Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pondering on the Word 'Thanks'

This is the week to give thanks to our Creator for the bounty we have received. Scott Dannemmiller, a former missionary with the Presbyterian Church and a religion contributor to The Huffington Post, urges us to stop and think about how we use the word Thanks in our prayers of gratitude to God.
"...Calling myself blessed because of material good fortune is just plain wrong. For starters, it can be offensive to the hundreds of millions of Christians in the world who live on less than $10 per day. You read that right. Hundreds of millions who receive a single-digit dollar "blessing" per day.

During our year in Guatemala, Gabby and I witnessed first-hand the damage done by the theology of prosperity, where faithful people scraping by to feed their families were simply told they must not be faithful enough. If they were, God would pull them out of their nightmare. Just try harder, and God will show favor.

The problem? Nowhere in scripture are we promised worldly ease in return for our pledge of faith. In fact, the most devout saints from the Bible usually died penniless, receiving a one-way ticket to prison or death by torture."
 Later,  Dannemmiller adds:
If we're looking for the definition of blessing, Jesus spells it out clearly (Matthew 5: 1-12).
I have a sneaking suspicion verses 12a 12b and 12c were omitted from the text. That's where the disciples responded by saying:

12a Waitest thou for one second, Lord. What about "blessed art thou comfortable," or 12b "blessed art thou which havest good jobs, a modest house in the suburbs, and a yearly vacation to the Florida Gulf Coast?"
12c And Jesus said unto them, "Apologies, my brothers, but those did not maketh the cut."
Food for thought.

Read the full piece entitled The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bread for the World Member Rick Steves Would Like to Give You the European Christmas Gift Package

For me, travel can be a political act. After my travels, and after my studies of the issues presented by Bread for the World, I step into a voting booth with the notion that I'm not going to vote for what is good for my short-term financial interest. Instead, I want to vote as a a compassionate Christian, voting for what's important for struggling and desperate people. And I do so with the knowledge that whoever wins this election has a greater impact south of our border than it does on me. That's not noble, that's just enlightened. -an excerpt from an address by Rick Steves to participants in Bread for the World's 2014 National Gathering
Travel writer and television host Rick Steves urges you to donate to the anti-hunger advocacy work of Bread for the World this Christmas season.  Make a donation of $100 or more by Dec. 10 and receive the European Christmas gift package.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Family Promise Invites You to Albuquerque Christmas Homes Tour

There is an exciting new homes tour this holiday season! The first ever Family Promise of Albuquerque Christmas Homes Tour will be offered the weekend of Dec 6-7: Saturday, Dec 6, 10 am to 4 pm; Sunday, Dec 7, 12 noon to 4 pm, and will feature four lovely homes. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online via this link, or via cash or check only at the Family Promise office at First Congregational UCC, 2801 Lomas NE (in the basement) or at the Chico’s store at Academy & Wyoming.

Family Promise of Albuquerque provides housing and case management to homeless families, empowering them to achieve self-sufficiency within 3 months’ participation in the program. The Family Promise national conference was held in Chicago in October and hosted staff, volunteers and board members from affiliates in 41 states, offering workshops, roundtables and the keynote speech by Dr. Martin Marty.

Donations for this event are welcomed. Click here to make a donation. (This is the same link for ticket purchases). For every $50 donated, a Family Essentials Kit will be purchased for a family entering the Family Promise program. The kit will include basic items, including razors, toothbrushes, and shower items. 

Anglican Priest, Wife Serve Poor Community in Ciudad Juárez

“I was born the tenth of ten children, into a very poor family, rich in their faith. From the time I was very young, I knew I wanted to be a priest. When I finished my studies, I knew I wanted to be poor and that I wanted to serve the poor. So I asked myself, ‘Who are the poorest of all in Mexico?’ ‘The indigenous!’ I answered, so I went to serve Christ there. After a while I told myself, ‘There must be people poorer than these. Who is poorer than the indigenous?” ‘Ah, the campesinos, the field workers,’ I answered. So I went, to serve Christ there. After a while, I told myself, ‘There must be people poorer than the fieldworkers. Who are they?’ ‘The imprisoned,’ I answered. So I went there. After another long while, I told myself, ‘Surely there must be someone poorer than these, even poorer than these who have lost their liberty?’ ‘The mentally ill,’ I answered, ‘They are even poorer.’ So I went there. Then, after a while, I told myself, 'Surely there must be someone poorer than even these people.’ And God sent me to Anapra.”  -Father Miguel Ángel Ramirez, the Anglican priest at San José de Anapra Mission in Ciudad Juárez

