This week marks the end of my internship with CCAO. It went by a lot faster than I expected. Ever since coming here, I have learned quite a few things. For one, this internship opened my eyes to issues relating to agriculture, a field which I used to know almost nothing about it. This internship introduced me to the issue of genetically-modified food, and the problem with large agricultural companies like Monsanto. This internship had also helped me to gain valuable experience of working with a non-profit organization and in an office setting.
More importantly, through this internship, I have an opportunity to see Catholic Social Teachings, developed by Rerum Novarum and continuously refined, in action and how it affects the thought process of the Columbans. I also learned about the different kinds of work the Columbans are doing across the nation and the world, aiding those who are most vulnerable, and those who are forgotten.
Today, in a time when American Christianity is becoming increasingly materialistic, the Catholic Church and the Columbans remind us that preaching the Gospel requires more than cherry-picking the parts of the Gospel that one likes. It reminds us that amidst all the televangelist and prosperity theology, there are still people who preach the Gospel not with words alone, but with deed.
Blessed Mother Theresa once said, “Sometimes we meet Jesus rejected and covered in filth in the gutter. Sometimes we find Jesus stuffed into a drain, or moaning with pain from sores or rotting with gangrene, or even screaming from the agony of a broken back. The most distressing disguise calls for even more love from us.” For some, they found Christ among the poor peasants in Latin America. For others, they found Him among the migrants of America. For me, I have found the face of Christ among those who serve the poor.