It’s summer time and one thing I’ve learned is that people get just as hungry in June, July, and August as they do in November and December. We continue to make nearly 400 deliveries every month of supplemental groceries to people in need who don’t have transportation and thus can’t easily get to a food bank for assistance.
We always have a lot more help in November and December than we do in June and July. We are grateful for people whenever they can come and help but lately we’re praying a LOT for more people to come and help us deliver food this summer. In both April and May, we had short-falls in helpers so instead of getting everything done on the scheduled delivery days, in June it took a week to get everything delivered to the families on the routes.
We’re not short on food, indeed, Marcus Evans tells me the Regional Food Bank sent us a bountiful amount of food to distribute this month. But when you are short on workers, extra food — while a blessing for the people we deliver to — is extra work for a smaller group of people.
People often say things like, “Oh what you do is so wonderful.” Actually, what we do is a lot of work ;).
I believe this month’s food bank order totaled about 4 tons of food. Every single pound of that must be bagged, loaded into a vehicle, driven somewhere, taken out, and given to people on their door step. I keep wishing that angels would just whoosh in and do it all for us without any human effort. And actually, as it turns out, angels do whoosh in and do it all, but they are disguised as human beings, complete with aching backs and sore feet and tight schedules. We just need more.
The summer schedule is —
Saturday June 16 — we’ll do “the apartments” — Towers, Wesley Village, Charles Atkins, Towers Annex, Belle Aire, and Temple Gardens.
Saturday, June 23 — we’ll do the “routes” — mostly families with kids scattered about Oklahoma City.
Saturday July 21 — apartments
Saturday July 28 — routes
We meet at the Dorothy Day Center, 4909 N State, which runs along the eastern boundary of St. Charles parish. I will be there at 830 AM on each of these Saturdays. If you can’t help with the deliveries, come and give an hour or so to help us bag the groceries and load them into vehicles. If you can help with deliveries, that’s maybe another 2-3 hours, depending on how many deliveries you take.
It really does make a difference for us when you show up.
We also need a bit of money.
Our expenses our modest, we don’t pay any salaries. We rent U-haul trucks, pay for gasoline and phone expenses, and contribute to the expenses of the Dorothy Day Center, the food warehouse ministry of St. Charles Parish that makes it possible for us to get tons of food every month to distribute. We also have hosting fees for our websites, much of which comes due in the summer. The extra summer expense typically runs the bank balance down a bit which sends me to our friends on the internet with “another” one of our regularly irregular beggings for money. You have to be willing to beg for money if you’re going to be a Catholic Worker or you won’t get anything done ;).
And we need your prayers. So what I’m actually asking is for people to PRAY first, volunteer second, and then send us ten bucks or so if you can spare it. Checks can be made payable to Romero Catholic Worker and mailed to 1524 NW 21, OKC 73106. OR you can donate via PayPal by sending money to firstname.lastname@example.org .
We appreciate the generosity of all who have helped us these past 13 years — we will become a “Teenaged Catholic Worker House” the last week of July as our anniversary, the Feast of St. Martha, rolls around. We pray for our benefactors and if you have special prayer requests, send them our way.
We picketed St. Joseph this past month, when we were sending out the appeal “” asking him to take care of our temporal necessities, as he had to take care of the temporal necessities of the Blessed Mother and the Infant Jesus during those long hidden years at Nazareth. It was a peaceful and loving picketing, the crowd of us taking turns to go to the church and there in the presence of Christ our Leader, contemplate St. Joseph, that great friend of God and Protector of His Church. One of the girls in St. Joseph’s house, when we announced the picketing at the breakfast table, wanted to know, very startled, whether she would have to carry a sign. We assured her that the sign she carried of her membership in the Mystical Body which Father Lord once said he could really see on people’s faces, was sufficient.
What can one say to that except “Amen” and —
Holy St. Joseph, help the helpless, comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable, bring justice to the poor, and peace to all nations. Amen.
Your little brother,
on behalf of the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker community
PS. Don’t forget to join our Week of Novenas — 81 days of intercessory prayer for justice, peace, and the Care of Creation. Visit http://www.justpeace.org/novenaofnovenas.htm .