Drawing from parish child
By Victoria Tester
Anapra, one of the Juarez’s more populous neighborhoods, began about 30 ago with the majority of its inhabitants coming from the central and southern part of Mexico, many with a frustrated hope of migrating to the United States, or as recruits for the maquiladora industry. Only during the past two years has there been any public utilities, though many still go without. Anapra is a neighbor to the Lomas de Poleo neighborhood where many women who are victims of drug trafficking have been buried. Problems faced by residents are poor housing conditions,overpopulation, street children, early sexual activity, clandestine commerce, gangs and drug trafficking. There are currently an estimated 25,000 inhabitants in Anapra, the majority who are young people and children with an unclear future.

The work of Father Miguel  Ángel and his wife Catherine Hudak serves the general population as well as those who regularly attend their religious services. Their goal is to strengthen their efforts in the vital areas of health, recreation and child nutrition. What are their hopes for the community? To build a dispensary in order to offer alternative medical services such as reflexology and natural herbal remedies. To create a recreational center with spaces for sporting activities and where their neighbors from Anapra can rest and relax. To create a dining hall for the children, where they are offered nutritious food six days a week.

They are in real need of funding. Their plan is to begin with the building of the natural herbal dispensary and a greenhouse, in order to become self-sustaining. Please contact them for more detailed information.

Drawing from parish child
The Sunday offering at San José de Anapra averages only $7 or $8. Father Miguel Angel receives no salary. San José de Anapra is a parish in the Diocese of the North of Mexico and forms part of the Mexican Anglican Church, which has been an autonomous province in the Anglican Communion since 1995.

Father Miguel Ángel, a former Roman Catholic priest and Jesuit, a highly educated man who later taught law to future priests, and who holds a degree in herbal medicine, was accepted as a priest into the Mexican Anglican Church in May 2012 and assigned the pastorship and administration of San  de José Anapra.

Catherine Hudak, a former Maryknoll Lay Missioner for almost a decade, has also acted as the program coordinator for Borderlinks, Inc., a bi-national nonprofit out of Tucson, AZ, and Nogales Sonora, coordinating immersion trips for groups wanting to learn about the border. Until very recently she was the executive director and then development director of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, a position she left in order to devote more time to her husband of eleven years, Father Miguel Angel, and their Mission at San José de Anapra.

Visitors to the San José de Anapra Mission are deeply welcome. Feel free to contact San  de José Anapra Mission, which is in need of your ministerial support. San José  de Anapra Mission can be reached in Spanish or English by U.S. telephone at: 720-401-8195 or by email in Spanish or in English at: marcenteno59@gmail.com or chudak501@gmail.com

(Victoria Tester is the coordinator of the San Isidro Bean Project and a novice in the Third Order Society of St. Francis.)  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Father Larry Snyder, David Beckmann Challenge You to #shareyourplate

Last December, Catholic Charities USA, Bread for the World, and others answered Pope Francis and Caritas Internationalis’ call for a global wave of prayer to end hunger as part of the One Family #FoodForAll campaign.

Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, created his own cooking video as a way to build on the #FoodForAll campaign. He then sent out a challenge to others to do the same before November 27 - including a special invitation to Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, to participate in the #ShareYourPlate challenge. With the help of the help of two young anti-hunger activists, Elizabeth Quill and Margaret Hudak, prepared this video.

Rev. Beckmann then challenged  travel writer Rick Steves, community food systems expert Sharon Thornberry, and Bread for the members and anti-hunger activists around the country to create a cooking video or post a photo at #ShareYourPlate via their Twitter or Facebook page and tag @bread4theworld,

Participants are urged to share a virtual meal and help bring awareness to the problem of hunger.
 By sharing a cooking video, the #ShareYourPlate campaign reminds us that food is something we all share. Read More in Bread Blog

Folllow the challengers on Twitter: @DavidBeckmann
@Fr_Larry_Snyder  Father Larry Snyder, Catholic Charities, converses with  Bread board member  John Carr


@RickSteves Travel writer/TV host Rick Steves chats with Bread board chair Sandra Joireman 

@OFB_SharonT Community food activist  and Bread board member Sharon Thornberry (center) consults with Bread western region organizers Matt Newell-Ching and Robin Stephenson

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More Opportunties to Shop for Fair Trade, Just and Sustainable Gifts

 A few day ago we told you about two opportunities  to purchase local, sustainable and fairly traded gifts via events hosted by TenderLove Community and the Immaculate Conception Church Justice and Life Ministry. I would now like to share a couple more additional opportunities. One is a general guide from Sojourners: Faith and Action for Social Justice, and the other is an Alternative Christmas Fair hosted by St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque.

