Service Matters – Third Week of Lent


24 March 2014

Third Week of Lent

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



1. Service Word  John 9:1-41

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.

His disciples asked him,

“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, 

that he was born blind?”


Mariellis got in a lot of fights.   She is a middle school student at Holy Name School, the Cathedral parish grade school that most DSW volunteers get to know when they serve here.


Whether her conflicts came from “anger issues,” impulse control, hyper-activity, or things going on at home—-she kept getting into fights.   This earned her punishment at school, but the response did not stop there.


Our principal got her to spend time with the first grade teacher as a helper and mentor to the little kids.   Both these thoughtful women guide Mariellis to a positive direction for her energy. The first graders bring out her great qualities, strengthening them and allowing her to learn to address conflicts and stress in different ways.


The disciples assume that the man they meet is blind because divine punishment for someone’s sin.   They express one way of trying to understand justice and fairness in the world—-if something bad happens, the person must deserve it.   Jesus helps them see that that is not the case.   Bad things happen—-period.   The question is, “How do we handle loss, handicap, hardship, unhealthy habits we inherit in our genes or our environment?”


Jesus heals the man’s eyes and opens his vision to faith and a life of love of God and neighbor. Our school offers a young girl care and guidance, giving her a chance to change focus.   These choices bring light into the world.


How do you do with anger?

-How do you make sense of “bad things” that happen?

-Is there anyone who could use your patient attention right now?



2. Last Week in Camden

Salesianum School homerooms were here Thursday and Friday for service retreats.    Fr. Judge freshmen were also here Thursday.   A Bishop Ireton High School group served Thursday evening to Saturday morning.


Two recent groups have created short videos that capture their Camden – DSW experiences. Check out one from Walsingham Academy, in Williamsburg, VA, and one from University of Wisconsin’s Badger Catholic.   Each gives pictures of this community and of the various activities of service groups.


Padua Academy students Emily Hayes and Sarah Sprinkle raised 540.00 for DSW in a Wilmington half marathon!   A group from their school joined us for service back in October, and wanted to offer aid for our work.   We are grateful!   Check out their video as well.



3. Upcoming Week

Sallies homerooms will be here on Monday and Thursday.     Students from South Jersey’s Stockton University will serve here Tuesday—-if the weather cooperates.

Former Jesuit Volunteer Stephanie Krivus will be here with a small group from her graduate program in Chicago.   Jesuit Volunteer Corps has a volunteer house one block from DSW;   they are always great neighbors.



4. Links

Please remember all our DSW neighbors in you prayers.


This is something sad: please pray in particular for a great guy, Steve Phillip, who died last Thursday.   He fought addiction and was actually clean and sober when he died.    He is (frequent DSW speaker) Rick’s “little brother,” full of energy and play.    Steve spoke to some student groups and did all the floors and carpet in the volunteer house.    Rest in peace.


God bless you,

Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS

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