February 2018 Newsletter

“I thank my God whenever I think of you, and every time I pray for all of you I pray with joy, remembering how you helped to spread the good news from the first day you heard it right up to the present.”   (Philippians 1)

Dear Friends,                                                                                                            Feb. 2018

After 40+ years of feeding, clothing, sheltering and educating the poor in the name of Christ, it is crystal clear that our work of love cannot be done ALONE. There are two ways to organize the poor. As far as one’s own arm will reach is one way and another is to work with others and reach as far as their arms will reach. Working with others is far superior. Over the years, Sr. Joan (RIP), Sr. Mary Jane, Ronnie, Jan, Aida, Susan, Jerry, Dennis, Nancy, Paul, Walter(RIP), Sheri, Larissa, Kim & Fred, Linda & Denny, Al (RIP), Max (RIP), Tensi, Joe, Marianne, Fumi, Doug and many, many others have lived and worked full time at the Catholic Worker House in Redwood City. These women and men have built the Worker here. For all of them, I will be forever grateful, and in my prayers, I constantly thank God for their gifts.

In addition to these full time, live-in jewels, there is a holy host of part time volunteers who have made our work possible. I would like to highlight just two who are currently reaching farther than I ever could and these two represent hundreds of other part time volunteers.

Pam Hitchcock is a retired legal secretary and has been teaching at our English Language School for over 20 years. When Sr. Mary Jane retired, Pam continued to teach and has taken over all of the coordination of the other 20+ volunteer teachers and the 65+ students (adults and children). Under Pam’s wise and strong guidance, not only has the school continued, but it has thrived. A hallmark of our school since the beginning (under Sheila Cockshott & others) has been JOY. As students and teachers share the hard work of learning a new language, JOY continues to be married to LEARNING and the Word of God becomes flesh.

languageSchool

Pam Hitchcock (center) with student, and tutor at the Language School.

In the 1970’s Dennis Kent was a full time, live-in Catholic Worker, and he organized what we call our Friday food distribution. As the first coordinator of our Food Program, Dennis set the tone by recruiting people from the food line to help sort and distribute the food to others in need.

For more than 15 years, Jake Messina has coordinated our Food Program. He organizes 12 women and men to unload, sort and distribute thousands of pounds of free fresh vegetables to the poor. These men and women all come from the food line just as Dennis planned.

food program crew

Jake in light  colored sweater in the center of the community workers who came this day. 

Jake was born and raised in Sicily – he has a bit of an accent. His Italian prepared him to speak Spanish and he periodically throws in a little Portuguese for good measure. From Sicily, Jake migrated to France then Germany and then to the USA where he built a wonderful life. Jake has never forgotten his humble beginnings and he has a soft spot in his big heart for immigrants. He remembers! He remembers being vulnerable. He remembers being helped and working hard to make it. He is so grateful to God and this country for his blessings. He just wants to share the wealth. So, he shares free FOOD with the poor many of whom are immigrants.

Every Friday a team of 6 volunteer women arrive at the Catholic Worker House at 7am to clean the porch, the street, and the driveway in preparation for an 11 am distribution. These 6 are eventually joined by Jake and 6 others to unload thousands of pounds of free, fresh produce from the truck. After sorting the food, they then distribute it to about 60 families. It is amazing how much food each family receives.

I stand in awe and gratitude for all of the beautiful full time live-in and part time volunteers who make up what we call the Redwood City Catholic Worker. The Body of Christ is alive and well in our midst.

Have a Holy Lent,                                                                                                                                             Larry, for all of us, living and dead

NEEDS

  1. FOOD in any amount.
  2. Household needs: coffee mugs, laundry detergent, dish soap, black garbage bags, tools (construction and gardening), 8 ½ X 11 white paper, zip lock bags, tin foil, cleanser, toiletries, twin bed blankets and sheets, etc.
  3. Transportation: bikes (helmets, locks. Lights), cars, trucks and RV’s.
  4. Homeless: sleeping bags, tents, matts, tarps, socks, hoodies, sweats etc. For other specifics call Susan (650) 366-4415. For those of you who do not know, our outreach specialist to homeless encampments was Doug Herbek. The men and women who live in tents love him. He has moved to live full time as a monk at the Hermitage in Big Sur. God be with him on his journey.
  5. A house or money to buy a house. Call Larry for a free cup of coffee (650) 366-4415.
  6. Shower program: Susan has begun free showers on Tues. and Wed. mornings and could use volunteers. Call Susan at 366-4415.
  7. Need a worker: gardening, painting, carpentry, hauling etc. call the Day Labor hiring program (Cesar) 650-339-2794.
  8. Your ongoing love and support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas 2017 Newsletter

“She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn.” (Lk 2)

Dear, dear friends,                                                                                                    Christmas 2017

