Recently a colleague of mine from Divinity School posted a thought on facebook: “why is it that most of what I do as a pastor was never covered in seminary?”
I thought of that this past week as we fought the Bug Wars in the migrant ministry. We “bombed” and cleaned and caulked and stuffed cracks with steel wool. We fought cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas, and bugs I can’t name. I learned a few things: like, if you spray a bedbug with alcohol, it stops moving and goes all flat, and you can squash it with a Kleenex (it doesn’t quite die just from the alcohol; I watched one waddle away once the alcohol evaporated. Well: watched, then squished). I learned that cockroaches are much more interested in boxes of plastic wrap than in bags of sugar. Also that barriers are the most important thing; hence the caulk and the steel wool.
We’ll be waging this war for a while, but (dare I say it?) there’s already a big improvement. And who knows? Maybe the Divinity School will decide to offer a class in battling cockroaches and bedbugs, and I’ll be prepared to teach it! I’ll bet one’s “yes” to God often leads to a close acquaintance with vermin. It did for Dorothy Day!
While the house was being “bombed” we went off to do laundry, and stopped to visit some friends. My young friend told them that we were bombing for bugs, and said (I think not realizing that I could understand her), “She’s even afraid of butterflies!”
Always happy to be a source of amusement, and hope that our work made a difference for good. Many thanks to those whose recent contributions funded this war on bugs; your gifts are helping to make that little house feel more like a home again.
Sending prayers for a safe journey to our friend, Pastor Ruth Rodriquez de Orantes of Shekina Baptist Church in Santa Ana, El Salvador, as she begins her three month sabbatical in the United States. She will be here in Rochester the first week of October, and will join us for the Migrant Mass on Thursday, October 4 (the Feast of St Francis!)
Come and join us for Mass at St Joseph’s House of Hospitality any Sunday at 11, or for the Migrant Mass, leaving St Joe’s about 6:45 on Thursdays and returning around 10:30.
Love and light to all
Oscar Romero Church
An Inclusive Community of Liberation, Justice and Joy
Worshiping in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11
St Joseph's House of Hospitality, 402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14620