In 2016, I was in the USA, raising funds for our work in Vietnam
I was on a plane that was flying into JFK Airport, when the pilot informed the passengers that there was a medical emergency, and would we all please remain seated while the medical professionals attended to the sick passenger, and removed her from the plane. He repeated the message when we got to the stop.
It probably took 15 minutes for the sick woman to be attended to and transferred from the plane.
I was struck by the fact that no one moved, from the people in the front of the plane, who had paid more, to us down the back. We were all united in our care for that woman. As she was wheeled out, the daughter thanked us all for our patience, and apologised for holding us up. As one, we said things like, “no worries”, “take care”, “we hope your mother recovers” and “god bless”
That plane was a random collection of people: male and female, black and white, young and old, married and single, I presume there were gay people and straight people. Yet none of that separated any of us. We were all united in our concern and care for that sick woman.
It struck me that that is a great vision for our world. To forget what makes us different, and celebrate what brings us together, what shapes our common humanity.
Our Passionist pilgrimages provide the opportunity to experience for a short time, what others experience for a lifetime.
In 2016, we built two houses in Cambodia, and proved charity assistance in Vietnam.