“Cathargo delenda est” was a common sentiment in the Roman Senate during the period following the second Punic War between Rome and Carthage. The translation is simple, “Carthage must be destroyed.”
Among those who utilized the phrase, the most famous was Cato the Elder who, reportedly, didn’t always use it strictly in the context of military debates and speeches. Indeed, it was a mantra that found its way even into unrelated and every day topics on the senate floor. Imagine Cato finishing a speech on government economics and tax: “that is why, senators, that a an increase in tax is necessary… and, by the way, Carthage must be destroyed.”
This constant theme was ultimately effective, leading the Romans to engage Carthage in battle and definitely defeating them. The defeat was so crushing, that they never recovered to challenge Rome again. As a result, this saying has been utilized to represent any situation in which the repetition of a common theme leads to its successful completion.
This, of course, naturally transitions to my theme today, the Annual Catholic Appeal. And, yes, some humor should be perceived in that transition. As is the case every year, we are invited to join together in support of our bishop’s ministry as well as ministries throughout the Diocese. These include Bishop White Seminary, which forms our future priests, Newman Centers for our college students, prison ministry, support of retired priests, youth ministry and more. It is your generosity and participation that makes these ministries possible.
Last year, through the wide participation of Catholics throughout our community in Walla Walla, we succeeded in making all three parish goals for one of the first times ever. Thank you for your support.
This year, once again, I ask for your participation. Please join me and all Catholics throughout the dioceses in donating, pledging, and praying for the success of our Appeal. I myself have already submitted my pledge and I know that the other priests of Walla Walla, likewise, will sacrifice for the success of the ACA. All households should have now received materials explaining how they can participate; many have already made their pledge. I will also be writing to all registered parishioners inviting participation and thanking those who have done so.
Thus, like Cato, in the weeks to come I will repeat time and time again the same mantra: “our goal must be reached.” Even as we did last year, I am confident that your generosity will allow us to attain our goal this year and every year after; I thank you for it. God bless you all.