Service Matters – Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

5 August 2013

Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Feast of the Dedication of St. Mary Major Church in Rome


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       Luke 12:32-48

Sell your belongings and give alms. 

Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out,

an inexhaustible treasure in heaven

that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. 

For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.


Next to Northgate Park is a plot of land at the end of a half row of houses, two with families, two abandoned, one a bodega.  At one time there were five or six homes on this ground as well, but now a eight foot chain link fenced surrounds it.   Perhaps someone had a plan for this enclosure, but now it just grows wild.


Last year a couple DSW groups tamed it, but this season, because of the rain and lawnmower breakdowns, it grew out of control again.   In addition, Geno, a man who lives in one of the houses next to the lot, made it clear that he would prefer to take care of it himself.   For whatever reason, he did not: so again, it became an eyesore.


Geno had even borrowed DSW’s hand sickle and had cut some of the overgrowth.   But Friday the group borrowed it back and went to work.   Geno wanted to be part of the action, and offered to borrow a mower from a friend a couple blocks away.   That machine was not available, but then he said he could fix ours— “That’s what I do; I’m a mechanic, you know.”


The lawn mower had been to a repair shop, and two or three volunteers had tried to fix it, all without success.   Geno got it to start right away.  So, after all the kids in the group had hacked at the tall weeds with hand tools and raked up all sorts of debris, he and one of the adult men from the volunteer groups took turns mowing the grass.


This pretty tough guy, not sure about all the volunteers passing through his neighborhood connected for service with middle class people—not too sure about him or the surroundings—an experience to treasure.


-Is there anyone in your life now who seems uncooperative who might be won by persistence?

-How do you do sharing your worldly goods?

-Where is you treasure?   Where is your heart?




2. Last Week in Camden

Wednesday a group of 14 students from Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, VA, arrived for service and reflection.   They got right to work in Northgate Park—making friends with the kids in the playground.   Friday school counselor Nicole DiLorenzo and her family joined for the day.   They picked a beautiful day to be here.   Where Thursday had been rainy; weather cleared up Friday for a perfect day to work and play outside.


3. Upcoming Events

This is a quiet week with time to plan and prepare for September.


This week the Matt Hillyard and I mark five years in Camden City at the Cathedral!   Five good years.



4. Links

The Pope continues to inspire and shepherd exceptionally well.


Check out Mariannie’s immigrant experience blog, part of her intern service in Camden.



Have a good week,

Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS

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