Last Thursday five of us drove east of the city to Geneva, NY, because the Mexican Consulate was there issuing Mexican passports. I am so grateful that they came to Geneva, and we did not have to make a trip to New York City. Our guys who are in the system have been under pressure to get their passports. (I do not know why). Others viewed it as a good form of identification to have. It was a good news/bad news sort of day. The church helped two folks pay for their passports (thank you for your donations that made that possible). Two others were told that their documentation was not sufficient. Lessening that disappointment, those same two discovered that they are eligible to apply for the Deferred Action for young undocumented people that President Obama signed into being recently. If they are able to get this they will be able to work legally in this country for two years. Continuing the good news/bad news, one of the young men needs to get his GED, which means a lot of studying on top of his already crazy work load. But it is a ray of hope, and it was lovely to see the light in the eyes of these two young men as they heard the good news of their eligibility.
Back at the casita, it was a rough week. On Sunday the septic tank backed up into the shower, and it was four days before the owner responded to their calls requesting that it be fixed. They were picking potatoes in the rain, and unable to shower. Reading this, do you feel like, “Does it ever stop?” Me, too. Them, too. One of the men, on hearing about the shower, said, “Sometimes I wish I could just go up to cielo (heaven) and stay there. “
It’s hard to feel good about yourself and feel that you have much worth when you are working as hard as they do, covered with sweat and unable to shower, and fighting bed bugs all night long. Not to mention the roaches, which having been driven from the kitchen have now found their way to the bedrooms. Last night at Mass we talked about the story of Bartimaeus, the blind man who threw off his cloak and followed Jesus after crying out for mercy. We talked about where he got the will to cry out for help when he was told he was nothing, and how that voice of God in our hearts that tells us that we are precious and worth fighting for is the voice to listen to, not the voices outside of our selves that do not care. We talked about how hard it is to pursue education when one is working so hard, and I shared my own story of studying each night after my girls were in bed. We spoke of how it is never too late to learn.
It turned out that Mass last night was not the last one of the season, as the guys have postponed their trip to Florida for one week. So it will be this Thursday, November 1st, that we will give a blessing to our travelers. Please let me know if you would like to join us.
Two events that are up coming:
Tickets are now available at the Spiritus Christi office for the special screening & discussion of "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican" on Tuesday, November 27, 7 PM, at the Cinema Theatre, 957 S. Clinton Ave. The documentary examines the movement of women seeking to be ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic Church, and will be followed by a discussion with Fr. Roy Bourgeois, Rev. Mary Ramerman, Rev. Jean Marchant, and moderator Lynne Staropoli Boucher. For more information on tickets, contact Ruth or Elaine at the Spiritus office: email@example.com 325-1180. Hope to see you there!
Secondly, the Rural and Migrant Ministries dinner is coming up on December 4, 2012 at Temple B’rith Kodesh. Please let me know if you would like to receive a paper invitation and I’ll mail you one. We are still looking for volunteers for setup, serving and clean up as well.
There is a book I am recommending these days: “Geography of Grace: Doing Theology From Below,” by Kris Rocke and Joel Van Dyke. They are talking about just the sort of thing we are doing at St Romero’s! If you like, take a look at it:
Many thanks to Anne Haydanek, who typed this bulletin for me once again.
Blessings and Love to all,
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