Sojourners Just Giving Guide
"Do you love nothing more than the taste of fair trade coffee? Do you enjoy the thrill of finding unique gifts that help make a difference in the world?  The Sojourners Just Giving Guide offers an opportunity to acquire a broad array of gifts, cards and services.

The featured organizations are Bought Beautifully, Bread for the World, Cat Lovers against the Bomb, Church Health Center, Coexist, Covenant House, Equal Exchange, Freedom from Hunger, From War to Peace, Heifer International, Image Journal, International Justice Mission, Koinonia Farm, Limited Edition Hatch Bible, Love 41, Maryknoll Sisters, Plant with a Purpose, Sojourners Magazine, Sojourners, The Kitchen Book, William Greenbaum Fine Prints, World Vision, Yeshu: A Novel for the Open-Hearted. 

 Alternative Christmas Fair, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
On Sunday, November 23, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 5301 Ponderosa Ave NE, Albuquerque (map), will host its Alternative Christmas Fair. Through this event, which begins at 11:00 a.m., the church helps with the sustainability of people and hunger issues in third world countries and local communities through the following participants:
  • Angel Tree: helps provide parent - child bonding even when the parent is in prison. -
  • East Central Ministries: provides community programs, youth programs, and neighborhood micro businesses.
  • Gamma Phi Beta: makes jalapeño jelly and uses the proceeds for scholarships, or to help organiza- tions like the Roadrunner Food Bank. We couldn’t have an Alternative Christmas Fair without Shirley Wafford’s jalapeno jelly.
  • The Heifer Project: works in the areas of livestock and agriculture. In areas where hunger and despair once prevailed, Heifer programs have reinvigorated commu- nities through livestock, training and Passing on the Gift.
  • Just Coffee: Café Justo is a coffee grower cooperative based in Salvador Urbina, Chiapas, Mexico. We market a pure, organic coffee which is grown, harvested and mar- keted in the spirit of justice. Our goal is to provide incentives for people to remain on their family lands.
  • Greater Habitat for Humanity: builds simple, decent, af- fordable homes for area deserving families. There will be a table of do- nated items for sell benefiting this organization.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Belated Good-Bye to Ten Thousand Villages in Santa Fe

Why couldn’t they make it in Santa Fe, where the International Folk Art Market has drawn thousands of visitors looking to buy similar types of items, with a similar philosophy behind it of helping create a market for craftsmen and women around the world? Building rent that is too high and parking that is too scarce... -article in The Albuquerque Journal, June 20, 2014

Wait. How did I mis it?  It's been almost half a year since the Ten Thousand Villages store in Albuquerque shut its doors.  But I wasn't paying attention.  Now that I'm look to promote purchases of fair-trade and local products during the holidays, this option is now gone, a victim of the high cost of  doing business in the heart of Santa Fe. 

Karen and I visited Ten Thousand Villages in the summer of 2013, bought a few presents and a couple of packs of fair trade coffee. We had a nice chat with store manager Trish Padilla about Level Ground coffee, and why the store had chosen that brand over other popular fair-trade brands like Equal Exchange. There was also some conversation about an exciting schedule of events that the store had planned to bring in customers to the store over the ensuing months.  It was so exciting to have a Ten Thousand Villages operating in our state, especially after the decision of Peacecraft to cease operations in Albuquerque after nearly a quarter of a century. The decision to shut down was made at corporate headquarters, since the Santa Fe site was owned by Ten Thousand Villages and was not a franchise or contract store (which is the case with most other locations). I have to confess that after that one visit to Ten Thousand Villages in 2013, I never did make it back to Santa Fe to shop at the fair trade store.  

