17 September 2012
St. Robert Bellarmine
24rd Week in Ordinary Time
A project of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, in Camden, NJ,
DeSales 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 The Letter of James 2
If a brother or sister has nothing to wear
and has no food for the day,
and one of you says to them,
“Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,”
but you do not give them the necessities of the body,
what good is it?
Could there be a reading more directly about the Christian imperative to assist those in need? This religion’s morality rests in a belief that people are not in this world to go it alone, but are in this together. Also core to Christianity is the faith that we are meant to love simply because that is our nature, created by the God who is love.
-Who is hardest to see as sister or brother to you?
-What are ways you assist those literally in need of food and clothing?
-Do you feel yourself part of the Church, working corporately for charity and justice?
2. Last Week in Camden
Service Day Retreats have begun with homerooms from Salesianum here Wednesday and Friday. In our typical pattern, students divided into groups for the morning service period. Some kids walked with Ken to New Visions Day Shelter, others worked with Susan, Irma and their crew with sandwich ministry.
The third group volunteered for what I term “special assignments.” That basically means they got to work on the grounds around the Cathedral building. Not too glamorous, but keeping the gardens growing, ordered, and beautiful does its small part in lifting spirits and vision in this community. Beauty, along with truth and goodness, point us to God.
In addition to the manual labor involved, almost always various neighbors will stop and help or offer comment and encouragement. Wednesday three students took a bit of a break to check out one of the sidewalk vendors near the church. The owner gave the guys baseball hats they were admiring. —Simple, thoughtful generosity from a place we might not expect.
3. Upcoming Events
Sallies guys will be back Thursday.
Students from Villanova will be here Saturday as part of their celebration of university patron, St. Thomas of Villanova. We will work at the community garden, cover graffiti, and paint with neighborhood kids.
September 22 Oblate founder, Louis Brisson will be honored, declared “blessed” in a papal ceremony in his home city of Troyes, France. Father Brisson worked all his life to assist people through charity and education. He did all of it resting in a firm and prayer-nourished love of God. Remember the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales on Saturday and celebrate with us.
Check out past Camden reflections at the archives of Service Matters on our website. You can also see how the calendar is shaping up for 2012-2013.
Mike McCue, OSFS