Fr. Britto's Blog


Last week I saw a news story that really moved me. Mary Daniel, 57, took a part-time job as a dishwasher at RoseCastle in Jacksonville, FL, not because she needed the money. Her husband of many years was at that facility and this was the only way she could see him.  After scrubbing dishes and mopping floors, she can steal a few precious hours with her husband, Steve, who has Alzheimer’s. “It didn’t matter what I had to do to get there,” said Mary.  “I was willing to do whatever it took to fulfill my promise that I was going to be there for him every step of the way.”

Many people who read the story were genuinely touched. We have seen such acts of kindness during this pandemic. This story was, of course, towards a spouse, a member of one’s own family. We have also witnessed extraordinary acts of kindness that strangers have done for others.

Early in this strange period I remember hearing a story of a landlord in Queens, NY. He owned a hundred apartments, I believe. He informed all his tenants that he was not asking for rent for that month. When an interviewer asked him if he would incur a huge financial hit, he replied, “Human life is far more precious than money.” Then he led that reporter into his office where the walls were lined with pictures of the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Mother. Pointing to them, he proudly announced, “I do this because of my Catholic Faith.”

I am quite certain that you have come across stories like these – stories of human kindness that involve strangers and friends. We all feel so much better about this difficult time when we witness such powerful manifestations of real humanity. Unfortunately we have seen also the opposite. There have been examples of horrible inhumanity. Some individuals have been so unkind, and even so cruel, that certain memes have begun to circulate online.

Even in our church we have seen such unkindness. It takes many, many volunteers to enable us to have Mass and celebrate the Sacraments. Many parishioners have stepped forward, spent hours training and are sacrificing themselves so that their fellow parishioners can receive the Lord in their parish church. And yet, some of our volunteers have been treated poorly. In the same way, we have formulated guidelines for weddings, baptisms and funerals consistent with what the archdiocese requires of us. Our parish staff as well as our volunteers have been sometimes subjected to harsh comments, angry put downs, and even outright unchristian behavior.

There seems to be so much anger in our society right now. It seems to be bubbling right beneath the surface. It is waiting to burst out. Maybe people are unkind because we have been cooped up for more than three months with no end in sight. People seem to be at the breaking point. They do not know where to direct their frustration and anger. During these incredibly challenging times, all of us need to remind ourselves that this too shall pass. We need to put our trust in the Lord Who is watching over us. More than ever, we are called to be kind to one another at this time.

Kindness is the sweet expression of love. In his well-known hymn to love, St Paul says, “Love is patient; love is kind.” Kindness is exuding goodness towards others, no matter who they are or what they have done for us. In his Letter to the Ephesians, Paul encourages his Christians to imitate Christ Who laid down His life for us. He writes: “Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

At many of the funerals that I have celebrated almost everyone eulogizes the deceased not for their great achievements. They consistently point out how kind they were. Even sons and daughters remember their parents not so much for how much they gave them. They appreciate their deceased fathers and mothers for the way they loved them. We will be remembered for our kindness. Dr Albert Schweitzer, who knows a thing or two about loving his neighbor, said these memorable words: “Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”

What the world needs more of today are not successful individuals. The world needs more kind people. May the God Who is always tender and kind infuse kindness into our hearts!

Who is Fr. Britto?

Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.

After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...

Past Blogs

E-Newsletter Signup!

Contact Information

St. Paul of the Cross

320 South Washington Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068

View Larger Map

Phone: (847) 825-7605
Fax: (847) 825-5186

Mass Schedule

Monday - Friday

8:30 am - Upper Church


4:30 pm (vigil) - Upper Church


7:30 am - Upper Church

9:00 am - Holy Family Chapel

10:30 am - Upper Church

12:00 pm - Gym