Service Matters – 26th Week in Ordinary Time

1 October 2012

26th Week in Ordinary Time

St. Therese, the Little Flower


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
  •  Links


1. Service Word    Mark 9:38 

At that time, John said to Jesus,

“Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,

and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”


Back in 2008, newly arrived in Camden, I received an invitation to lunch from director of the Romero Center, a project like DSW based in another dynamic parish in the city.   This is embarrassing to admit, but I immediately assumed the focus of the meeting would be how DSW was not needed here—because Romero Center had it covered.   (I should mention that a very competitive “old-timer” in Camden service had pointed my thoughts in that direction.)  I sat down at that lunch armed to defend the Oblate presence in field of “urban service retreats” in Camden.


Instead of competition or smallness, what Romero offered was simple, warm welcome, gratitude that we were here also, and offers of help and cooperation.


Have you had experiences of blessing and abundance when you were braced for a fight?

How would evaluate the place of competition in your life?

How do you welcome newcomers into your field?



2. Last Week in Camden

Youth from Holy Trinity Parish in Georgetown, DC, collected and packaged a car-load of socks and underwear for our neighbors.   While I was in Washington, Mary Jane Silva from Rivier College—now University—in New Hampshire dropped off scores of tee shirts that featured the school’s old name.   Thanks to the students and leaders for these very practical helps for our neighbors.



3. Upcoming Events

Two more Salesianum homerooms will serve here Wednesday and Friday.   Thursday, I travel to Wilmington to offer service reflections at a Sallies student gathering.   Tuesday I join Our Mother of Consolation Parish’s Peace and Justice Committee with Anne O’Callaghan and Peter Gonzales of Philadelphia’s Welcoming Center discussing immigration in the US.


Under the leadership of DSW community member Tim Gallagher and co-workers from his job at Guadalupe Family Services, this week we begin the redesigned youth group that includes the Holy Name Scholars.    The Scholars are graduates from Holy Name Grade School who go on to Catholic high schools in the area.   They do service with DSW groups on a regular basis.   Now the group will extend beyond just those students.


Let me share good news with everyone who met or worked with Juan Santiago during the last few months.   He and his girlfriend, Dorothy, are headed to an apartment of their own (thanks again to our neighbor, Guadalupe Family Services).    Juan, has a number of handicaps, yet maintains his positive attitude and generosity.



4. Links

Read past Camden reflections at the archives of Service Matters  on the Oblate website.   You can also see how the calendar is shaping up for 2012-2013.


I just want to note we celebrate three favorite saints this week: St. Thérèse—the Little Flower, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Bruno.


Pax et Bonum

Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS

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