APRIL 7, 1947
HYDE PARK, Sunday—A letter has just come from the French missionary priest in Bukoba, Tanganika, East Africa, to J. Austin Smith, president of Liberty Carillons, Inc., who had written him that an effort would be made to get him a bell for his mission. The response is so warm-hearted that I want to share it with those of my readers who will someday hear that the bell and their money have reached him. Father Jean Delemer enclosed a photograph of three little African boys, which he must have taken himself; and they appear so cheerful that it makes one feel certain he is looked upon as a friend.
"I have been very moved by your so kind letter," writes the priest, "and I don't know—chiefly my poor English—how I can make you feel my deep gratitude. You are giving such a wonderful disinterested mark of sympathy to an unknown poor missionary lost in the African bush! How much God must be good if sometimes here below we can find such magnificent souls—You did not make that good action for poor Pere Jean, dear sir, but for our Lord, and He will thank you and bless you for me. You see He said He will acknowledge even the glass of water given in His name. All I can do myself is to keep your souvenir in my prayers and in the holy sacrifice. May He bless you and all who are dear to you.
"I will write you afterwards. Once more poor Pere Jean thanks you 'de tout coeur."'
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This is Easter Sunday, a day of hope and rejoicing, the day on which our Lord, Jesus Christ, took away some of the fear in the hearts of His followers. We will go to church today all over the United States and listen to the Easter services, and I, for one, will hope that in countries less fortunate than ours there are people who at this season will gather spiritual strength and hope. As the earth comes to life again, we hope people who have suffered will feel renewed vigor both of body and soul. In this country, our problems are the problems of confidence. We need to realize that we are strong and can afford to trust other people. After every war there seems to be a kind of hysteria which comes from a fear that sweeps over us. We are very lucky that we have some leaders among us whose voices can be heard, reassuringly calling us back to trust in God and in ourselves and go forward without fear.