Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

thanksgiving and citizenship

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 14, 2005

On the Square posts a good essay by Robby George, on gratitude as the key to making immigrants into Americans:

[My grandparents'] gratitude was not diminished when times got hard -- as they did for all Americans -- in the Great Depression. Although both my grandfathers encountered ethnic prejudice, they viewed this as an aberration -- a failure of some Americans to live up to the nation's ideals. It did not dawn on them to blame the bad behavior of some Americans on America itself. ...

Like so many other immigrants, my immigrant grandparents particularly appreciated the opportunities that America made available to their children. My father's father had a sister -- she too was an immigrant -- who had a son named John Solomon who wanted to be a lawyer. He finished college and then completed law school at West Virginia University. The law school in those days was located on University Avenue in Morgantown near the center of the campus. It was a grand building that one entered by walking up a broad set of stairs. When my cousin John's mother -- we knew her as Halte Gemile -- came to attend her son's graduation ceremony, she stopped to kiss each step as she ascended those stairs. Such was her gratitude. Of course, her son was thoroughly embarrassed by this display. My father, who was there, tells me that his cousin John turned to his mother at about the fourth step and pleaded: "Please mom, you're acting like an immigrant." Indeed, she was.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($27,707 to go):
$150,000.00 $122,292.96
18% 82%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Convert1994 - Dec. 15, 2005 3:05 PM ET USA

    Halte Gemile reminds me of my Italian grandfather, Pietro, who loved this country so much. Pietro took being an American very seriously and every Election Day he dressed up in his best suit when he left the house to vote. It is his spirit within me which inspired my desire to serve my country as an officer in the USAF. Lord help me to act like an immigrant every day of my life.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle 3 hours ago
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed 3 hours ago
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? 8 hours ago
The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities December 17
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17