Last Sunday I got a call at 10:30 in the morning from our friend Michael, who was calling to let me know he would not be at church, Since the fire at his home in July he has relocated and it is now an hour and a half walk to church and he did not have bus fare. I asked if he wanted a ride but he said no, it was just a courtesy call to let me know that he wouldn’t be there. I went on to mass, wondering if anyone at all would show up that day. I often wonder this, and sometimes ask God if it’s time to stop trying. But, every time I reach that point, somebody shows up wanting Mass. There was a woman with a baby with us for the first time, as well as Jose, Paul and Joe. And then I realized: this week is our second anniversary! I thought it was pretty wonderful to have a baby with us on our second anniversary. It seemed to me like a sign of hope.
This week is also the first anniversary of the liberation of our friends from the detention center. At the one year mark they are still looking for a lawyer, but day to day all is well. We have learned that the Mexican consulate will be coming to Western New York this fall, so we will not need to travel to New York City and are grateful for that. We ask for your prayers for the coming year for these two men, for our little church (in both its Spanish and English iterations) and for all in the community.
It’s been in the news a lot lately that Presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke dismissively of the 47% of people in our country who don’t pay income tax, saying that it’s not his job to worry about them. For the record, I’d like to note that the folks in our migrant community do pay income tax. It is taken out of their checks, and they are not able to file to get it back. They are also some of the last people in the world to ever expect or ask for help. They are independent, strong, resourceful and doing what they must to survive and take care of their families.
I can, however, induce them to accept practical help when it is needed. So, I will tell you that there is a young couple in our little community who are very much in need of a full size mattress. They are currently sleeping on the floor, uncomfortable at any time, but especially when you are pregnant. Let me know if you can help.
This week’s bulletin is being transcribed for me by my daughter Clare, as I am having hand pain due to carpal tunnel. I am going to need this kind of help for several weeks. If you would be willing to take a turn at typing the bulletin while I dictate, please give me a call at 585-288-6112. Email is not the best way to reach me during this time.
Ruth Rodriguez de Orantes, pastor of Shekina Baptist Church in Santa Ana, El Salvador, will be with us at the migrant mass on October 4th. You, are as always, welcome to join us, then or any Sunday morning.
I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Autumn weather. I have little pumpkins in my garden, and the trees are starting to turn! Last Thursday night we had cider and donut holes for our social time after the migrant mass. I hope you are finding the many ways to enjoy this time of year.
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