18 July 2011
16th Week of Ordinary Time
A project of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in Camden, NJ,
De Sales Service Works welcomes volunteers to join
in service, prayer and learning in our struggling neighborhood.
- Service Word
- Last Week in Camden
- Upcoming Events
1. Service Word
If you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest… .
For as long as we live and breath, we are incomplete—wheat and weeds growing together. It is easy to get discouraged, but better to be realistic, steadily moving toward the good. Francis de Sales puts it well.
You must hate your faults, but you should do so calmly and peacefully, without fuss or anxiety. You must be patient when you see them and benefit from seeing your own lowliness. Unless you do this, your imperfections, of which you are acutely conscious, will disturb you even more and thus grow stronger, for nothing is more favorable to the growth of these weeds than our anxiety and overeagerness to get rid of them.
2. Last Week in Camden
Two couples, eight other adults, and four kids from Holy Infant Parish in Durham, NC, served here Tuesday to Sunday. As usual we packed a lot into their days here. In reflecting together each evening, it was clear that connecting with neighbors had the greatest impact. Below are two highlights among the many.
Thursday we went to a parish celebration of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. I expected a small, pious commemoration for the Blessed Mother. Instead we walked into a crowded, full-bodied fiesta of Mass, abundant food, music, and dancing. Many parishioners wore tee shirts designed for the holy day. Special shirts—or even fresh white tees—are for many neighbors the way to dress up. Someone from North Carolina asked if he could buy one. The celebration planners gave us a box full. These, the food, live music, the warm company, and a gift of a statue of the Mother of God came as grace for us.
DSW offers an experience more complex than simply coming to aid a needy city. The community has much good going on from within. The fiesta taught us that, and we saw it again Saturday attending a concert at the Cathedral of students of one of our 11:30 choir’s leaders. Diego Correa is an amazing guitarist; 25 of his students ranging in age from 8 to 65 (but mostly teenagers) preformed classical music and complicated music from Puerto Rico. They played guitar, and two characteristic instruments from the island, cuatro and guiro. Amazing!
Friday Barbie and Ken moved to a new apartment. New Visions Day Shelter’s Kevin Moran assisted Barbara getting into a program that got the new apartment and assists her keeping it. Dan Gallagher, Ken, and I moved their things to the new place. The two of them were so happy and excited to have clean, safe place, in a well run complex. That afternoon the entire Holy Infant group visited and blessed the home. It is modest. One woman in the group observed that the place—living room kitchen, bed room and bath—would easily fit into one floor of her house. Yet they are so happy and excited.
3. Upcoming Events
A group of freshmen from Immaculata University will be here mid-week. Members of Bishop Verot High School mission club will be here July 20-27
God bless you, Mike McCue, OSFS