Stores in Colorado & Texas
With no fair-trade store in New Mexico, the next best option is to shop online or attend local craft stores that benefit organizations in our communities. So where is the closet fair-trade store?  There are five options in Colorado, including Ten Thousand Villages stores in Fort Collins and Denver, Momentum in Boulder, Glenwood Mennonite Church in Glenwood . Good Shepherd United Methodist Church and Beth-el Mennonite Church in Colorado Springs holds seasonal sales of products from Ten Thousand Villages.  Arizona has no actual stores, but two churches--St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Tucson and  Koinonia Mennonite Church in Chandler--sponsor holiday sales featuring fair-trade products from Ten Thousand Villages. In Texas, there are Ten Thousand Villages stores in San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth and Houston, as well as several churches in the state that sell fair-trade products.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Author of Diet for a Hot Planet featured in Conference Call Tomorrow (November 18)

While you may not think “global warming” when you sit down to dinner, our tangled web of global food—from Pop-Tarts packaged in Tennessee and eaten in Texas to pork chops raised in Poland, with feed from Brazil, then shipped to South Korea—is connected to as much as one third of total greenhouse-gas emissions. Livestock alone is associated with more emissions than all of the world’s transportation combined. Move over, Hummer. Say hello to the hamburger.  -Small Planet Institute on Anna Lappe's Diet for a Hot Planet
Interfaith Power & Light invites you to a conference call tomorrow, November 18, featuring author Anna Lappé. Just as her mother, Frances Moore Lappé's book, Diet for a Small Planet, was influential in launching the sustainable food movement, Anna's latest book, Diet for a Hot Plant: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, is contributing to the climate change movement by highlighting how our current food system is driving climate change.

Anna is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio shows, such as NPR's Weekend Edition, The Diane Rehm Show, and WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show. Anna's work has been featured in The New York Times, Gourmet, O: The Oprah Magazine, Domino, Food & Wine, Body + Soul, Natural Health, and Vibe, among many other publications.

The conference call will take place at 10am Pacific, 11am Mountain, Noon Centra,1pm Eastern. To join call (712) 432-0080 and use code 804115#.

Homeless Meals and Services in Albuquerque for Thanksgiving Week

November 22 (Saturday)
[First Nations Community HealthSource’s Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless cancelled]

November 24 (Monday)
 November 25 (Tuesday)
November 26 (Wednesday)
  • 9:00 to 11:00 am -- Noon Day is open (showers, laundry and breakfast, no lunch)
  • Albuquerque. Healthcare for the Homeless (HCH) will be open ALL DAY this Wednesday (8:00 am to 4:00 pm)
  • 11:00 am to 2:00 pm – Joy Junction’s Thanksgiving meal at the Convention Center downtown (you can get free tickets at various shelters for reserved meal times, but no one will be turned away)
Thanksgiving Day (Thursday)
  • There will be a circle of remembrance, a sunrise gathering in honor of Native peoples (6:53 am sunrise) in the parking lot of the Albuquerque Center for Peace & Justice (Harvard & Silver SE)
  • Healthcare for the Homeless and Noon Day are closed
  • 8:30 to 9:30 am – Thanksgiving brunch at Good Shepherd (only meal that day at Good Shepherd)
  • 7:00 to 11:00 am – holiday meal at St. Martin’s Hospitality Center
  • 11:00 am to 2:00 pm – Thanksgiving meal at La Mesa Presbyterian Church, 7401 Copper NE (north of Central, east of Louisiana)
  • 11:00 am to 2:00 pm –Thanksgiving meal at Salvation Army Temple, 501 Broadway SE (& Lead)
  • 2:00 to 4:00 pm – Thanksgiving dinner at Joy Junction, 5:00 to 6:00 pm – Thanksgiving dinner at Project Share, 1515 Yale SE (south of Kathryn)
  • 5:00 to 6:00 pm – regular dinner at Albuquerque Rescue Mission (no breakfast that day, but opens at 1:30 pm)
November 28 (Friday)
  •  Homeless services: Noon Day is closed; St. Martin’s is open 7:00 am to 2:00 pm (regular meal at St. Martin’s); and Healthcare for the Homeless (8:00 am to 4:00 pm); regular hours at other sites
**Noon Day Ministries will be moving soon to its new location at 2400 Second St., NW. The new name will be The Rock at Noon Day. All Thanksgiving week events will be at their current location, 101 Broadway NE.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Useful Brown Paper Bag

"Grocery bags must always have a lengthy baguette or a stalk of celery springing from the top to let us -- the uneducated viewer -- know that this is, in fact, a grocery bag."   Forbes (from "Things that Only Happen in Hollywood Movies")

Photo: Roadrunner Food Bank
There was a brown paper grocery bag inserted in between the Metro and the Sports sections of The Albuquerque Journal  on Saturday morning. This was a gentle reminder that that our friendly letter carriers would be holding their annual Thanksgiving food drive on Saturday, November 22. The food drive sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers and the Rural Letter Carriers Association has traditionally served as an opportunity for folks in Albuquerque and elsewhere to donate non-perishable food items during the holidays.

