Service Matters – Fifth Week of Ordinary Time

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
  •  Links


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.

 DSW Reunion at Live  Jesus



12:30 Lunch

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.



4. Links

Read past  reflections at the archives of Service Matters.



Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS

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