Service Matters – 31st Week of Ordinary Time

31 October 2011


31st 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    1 Thessalonians 2:7b-9,13

We were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children.   With such affection for you, we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our very selves as well, so dearly beloved had you become to us.   You recall, sisters and brothers, our toil and drudgery.   Working night and day in order not to burden any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.

And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly, that in receiving the word of God from hearing us, you received not a human word but, as it truly is, the word of God, which is now at work in you who believe.


So much of life, it seems to me, requires acting in faith, doing our best to do “the right thing.”   Very often results of our efforts are not immediately evident.   This segment from St. Paul’s letter offers us encouragement to continue in gentleness, service, and the work of love—whether or not we see results.


Paul points out that is what God does.


-Can you believe God is at work in our world?  Have you seen evidence or hints of this?

-Is there any situation where you have gone forward with no results—yet eventually your persistence paid off?

-Are there people who believed in you—despite lack of immediate fruit for their efforts?


2. Last Week in Camden 

Three Salesianum groups served here last week.   Visitation Academy had to postpone their Saturday service trip because of the October sleet and snow.


Undeterred by the cold and wet, the Oblates hosted a gathering for friends and supporters on the Wilmington waterfront.   Under the leadership of communication director, Kevin Nadolski and, our provincial, Jim Greenfield, all who could make it were glad they were there.    Jim gave DSW a generous “shout out.”


Supporters of Joseph’s House met for Mass and a reception at the Cathedral Sunday.   JH director , John Klein, gave a great power point presentation, made possible by New Visions’ Kevin Moran and DSW’s Tim Gallagher.  We learned IT is one of Tim’s abundant talents.


Food for the event came from the Cathedral Kitchen, a service agency that began in the Cathedral Parish—housed in various buildings over the decades.   Now they have a home about ten blocks away designed as a soup kitchen with facilities for other services.   One of those is a chief training program—they made the food for the reception.   Ken and I went there to pick up to food, and we learned they have a dental office.   The only qualification for free dental attention is that you have no medical insurance; Kenny is going to sign up for an appointment.   They also recruited him to speak at a homeless forum at Rutgers University downtown.


St. John Neumann parish in Reston, Va., collected coats for our kids at Holy Name School.   Parishioners Marie & Frank Barros dropped a load off Saturday, and Oblate pastor Tom Murphy brought a car full Sunday afternoon.  There is still another delivery coming.   Parishioners sorted all the coats and sorted them in plastic bags according to size and gender.   We are very grateful for their thoughtfulness and for the generosity!


3. Upcoming Events 

Sophomores from Salesianum lead by Oblate Mike Vogt have a retreat Monday.

We are headed to Visitation Monday morning to pick up the donations of socks and Halloween bags the young women collected.


Joseph’s House “homeless cafe” opens for the season at our New Visions site 9:00PM All Saints Day.   The Woodlynne site will open in two weeks.


Wednesday Mike Morgan and I have a meeting with St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society—a building rehab program based in East Camden—about the possibility of initiating some projects in our neighborhood.   Their work includes educating new owners in the finances and other practical aspects of home ownership.


Students from Bishop Ireton arrive Thursday!


4. Links

The DSW website features pictures from recent service retreats as well as insightful essays on a range of topics from the Peace & Justice Blog.    Also see other resources: Facebook page-    Mike Morgan’s blog-


Great holy days are this week: All Saints, All Souls, St. Martin de Porres, and St. Charles Borromeo—November 1,2,3,4.   Peace,


  Mike McCue, OSFS

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