Service Matters – Fifth Week of Easter

19 May 2014

Fifth Week of Easter

A project of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, 

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

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

And I will ask the Father and he will send you another Advocate to be with you always, …


One on-going service project here in Camden is taking care of Northgate Park.   In fact, it can be said that DSW groups have played a leadership role in restoring the neighborhood park from a state of neglect.   They now join with other community groups in maintaining it as a place of recreation and gathering.   When we started five years ago, there were at least three seasons of leaves and debris littering the grounds.   It was just a mess.


In addition, volunteer groups nearly always attract neighborhood kids who will help with the clean-up.   Or else the kids will “interrupt” work, diverting everyone to the swings or to the basketball court—-reminding us the purpose of our work there.


This service provides very clear illustration of how people pull together to make something flourish—-contribute to a task while they are here, and then hand it off to others.   This could be seen Saturday morning.    Twenty-some students from Fr. Judge High School swept and cleared leaves.   Midmorning they left to do other tasks at the Cathedral, but later that afternoon they got to witness the park in action.    A community youth group was sponsoring a three on three basketball tournament in progress, loads of neighborhood kids participating.   Our manual labor, behind the scenes that morning, added to all the other work there, helped make that afternoon sports event possible.


At Mass the gospel readings at the end of the Easter Season, approaching Ascension Day and Pentecost, present the Lord entrusting his mission to his disciples.    He does not leave us orphans, but shares the Holy Spirit to inspire and guide.    Those first followers handed the mission off to the next generation, and so it has been passed on until it has reached us in our time to keep the commandments to love God and neighbor—-even the enemy.


-Who most directly handed the faith on to you?
-Who receives the faith from you?

-What are some evidences that the Advocate—-the Holy Spirit—-is present here and now?



2. Last Week in Camden

A group of Father Judge High School freshmen served on Wednesday.   As you read above, Crusaders were be back with chaplain Matt Dominick for work at our neighborhood park on Saturday.




3. This Week

Tuesday Fr. Judge freshmen.   Saturday Boy Scouts from South Jersey will spend the morning serving here.    The boys and their fathers will paint at a row house near the park—-the home of little kids who are well know to those who have served in Northgate Park: AJ, Javier, Jules, and Nadi.



4. Links

Check out an article in this month’s GQ  that reports on the impact of newly reborn Little League in North Camden.

Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS

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