to the courage of the parents on both sides, the lovers from Rwanda had a happy ending to their story. The father of the groom begged the forgiveness of the mother of the bride. She forgave him because she wanted the children that came from this marriage to live in peace.  The couple married and has a child now

One can't help but think of all the places in the world — including right here at home — where mercy and forgiveness could alleviate so much hate, violence and suffering.  As we can all see, it is possible, even after the most appalling injustices

Catholic Relief Services is best known for its disaster relief efforts but this wonderful organization also is engaged in long term projects such as social justice, peace-making, education, agricultural assistance the list goes on.  No organization is a better example of mercy in action. You can learn all about it on the CRS website. Take a look and see what your prayers and support are enabling CRS to accomplish