Tuesday, March 9, 2010

We Are A Gift to Each Other

Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen marks its second year milestone on March 10.
It is notable for several reasons:
1. The daily lunchtime soup kitchen remains self-sufficient, with an all-volunteer staff, good-hearted donors, and even a few grants.

2. It’s a ministry, driven by the Gospel call to see Christ in others and to meet need where it exists.

3. The need is growing. The working poor, the unemployed, the homeless remain in our midst. As of the end of February, the soup kitchen has served a total of 46,323 meals since opening its doors in March 2008. In the first two months of 2010, volunteers served 4,211 meals to 329 children, 3,591 adults and 283 elderly persons. That’s 813 more meals than the same two months last year – a 19.3 percent increase.

4. The people being served are a blessing. Volunteers find themselves in a privileged place.

Reflecting on the past two years, soup kitchen director Deacon Gil Nadeau says the first word that comes to mind is “generosity.”

"It’s the generosity of our donors and of our volunteers. The Holy Spirit has given all of us who are involved many gifts. We generously give these gifts to our neighbors who are in need. And the gifts bear fruit, such as a greater feeling or sense of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness. Sometimes I wonder who benefits more from this ministry – our guests or our volunteers and supporters."
“My sense is that we are a gift to each other.”