Service Matters – 19th Week of Ordinary Time

8 August 2011

St. Dominic

19th 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
  • Links

1. Service Word   Matthew 14:22-33

At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”   

There are many types of prayer.   I imagine simply asking for favors and help is the first type that comes to mind.   What could be more natural than going to someone who cares about us with our needs and desires?   There is also prayer that praises God, that simply acknowledges the goodness of the Creator and makes note of where we stand before him.


Another kind of prayer involves simply “listening” to God, paying attention to the Lord in Scripture and in our lives.  This gospel is something that I imagine we can all listen to at the various moments of life.   God is always present encouraging, challenging, and comforting, giving insight and inspiration.

-What makes you afraid?

-What do you hear when you listen for God’s voice?  What is the Lord saying to you?

-Is there any area in your life where the virtue of courage is needed in particular?


2. Last Week in Camden 

Four women and three young men from St. John Neumann Parish in Reston, VA, brought a vacation Bible camp from St. John’s here for our community.  Neighborhood kids came each day and enjoyed the great planning and creativity of the group.  Their pastor, Oblate Tom Murphy, drove up Tuesday to offer support and to check out the projects in Camden.


The end of the service year has arrived for our three 2010/2011 DSW volunteers, Tom Briese, Mike Morgan, and Tim Gallagher.  Tuesday Tom drives back to the cold, dark, unknown interior of the continent (as I teasingly describe it), to Minnesota, his home state.  Tim and Mike will be in Camden for another year, and Rachel Allen will join them with DSW for the year.    We took time to mark the end of the first year and to commission Tom off to pursue a medical research career in the Midwest.


Another milestone came this week: Matt Hillyard and I have been in Camden for three years as of August 5th.   Mickey McGrath and Frank Blood came not too long after, and we are all here, loving life in Camden.


3. Upcoming Events

Saturday, Bob Killian and Ryan Cronshaw, will take their vows as Oblates at OMC in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.   Both these guys have been great supporters of DSW.  They were part of the first service retreat in May 2008 when Sr. Claire taught us all to be not afraid.   Bob is a film major from DeSales University plans to use those skills on a documentary about Camden.    Please say a prayer for them.


Please also pray for Tim Hamer, principal of Bishop Ireton; he is in the hospital for some medical issues.   He is a great man and a friend to DSW and the Oblates.    He has been here three times with student groups.


Students from Ireton are here for the week of service and are already off to a great start.


4. Links

Check out the DSW website    Also read essays on a range of topics from the Peace & Justice Blog.



God bless you,

 Mike McCue, OSFS

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