Loving the Poor in Jesus' Name
As the world now understands, our Holy Father chose the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi. "Francis was a man of peace, a man of poverty, a man who loved and protected creation. ... How I would love a Church that is poor and for the poor!" View the Rome Reports video.
In encouraging his countrymen to offer money to the poor instead of making an expensive trip to witness his installation Mass, Pope Francis places before us Jesus' closeness to and love for the poor. Inspired by our Holy Father's actions, the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com cites five easy ways to love the poor, including donating money to Catholic Relief Services or to a scholarship fund at your local Catholic school.
As you consider the host of ways in which you can love and care for the poor, don't forget a vital, effective and immediate way provided here at your Cathedral parish—volunteering with or donating to St. Matthew's Homeless Ministry Monday morning program.
St. Matthew's Homeless Ministry Monday Morning Program
Every Monday morning a group of hardy but cheerful St. Matthew's volunteers gathers at 7:30am to set up the West Conference room to welcome about 60 adults—mostly men and a few women. Our guests are a diverse group, and like all of us, are in need of physical and spiritual nourishment to start the day. They are served breakfast donated by other volunteers and local businesses, including Whole Foods and Bertucci's. Each guest receives a bag which includes new underwear, socks and toiletries. They also receive a lunch, prepared by yet other volunteers. The regular program concludes with a lively and inspiring discussion of the gospel, usually led by our Parochial Vicar, Fr. Rafael Barbieri. Guests and volunteers depart around 10am, ready for the day ahead.
During the year, volunteers from our parish and surrounding community, including Brooks Brothers and the nonprofit Gifts for the Homeless, provide additional support through our winter coat drive and new clothing from the Adopt-A-Family program. Last year, we had over 90 guests for our Christmas party. Throughout the year, volunteers and Cathedral staff try to meet other immediate and long-term needs of individual guests, either directly or through appropriate referrals.
The program requires and receives broad support from our parish, a clear manifestation of the commitment to the values of Catholic social justice. The volunteers and contributors are unanimous in their gratitude for the opportunity to serve, and in the sentiment that what they receive far exceeds what they give. Should you wish to become a part of or assist in any way with this Ministry, please contact Jim Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org.