Service Matters – 7th Week of Easter

21 May 2012

Monday of the 7th Week of Easter

St. Godric of Finchale


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   John 17

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:

“Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me,

so that they may be one just as we are one.


Sr. Claire Sullivan, IHM, observes that in Camden “we don’t look down, we look up.”   Clearly that is what the example of Jesus asks of us as we go through life—in whatever setting we spend our days.   Lift up your eyes and see the Creator calling us to “be who we are—and to be that well,” to quote one of Francis de Sales’ best known maxims.  Here, as everywhere (but perhaps more dramatic and striking here), you can find events and situations that weigh spirits down and distract from the goal of oneness with God, with “being who you are.”


One beautiful, uplifting event this week was a parade to start the North Camden Little League 2012 season.   Kids, parents, coaches, supporters walked from City Hall near the Cathedral, through a pedestrian tunnel under the Ben Franklin Bridge toll plaza, to State Street across all North Camden to Pine Point Park.   Kids in fresh baseball uniforms claimed the streets usually dominated by teams selling drugs, or by tough guys showing off on motor bikes or in cars with loud sound systems.    The sight was magical and, at the same time, so practical because Little League promotes health, teamwork, and healthy competition.

-What directs your sight down?

-What lifts your eyes—heart, mind, attention—to heaven?

-How do you experience oneness with the Lord?


2. Last Week in Camden

The first communion class of Norwood Fontbonne Academy in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, made five big boxes of snack packets for our sandwich ministry guests.    Professors and their families from Villa Nova University made hundreds of sandwiches for us as well.   Under the direction of Susan Mackey, each morning last week, in the two hour period between 10:00 AM and noon, we shared lunch with over five hundred needy individuals.   Mike, Mary Ann, and Virginia, recent Temple University grads, joined our weekly (very faithful!!) workers preparing food for our guests.   Thanks to all who make this service to our neighbors possible!

Freshmen from Father Judge High School were here Tuesday.   They were the last group of freshmen for this school year.   Their leader, Deacon Steve Guckin, brought Crusaders over during his two years at Judge.   He is moving on for the next school year; we are very grateful for his leadership and for the ease with which he connected with neighbors at New Visions Day Shelter.  Thank you to him and to the school for bringing the entire freshman class over the course of the school year.


A great Urban Promise group from Tennessee stayed with us for the week.


We participated in a Romero Center workshop for university campus ministers and service directors this past weekend.    Fifteen leaders from places ranging from Dayton, St. Johns, and Niagara Universities, to St. Louis, D.C., and New Orleans participated.    Saturday they came to DSW for the middle course of a “progressive lunch,” toured our neighborhood, and saw our projects.


Our first group of Summer Interns arrived Sunday afternoon ready for three weeks of life and Salesian service in Camden.   They got off to a great start with a welcome cookout where many of our Camden co-workers joined for delicious food and conversation.



3. Upcoming Events

Monday is orientation day for the six interns.   Mike Morgan and Rachel Allen have great things planned to get everyone started with the program.


4. Links

Check out our website


Have a great week, McCue

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