2009-03-04 / Letters

Interfaith meeting planned


I have quite a few good experiences and memories to remind me that there are good people living here in Willacy County. My Religious community, the Priests of the Sacred Heart, called me away from here to other responsibilities in the year 2001 and I returned in 2007. It took me some time to get re-focused and I was not disappointed to find so much to be grateful for in the people here. But I was saddened by the image that Willacy County has in the rest of the Valley. That needs to change and we, the people, can do it together.

Let me tell you a story that convinces me of what I just said. A number of years ago, the city of Raymondville was badly flooded and part of the problem was the clogged drainage ditches and canals. The leaders of Valley Interfaith called the people together and soon we were in Judge Simon Salinas' office with Mike Crowell, the mayor of the city. Commissioner Scooter McGee was also there and a major help to the community in this crisis. The 40 or 50 people present had one agenda for our political leaders at that time: HOW CAN WE. WORK TOGETHER TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS?? A lot got done; but it seems like we have forgotten the lesson learned.

It is time that we once again create such an environment of cooperation and accountability to one another. We need to make some changes and do them together. Valley Interfaith is non-partisan and tries to work with the existing political leadership. (Our voice and our vote is a personal privilege which we hold sacred.) Valley Interfaith leaders will try to hear everyone's issues and study the ways that we can work together for the betterment of all people. We will challenge the leaders of our County, our cities, our Schools to carry out their responsibilities to do what they are paid to do. That is fair and just. Do your job and be accountable to the taxpayers who provide you with the money, including your pay check.

So let us get moving again and do it together. There will be a community meeting at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Hail on Saturday, March 7th, at 9:00 a.m. and it will end by 10:30 a.m. This meeting is open to everyone. Leaders of Valley Interfaith will explain to everyone how Valley Interfaith can provide the organization. But it is us, the citizens of Willacy County, who will have the power to succeed. We will all have the opportunities to speak to one another so that we can state our agenda and a strategy for success. That is very important that we hear from you. Everyone is welcome on Saturday morning. We might surface a big agenda; but that is OK as long as we will follow up this meeting with action.

Thanks for your attention.

Father Mac.

(Fr. Richard MacDonald, SCJ of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.)

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