11 February 2013
Fifth Week of Ordinary Time
Our Lady of Lourdes
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
1. Service Word Luke 4
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days,
to be tempted by the devil.
He ate nothing during those days,
and when they were over he was hungry.
The devil said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered him,
“It is written, One does not live on bread alone.”
If you have served here during the week, you most likely worked with the students at the Cathedral Parish elementary school, Holy Name School. We frequently join the kids for lunch and recess, at the after school program, or even in assisting in classrooms with tutoring or as a teacher aid for a couple days.
Our kids are great. They come from a surprisingly various background, but most are from poor, struggling families. Almost half speak both English and Spanish. Many will be the first in their families to have a high school diploma when they finish 12th grade. Some come from strong supportive families; others have lots of troubles at home. Some come to school hungry.
We (the parish, the diocese, other support services) invest a great deal in this ministry. The teachers are great, including our own Tim Gallagher and his co-worker at Guadalupe Family Services, Lourdes Gonzales. The principal, Pat Quinter, gives outstanding leadership. She is a seasoned educator—-she was, DSW supporter, Kevin Nadolski’s third grade teacher. Oblate pastor, Matt Hillyard has worked hard, along with parishioner Bob Cavanaugh, to make the 1927 school building a safe and an appealing physical environment. DSW groups have also contributed mightily: painting, cleaning, and organizing.
“Turn these stones into bread,” the Tempter tells Jesus. Sounds like a great idea, a quick solution to a real need. But maybe you will agree with me that there are not many “quick solutions” that are real solutions. Jesus clearly say that: “One does not live on bread alone.”
Education illustrates this very clearly. Is there a better example of delayed gratification, working for a big picture goal, than education? Of course, effective teaching doesn’t have to be drudgery—and can even be uplifting and fun—along with the work.
An Oblate in Haiti, Tom Hagen, says to people who volunteer with the agency he leads, Hands Together, “If you come here to ‘save Haiti,’ just stay at home. If you come, come to learn.” This statement reminds us that there are no quick fixes, that problems and solutions are very complicated—and likely are not what they seem from afar.
The temptation of Jesus in the desert show God fully sharing our human life—hungry, tempted, in the desert, Spirit-filled.
–Are there any “quick fixes” that tempt you?
-What do you think of Fr. Tom Hagen’s admonition?
-How does the Holy Spirit refresh and guide you?
2. Last Week in Camden
Saturday’s Cristo Rey High School group and the Cathedral Parish confirmation class had to postpone because of the threat of blizzard conditions.
Joseph’s House shelter took a major step forward in locating a building in Camden that seems like it was built with our purposes in mind. It was a youth detention center for years but has been vacant since June of 2012. It is located off Broadway in south Camden.
3. Upcoming Events
I invite all who are free to a DSW reunion—for anyone who has served in Camden for whatever length of time—and for anyone interested. The reunion will take place in conjunction with a worthwhile event called “Live Jesus.” It takes place in Reston, VA, as described below. The reunion part will take place after the morning retreat. You are invited to both—or simply to come for lunch and the reunion. RSVP if you are able to come—McCue
Camden DeSales Service Works Live Jesus REUNION!
You are invited to a CAMDEN REUNION
March 9, Saturday
Morning Retreat with outstanding presenters, including Oblate provincial, Fr. Jim Greenfield.
1:00 Update projects & people with Ken & Barbie and DSW Volunteers.
1:30 “What did you take back home with you?” Reports from your neighborhood.
Join us for all of LIVE JESUS or join at 12:30 for the CAMDEN DSW REUNION.
Live Jesus Speakers
Father James Greenfield, OSFS
Father Kenneth McKenna, OSFS
Seminarian Jeffery Edmonds, OSFS
Deacon Brian Zumbrum, OSFS
St. John Neumann Parish, 11900 Lawyers Road, Reston, VA. 20191
This week the Church in South Jersey will welcome our new bishop, Dennis Sullivan. He comes to Camden from New York City where he served most of his career among the poor and among new Americans, ministering and celebrating Mass in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Our retiring bishop, Joseph Galante, welcomed the Oblates to the diocese five years ago—giving us care of his own church—the Cathedral. We can be very grateful for his leadership. This happens as we learn the news of Pope Benedict’s resignation and the need to elect a new Bishop of Rome for Universal Church.
Sallies will be here Tuesday; Fr. Judge will be here Thursday. Bishop Ireton arrives Thursday afternoon for a three day stay. As they are leaving on Saturday, A group from Visitation will arrive for their full Saturday, over night until Sunday after 11:30 Spanish Mass. They will get to work with kids from Holy Name School on their confirmation retreat.
Friday I will join the faculty of Our Lady of Victory School for a Lenten day of recollection in Bethesda, MD.
Read past reflections at the archives of Service Matters.
Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS email@example.com