September 5, 2021

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5 September
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
15th Sunday after Pentecost

Ordinary Form
Isaiah 35,4-7a
Psalm 146,6-7.8-9.9-10
James 2,1-5
Mark 7,31-37

Extraordinary Form
G Galatians 5,25-26;6,1-10
Psalm 91,2-3
Luke 7,11-16

5 September
Feast Day of St. Teresa of Calcutta

On Wednesday the 25th of August religious sisters from the Missionaries of Charity and 14 disabled children from an orphanage in Afghanistan arrived safely at Rome’s international airport. The children, aged between 6 to 20 years old, were resident of an orphanage founded in 2006 by the Missionaries of Charity in Kabul, which has now been forced to close due to the Taliban’s takeover of the city.

Sr. Bhatti Shahnaz, another Catholic religious sister who arrived in Rome on the evacuation flight, also worked with disabled children in Afghanistan with her community, the Sisters of Charity of St. Jeanne Antide. “The 50 intellectually disabled children we looked after are still there,” she said with tears in her eyes.

Fr. Matteo Sanavio, the president of the NGO For the Children of Kabul, was at the airport to welcome the Catholic arrivals from Afghanistan. Fr. Sanavio said: “We really must thank the Italian forces for their work and dedication for everything… They managed to bring the nuns to safety, these little seeds of Christian charity present in Afghanistan, and above all, we must thank them for having brought our children, those of the Missionaries of Charity, who have severe disabilities.” The priest said that his charitable association planned to shift its focus to assisting the Afghan families who have relocated to Italy. “Now, what has been sown by the religious over so many years has remained there and we hope and pray that it will bear fruit.”

The three paragraphs above come from a news article by Catholic News Agency published four days before the departure of the last American military transport plane. Left behind are many Americans as well as Afghans who assisted American efforts in Afghanistan and also Catholic efforts in that country. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington is serving many of those who were able to flee and relocate here.

Pray and do what you can for those who remained.

Rev. Christopher J. Pollard