Tuesday morning I sat in the sala of the little house where some of our friends live, waiting for the bed that fifteen people got together to buy for our young pregnant couple. The mom-to-be was standing in the doorway of the house and asked what the truck would look like, because one had just driven by. Sure enough the delivery men had driven right through the area with its twenty or so migrant houses and gone on to a section with middle class homes. I went to the door and waved my arms and shouted until they came back and saw us. The two delivery men helped us get the bed-bug-proof covers on the mattress and box spring, and set up the bed for us. They looked shaken when they left, and I remembered how I felt the first time I saw the inside of the house. I wonder what they told their families that night.
Last night after Mass, the young father-to-be told me that the next time he sees me he will give me a big bucket of onions and potatoes to bring to St. Joe’s. So you see, they are passing on the kindness. They also send their thanks to all of the abuelas who have helped to make their nights more comfortable. It felt so good to make up that bed with sheets, blankets, pillows and coverlet. I even taught our young mom how to make hospital corners, just like my mom showed me. Thank you so much to everyone who made this possible.
Our Mass last night was smaller than the week before and we were able to hold it inside in an unused bedroom. The guys were pretty upset from their day. There had been two days with no work (because of weather) and that day, as they said, the boss had tried to get them to do three days of work in one. “They work us like animals,” they said. The Gospel was about the rich man who asks what he needs to do for eternal life, and who goes away sad when Jesus says to sell what he has and give it to the poor and follow him. We talked about the kindom of God and how it’s not about power and wealth, but is in the love between people, the moments of sharing that make us get bigger inside. I told them that the moment the week before when two of the guys brought their bedroom lamps out for us to have light for the Mass was a Kindom of God moment for me. We talked about how wealth can insulate a person from being aware of their need for God, how they can even forget that other people are human beings and not machines or animals or slaves. I urged them to remember that they are precious no matter how they are treated at work.
People are already starting to head to Florida. One man leaves Saturday; others will be gone in two weeks. This coming Thursday, October 18th, we will have a normal Mass and the following week, the 25th, we will have a good bye party and a blessing at the end of Mass. Please pray for our guys as they travel and for those of us left behind as we figure out how to be church through out the winter.
On a glad note, our friends Eli Woodbeck and Alison Beranek will be married on October 20th in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eli was a part of the St. Joe’s community and instrumental in the early months of St. Romero’s. Tom Malthaner and I will be there, representing St. Joe’s. So, THERE WILL BE NO MASS ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 21ST. We will resume on the 28th. Eli and Alison, blessings as you prepare to be wed. You light up the world.
Thanks again to Anne for typing this bulletin. My carpel tunnel is improving, but slowly. I am grateful for the help!
Blessing and Love to everyone, and as always you are welcome to join us Sunday at 11. Let’s pray for our country as we prepare to vote. May we be a more just and peaceful nation, and may we choose leaders who will help us to be so.
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