Service Matters – Third Week in Ordinary Time

3 February 2014

Third Week in Ordinary Time

St. Blaise


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        Isaiah 58:7-10

Thus says the LORD:

Share your bread with the hungry,

shelter the oppressed and the homeless;

clothe the naked when you see them,

and do not turn your back on your own.

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,

and your wound shall quickly be healed;

your vindication shall go before you,

and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.


Saturday Camden’s bishop hosted Mass and lunch for members of religious orders who work in the diocese.   The yearly occasion highlights the vocation to “consecrated life” and to honors members celebrating significant anniversaries.   2014 is our own Sr. Claire’s diamond jubilee year.


Claire Sullivan, IHM, knows North Camden like no one else and has helped DSW find its place in the neighborhood.   She has taught us to look beyond exteriors to what lies inside—whether that be tough guys selling drugs on the corner or an immigrant family’s home in a block where it is hard to tell which houses are abandoned and which lived in.


I got to sit with the IHM Sisters at the lunch and to hear for the first time in depth about Sr. Claire’s service in a jungle area of Peru.   She had talked about the jungle before—-but I always took the term to be basically a figure of speech—or a description of climate.   I visualized Florida with more trees and fewer roads.


No, I got that wrong, the sisters worked in an area only accessible by canoe, during their early time there.   The bugs were the worst thing— except for the bats, snakes, and assorted small mammals.    Waking to a bat inside my mosquito netting would send me back to the US— no delay, direct flight, no return ticket.   But the sisters rolled with the hardships, taught, and were loved by the people.


As if natural predators were not enough, a Maoist guerrilla insurgent group, the Shining Path, brought terror to the indigenous people.  Drug profits support their reign and fuel the violence,  and mass dislocation of the people.


Narcotics connects remotest Peru and North Camden in a network that poisons lives across two continents.


Addiction and the drug trade and huge issues—overwhelming, spanning the globe. People like Sr. Claire, committed to the vision of God’s reign articulated by Isaiah and made flesh in the Lord Jesus, teach us to keep on tending the light, sharing it, holding the light firm against the dark.

-What are some daily ways you share your bread, shelter, clothing?

How bright is your light?

-Are there any huge issues that your actions and committment—large or small—counter?



2. Last Week in Camden

Two Salesianum School homerooms served; one on Wednesday, and the other joined Father Judge High School freshmen here on Thursday.



3. Upcoming Week

Saturday, if the winter weather cooperates, will be a Father Judge HS day of service.



4. Links

If you haven’t read the Pope’s letter, the Joy of the Gospel, check it out.


Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS

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