Service Matters – Monday of Holy Week

25 March 2013

Monday of Holy Week


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  Psalm 118

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.


Since the “Service Word” now offers reflection for the up-coming Sunday, and this coming Sunday is the feast of the Lord’s resurrection, I do not want to “jump the gun” on the unfolding of the story through readings, preaching, ritual, sights and sounds over this Holy Week.  Christian ritual does not ask us to pretend Jesus is not risen (or to pretend his is not yet born during the weeks before Dec 25th).   It hopes to make it easy for us to spend time with the Savior in the very important moments memorialized during this week.


Back in the first century Jesus went through these events one moment at a time, like any other human being.   It can be moving to put ourselves in his place—facing all he did with deep faith in the goodness and power of his Father, our God.   He did not know what resurrection or eternal life looked like—but he did believe with all his heart, mind and strength in God.


Each of these days he went forward in faith and trust.   The Easter psalm puts it so well: “This is the day … rejoice.”

-How is God working in your life this day?

-What makes it hard to live in the present moment—anxiety? regret?

-Are you able to rejoice in a deep way because of God’s power and goodness?



2. Last Week in Camden

A group from King University in Bristol, TN, stayed in the DSW house and worked at Urban Promise, a Christian service agency in Camden.

Salesianum homerooms were here Wednesday and Friday, and Father Judge freshmen were here Thursday—all doing great work for our neighbors.


Friday East Camden’s Romero Center hosted three of four hundred people at their annual lecture to reflect on Catholic Social Teaching and to honor the life and example of Oscar Romero, bishop and martyr.   Jack Jezreel, founder of the parish justice formation program, “Justfaith,” provided the keynote talk.   Entitled Justice or Just Us he talked about how the Christian faith never stops calling us to widening circles of awareness and concern.


DSW community members Ethan Stortz and Tim Gallagher spent great retreat time this past weekend at DeSales University.   Community member Mike Morgan continues his stay with the Oblates in Benin, East Africa.   Dante Spain a friend from the HopeWorks program across State Street is giving DSW community life a two week trial looking at a possible three month internship.



3. Upcoming Events

Fifteen students from the University of Wisconsin arrived from their 16 hour drive from Madison to spend their Holy Week in Camden.   In addition to snow, they have brought with them a great energy for service and reflection here.  Several Visitation Academy students, lead by Claire Dolson, frequent DSW volunteer, Summer Internship 2012 alum, will be here for Holy Thursday.   In time for the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Salesianum School’s service director, Zach Ryan will lead a group of students here for the full Triduum for liturgy and service.   Their main project will be painting the New Visions Day shelter’s big room.   This is the space that becomes Joseph’s House overnight shelter each night.     Another Visitation family will join them on Good Friday and Saturday morning.   My Mom, Mary McCue, will also be here for the “Three Days.”


Soon, this week, Service Matters will move to a blog formate—thanks to Oblate IT man, Ed Cody!    The blog formate will make it easy to scroll through various Monday editions of the news letter, as well as various essays and reflections written by people who have served here.    My favorite aspect of the new formate is that it will allow for ready comment from readers and skimmers of the weekly postings.



4. Links

Three month intern, Raphaël Garagnon and Mike Morgan are volunteering in an Oblate project in western Africa, in Benin.   Here are some pictures Raphaël has posted.


This year’s two internship sessions take place first: May 26- June 16 and second: July 7-28.


Happy Holy Week,

Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS

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