Saturday, November 16, 2019

The People on the Front Lines

I was at the Seraphicum in Rome, Italy recently where I got to chat with a Franciscan missionary friar who has adopted the causes of caring for orphans and abandoned elderly on an island off the western coast of equatorial Africa.

The Seraphicum
The Seraphicum
I also got to chat with a Secular Franciscan from Venezuela whose Franciscan fraternity is feeding school children from destitute families and providing a free pharmacy for families hard-hit by their economy.

I got to share what we’re doing at Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen in a city where over 30 percent of its residents live in poverty.

The common thread is who is responding to people in need. They are people of faith. People with strong connections to churches. They are the ones on the front lines.

What motivates our volunteers at West Side Kitchen? For many, they see a touch of the divine in people they serve. Patrons are not just anybody. They are Somebody.

Pancake breakfast
Pancakes for guests
It’s a similar attitude with occasional volunteers who want to do something special as a community service. Like Liz Kearns and her Confirmation Class at Our Lady of the Rosary Church. Instead of serving bagged lunches on Sunday, Oct. 27, Liz and her students prepared and served 164 pancake breakfasts.

It wasn’t the first time Liz brought her confirmation classes to the soup kitchen.

After cleaning up that Sunday, Liz capped the day with a special gesture. She surprised Director Ed Morgan with a $500 donation.

It wasn’t the first time she did that either.