The bag itself can serve as a vessel to fill with non-perishable food items and kid-friendly foods to be left by the mail box on November 22, taken to a local post office or to Smith's grocery stores (one of the sponsors of the holiday food drive). The bag also has an important request: Please do not donate homemade items.   

The surface of the bag was also chock full of information about the broader holiday food drive sponsored by Roadrunner Food Bank and a dozen or so local businesses. This includes opportunities to help sort the food collected by our friendly letter carriers (or dropped off at the post office) either at a post office or at Roadrunner Food Bank on Sunday, November 23. Click here to register for available volunteer opportunities.

Another prominent feature in the paper bag was a box with digital opportunities to contribute financially, with the message, "Your $1 gift allows us to distribute 5 meals." There are opportunities to give online, to donate via Text message (Text RRFB to 2022 to generate a $10 donation). As an alternative, there is  digital bar code allowing the public to donate to Roadrunner Food Bank via QR code. These scan codes are increasingly becoming a fact of life. (On a recent flight, many passengers presented a bar code on their cell phone to board the airplane!).

So what other information was on the paper bag? There are opportunities to:
  • Donate Holiday Turkeys and hams (accepted at Roadrunner Food Bank, M-F, 8:00 am-4:00 pm). 
  • Organize an online food drive with co-workers, family and friends
  • Learn about hunger in New Mexico (with information from Feeding America)
The flip side of a bag has a handy timeline of Holiday Food & Fund Drive Dates.  November 22 is an important date for the holiday drive. In addition to the letter carriers drive, ABQ Uptown will hold its own food drive among its shoppers. And one TV station (KOB TV) and two radio stations (92.3 NASH FM and 93.3 KOB FM) will host Roadrunner Food Bank's Live Broadcast at 5:00 p.m.). And looking ahead beyond  the holidays, there is Souper Bowl  2015 on Saturday, January 24 (advance tickets available).

Isn't it amazing how much good information a brown paper bag can hold? That's an important reason why The Albuquerque Journal and food drive sponsors used paper instead of plastic to convey information about the Holiday Food Drive. And even though a thin plastic surface is not a useful tool to convey information, you can fill two or three bags with non-perishable food items. (Many communities around the country are banning plastic bags for environmental reasons, but that is a theme for another time).

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gift Givers Anonymous Needs Your Help to Wrap 1,200 Donated Items

Gift Wrapping Party in 2013
Gift Givers Anonymous (GGA) has collected 1,200 gifts for families in need in Albuquerque, and needs your help to wrap these presents. These are "gently used" items that have been donated of acquired throughout the past year.

 "We take those gifts and turn them into “new” gifts that can be gifted to people throughout the ABQ community," said the organizers. "On one special weekend in December, we all go out into the community and give gifts away to people!!

"The focus of the project is on community collaboration and on spreading joy throughout the ABQ community," said GGA organizers. "It is about gifting others, total strangers, just to spread joy and kindness."

So here's how you can help. GGA has organized four gift-wrapping parties in November and December.  There are three parties remaining, including this evening. 

Saturday, Nov 15
Sundowner Apartments (6101 Central Ave NE)     4:00 PM- 7:00 PM 
Saturday, Nov 29
Montgomery Church of Christ (7201 Montgomery Blvd NE)   Noon–4:00 PM
Saturday, Dec 6
Messiah Lutheran Church (11515 Lomas Blvd NE)   Noon–4:00 PM

For more information, please contact Kalei, gracenbalance@aol.com, (505) 504-5222
Check out Gift Givers Anonymous on Facebook

Friday, November 14, 2014

Shopping at Apron Day and the Christmas Just Market

On the day after Halloween, many retail outlets bring out their Christmas displays, planting in your subconscious the idea that the shopping season is here. But you have a choice When you acquire gifts for loved ones for Christmas, you don't have to buy your presents at the big box outlet or at the shopping mall.  In Albuquerque, there are two opportunities to buy handcrafted and/or fair trade items.

