7 October 2013
27th Week in Ordinary Time
Our Lady of the Rosary
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 17:11-19
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
Gratitude is so important. One of the most common reactions students express after spending any time serving and observing in Camden is a fresh awareness of and gratitude for what they have. Many people here do not have what middle class people can simply take as granted. Home, family, education, jobs, hopeful futures—too many people here do not have these.
Talking with people brought low by addiction or imprisonment, with nowhere to shower or wash their clothes teaches that these things are not automatically part of every life.
All ten lepers were healed of their terminal disease, but only the one who returns demonstrates a deep healing and freedom. He comes back because he knows not to take these gifts for granted. He is grateful and wants the Lord to know it.
Who would fault him if he spent time regretting all the hardship caused by his illness—rejection by family and community, lost income, pain, wasted time, etc. No doubt he has regrets, but he makes thankfulness the focus, and acts on it.
-What makes you grateful today?
-Is there anyone who deserves your thanks in particular?
-What do you take for granted?
2. Last Week in Camden
A dozen St. Joseph’s University students served here late afternoon Wednesday participating in our after-school program, playing outside. A Salesianum homeroom was here Thursday. Oblate pastor Joe Brennan and Levada White, outreach director from Christ our King in Wilmington, DE, visited and worked alongside the Sallies boys. Rutgers University-Camden student nurses made sandwiches and toured New Visions on Friday. Twenty young women from Wilmington’s Padua Academy also gave great service here Friday. Saturday 18 students from Father Judge got here at 8:30 on a weekend morning ready for work. They cleaned up around the Cathedral and at Northgate Park and got to listen to several Camdenites talk about life here.
3. Upcoming Events
Sallies is here Monday and Tuesday. A group from Bishop Eustace High School from nearby Cherry Hill, NJ, will arrive for the weekend late Thursday afternoon.
I should change the name of this section to “Meaningful Things Pope Francis Said or Did Last Week.” The blog, Whispers in the Loggia, always reports on him. Last week’s trip to Assisi gave opportunity for great reflections and actions. Let me recommend, in particular, the Pope’s homily at the shrine of St. Francis and the video of his visit with handicapped people at an institution in the Saint’s hometown.
Please offer a prayer for Juan Santiago this week (a guy with many handicaps I have written about often). His birthday is Tuesday—45 years old.
God bless you!
Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS