This weekend I will be on retreat with the women of the Eastern Region of Roman Catholic Womenpriests. I am looking forward to spending time with my sister priests! – but because of this, we will not be having Mass at St Joe’s this Sunday, November 18. Hope to see you on the 25th!
There is good news to share this week. Librada Paz is being honored tonight (Weds, Nov 14) in Washington DC by the Robert F Kennedy Foundation with their Human Rights Award, for her many years of advocacy for farm workers. Congratulations, Librada! May this award be a force for good. Santiago and I attended a dinner that Librada held this past Saturday with other farm workers and members of the RFK Foundation, Kerry Kennedy and several others, as well as other local farmworker advocates. The RFK folks wanted to hear from farm workers about their experiences. We told them about folks working until 9:30 or 10 six days a week, with a few hours off on Sunday evening. We told them about the cockroaches and the bed bugs and the septic tank that backed up into the shower. They listened and wrote everything down. May it bear good fruit.
I am very happy to tell you that our guys who are staying here for the winter have found work. In fact, they had offers of work that they had to turn down! – because they were only for a day or two, while this job will last into the winter. There is a good possibility that it will come with housing, as well. You folks have been so generous that I am confident that if needs come up later in the winter we will be able to help as needed. (There is another family that we have already been helping, and I hear that they have now found work, too).
Last night I blessed the car of a family that will be going back to Mexico tomorrow. It is bittersweet: we are very sorry to see them go, and sorry to miss seeing their baby grow up. But the parents, like so many people here, have other children in Mexico who are being raised by family members. I am glad that they will all be back together. This is what the ICE were hoping would happen, but I would like to note that this couple, and others who are returning with them, are the sort of people one would think we would want to attract to this country. They are intelligent, hard working, resilient, resourceful people, courageous people. God bless them and grant them a safe trip (days and days in the car with a baby…). Please pray for them.
And finally, a small miracle story. This past Sunday morning we read the story of Elijah visiting a widow and asking her to make him something to eat. She tells him she has almost nothing left and expects to prepare it and then die. He says, make me something to eat and you will have enough until the rains come (and more food grows). And that’s what happens. So I asked if anyone had ever felt like that woman. Sure enough, one man said he had a nickel in his pocket and that was it. Another pointed out that we had just experienced this story. Just as we were getting started he had offered what he had in his pockets to the rest of us: an apple and a lemon. Right after he said it, I noticed something I hadn’t seen before: a bag of sandwiches that someone had donated was sitting on the table. Enough sandwiches for everyone that wanted one. It was just like the Elijah story, we decided. Share what you have, and there will always be enough.
Thank you, Lord, for being such a wonderful God. The more we trust you, the more we learn to trust you more!
Have a blessed Thanksgiving. It’s never too early to start being thankful!
Love to all,
Remember “Pink Smoke over the Vatican” on November 27th. Tickets available at the Spiritus Office,325-1180. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Rural and Migrant Ministries Dinner, Tuesday Dec 4 at Temple B’rith Kodesh. $50 a plate. Still need volunteers. President Marvin McMickle of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School will be speaking.
One last thing: St. Joe’s is very much in need of shelter volunteers. If you would be willing to give a couple nights a month to this ministry, please call St. Joe’s, 232-3262 and leave a message for Vanessa.
Oscar Romero Church
An Inclusive Community of Liberation, Justice and Joy
Worshiping in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11 am
St Joseph's House of Hospitality, 402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14620