The TenderLove Community Center's Apron Day (tomorrow, November 15th) offers aprons and arts and crafts created through the center's program for homeless women.[TenderLove Community Center is a 501(c)(3) organization that offers a 12-month training program for homeless and near homeless that teaches them sewing and assists them in obtaining employment within 3 months of graduation. “Our goal is to help them break the cycle of homelessness and empower them for a better future.”]

On Sunday, December 7, the Immaculate Conception Church Justice and Life Ministry will hold its Christmas Just Market, offering local and fair trade crafts, nativities, olive oil, coffee, chocolate and much more. The images below provide more details about the two events, including location and time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Derick Dailey: We Must Pray and Act, and Pursue Food Justice Locally

Derick Dailey, my good friend and colleague on the Bread for the World board of directors, penned a great piece the Fall issue of Reflections, a magazine of theological and ethical inquiry. The magazine is published quarterly by the Yale School of Divinity.

Derick, a graduate of the Yale School of Divinity and currently a student at the Hostra School of Law, wrote an article for this issue entitled "Divine Possibility: Ending Hunger by 2030."  

The theme of the Fall 2014 issue is At Risk: Our Food, Our Water, Ourselves. There are many great articles, including a piece by Sara Miles entitled Give Us Bread.  The other authors are not familiar to me, but the topics are very interesting: The Feeding of the 12 billion,Toward a Divine DietAncient Voices Speak to an Ecological Future and much more.

Here are a couple of excerpts from Derick's piece:

What can people of faith do? Ending hunger will not happen without a move of God. For the Old Testament prophets, food was, in effect, a basic human right. They remind us to seek justice for everyone, especially the orphan and the widow, so that everyone has enough to eat. There is no shortage of biblical support for food justice and God’s continued grace. So we must pray and act. Pursue food justice locally. Urge policymakers to embrace poverty-reduction strategies. Leverage your voices and your votes. 

Another sign of hope: Social justice is a larger priority for faith institutions and theological education. Congregations are embracing strands of political theology to fight poverty and hunger. Involvement looks different for each community. Some groups run local soup kitchens and food giveaways. Others ask Congress to support strong poverty-reduction policies. Others directly invest in building schools and libraries in underdeveloped countries. Another trend is the collective mobilization of their church, typically the national body, to divest from companies that do not support their vision of justice. Thanks to progressive theological education, new generations of faith leaders are demanding that social justice be central to a prophetic gospel in ecclesial bodies, businesses, and global corporations.   Read full article

Monday, November 10, 2014

An Encounter at the Airport with Missionaries of Charity on Dorothy Day's Birthday

"The mystery of the poor is this: that they are Jesus, and what you do for them you do to him."

As I was waiting to board an airplane in Albuquerque on Saturday, November 8, I spotted four nuns wearing habits that looked very familiar. After a moment of thought, I realized where I had seen these habits with the distinctive blue stripes across across the front of their hood.  Pictures of Mother Teresa.  These sisters were members of the Missionaries of Charity.  I chatted briefly with a couple of the sisters, and they told me they had spent a few weeks in Gallup serving a poor community and were on their way back to St. Louis, which happens to the site of the order's Mother House in the U.S.

Perhaps it was a coincidence (and a happy one) that the encounter occurred on Dorothy Day's birthday. No two (fairly) contemporary women are more identified with the poor than Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day. Mother Teresa is the ultimate symbol of charity with her work in Calcutta. Dorothy Day is the founder of the Catholic Worker movement. Catholic Worker houses around the country provide shelter and food--but they are also ultimately about promoting justice.  And the common thread is that both were women of deep faith and prayer.  Both Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day are modern day saints (regardless of whether the authorities that make sainthood decisions think so).

So, two days after Dorothy Day's birthday, I  would like  to share some great resources, courtesy of  Father James Martin, S.J.
More about the Servant of God from Robert Ellsberg: 
A brief video about her life:
And an album of photos, courtesy of Jim Forest 

Sunday, November 09, 2014

A Daily Blessing (from the Book of Numbers)

From Numbers 6:24-26
To be under the almighty protection of God our Saviour; to enjoy his favour as the smile of a loving Father, or as the cheering beams of the sun; while he mercifully forgives our sins, supplies our wants, consoles the heart, and prepares us by his grace for eternal glory; these things form the substance of this blessing, and the sum total of all blessings.  from Matthew Henry's Commentary