On this day in 1928, Maryknoll’s co-founder, Bishop James A. Walsh, gave a talk about Unity. On this day, September 23, 2020, a mere 92 years later, I’d like to share an excerpt from this speech with you.
“‘One Lord, one Faith and one Baptism.’ These words bring home to us the idea of unity, an idea which appeals strongly to all of us in whatever walk of life we find ourselves. We naturally look for unity. We have a splendid example of unity in the human body where all the members are guided by the head. It is marvelous, this body of ours, how all the nerves and the blood cells are fed by the heart; how the life of the body is directed by the head. Here is a perfect example of unity.[..]
[W]e must apply that to our own life[…] Our share is small, yet big enough to be noticed by the head. But no matter how small it is, it is important and we must remember everyone of us is important, no matter what may be our position. It is in the power of anyone here to hurt the community to which he belongs and it is also in his power to strengthen that community.[..]
We should often apply this to ourselves, and never to allow ourselves to get to that point where we feel that because of our position we are useless in the body to which we belong. No. We are very important, everyone of us. Our prayers, our little sacrifices, are probably more important than the work we do, in God’s eyes. We are each of us in position to build up the strength of the [community.]”
All of these years later what Bishop Walsh is saying still rings true. We all play a role in our community. Each role is important. Each voice matters. It is within our power to strengthen our community. The question is, what are we doing with that power? Let us strive to grow, challenge and strengthen our communities through the inevitable changes that the passing of time will bring. Let us kindle the spirit of unity within our communities and see what wonders it can help us to create.