Each night the Catholic Worker in Redwood City finds room in the “inn” for over 25 sisters and brothers.  While we supply affordable housing, our government supplies weapons globally that are used to create more and more homeless refugees. The monthly fees for our rooms range from free to $200 a month for room and board. Meanwhile, the cost of our weapons is astronomical. One Trident nuclear submarine costs over a billion and a half dollars.
When our rooms in the inn are full, then we offer tents & sleeping bags to our brothers and sisters who live outside.  Meanwhile our government uses remote control drones and “smart” bombs to blast people throughout the middle east and beyond.  Beyond houses and tents and sleeping bags, we offer socks and gloves and shoes to the homeless. Simultaneously, our government has embarked on a mission to upgrade our entire nuclear arsenal (land, sea and air based nuclear weapons). And we are also doing research, development and deployment of spaced based nuclear weapons. The U.S.A. is doing all of this while North Korea (and others) responds to our arsenal by trying to build a nuclear system of their own.
Twice a week, we offer free showers to men and women who live on the streets of Redwood City. This is a modest program that addresses preventative health issues and human dignity.  And after we have filled all of the rooms in our inns with holy families, given away sleeping bags, and offered to the poor all that you our supporters give us, then we offer sleeping space on our front porch to protect our homeless friends from the rain. They and we are desperately trying to find a way to live in the midst of a country gone mad with misplaced priorities. Our government is seriously talking about the possibility of “limited nuclear war” and recklessly threatens to annihilate entire countries.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has just won the Nobel Peace Prize “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”. ICAN has written a treaty abolishing the use, production, or possession of nuclear weapons. 122  nations – comprising almost two-thirds of the total UN membership – voted in favor of adoption of the treaty on 7 July 2017. The treaty is open for signatures now.

All of the work we do is small in our immense universe.  We are small.  Nevertheless, we are compelled to try to follow the Prince of Peace and be shining stars in these dark days of war.

We pray this Christmas for “Peace on Earth and Good will to all.”

Have a Holy Christmas,

                                         Love & prayers,

Larry Purcell, Ronnie Georges, Sr. Mary Jane, Floyd, Jan Johanson, Aida Figueroa, Susan Crane, Doug Herbek, and J Arthur White.

P.S. “What does love look like?,”  asked St. Augustine. “It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy.  It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of others. That is what love looks like.” (source unknown).

By the way, each Friday during Advent and Lent, the Pacific Life Community leads a noon vigil at Lockheed/Martin Corp. in Sunnyvale to protest the military-industrial complex that insists on building weapons instead of affordable housing. Call any of us (650) 366-4415 for details.

NEEDS

  1. Food in any amount.
  2. Household needs: Kleenex, paper towels, detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, cleanser, pinesol, etc.
  3. Our English Language School: needs assistant teachers and one night a week is all we ask. Call Pam at (650) 365-6019. We also need to replace our 6ft. X 6Ft. back porch due to dry rot.
  4. If you need a painter, gardener, hauler, handy man or craftsman, call the DAY LABORER program and ask for Cesar or Juan Carlos at (650) 339-2794. They are excellent.
  5. The homeless: sleeping bags, socks, warm shirts and jackets, tents, affordable housing, anything water proof, toiletries, sweat pants and shirts. Call Susan (650) 366-4415.
  6. A home or money to buy a home for another “inn” for the poor. Call Larry 366-4415.
  7. Transportation: bikes, cars, trucks or vans or RV’s.
  8. Your ongoing love and support.

November Newsletter 2017

“That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it…So do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself…” (Matt. 6:25)

 

Aida brings Catholic Worker guest, Ana, to the dinner at St. Anthony’s Dining Room.

Dear Friends,                                                                 Many, many of you have visited the Catholic Worker House at 545 Cassia St. in Redwood City and have met Aida Figueroa. But for those of you who do not know her, here’s a snap shot.

Aida is the only Christian I’ve met who has intentionally made absolutely no plans for how she will afford growing old. Her only retirement plan is “God provides.” And guess what, so far it’s worked. It’s amazing!!!!

As a Benedictine nun for 28 years, Aida learned that her life is in God’s hands. As she worked and prayed as a Benedictine she was put in charge of supervising the cleaning of a Catholic Hospital. While working and praying, she found out that God cares for her as he does the birds of the air and clothes her as he does the flowers of the fields. She prays as if everything is up to God and works as if everything is up to us.

Aida with Larry at Lockheed Martin for our Good Friday Service. Lockheed Martin is the largest exporter of weapons in the US, and builds missiles that carry nuclear warheads.

Aida came to the Catholic Worker over 20 years ago (she is 86 years old) and has been a fixture ever since. When she first arrived, Larry emphatically told her: “I am not taking care of you in your old age!” She said nothing in response.

Even though Aida knows that God provides, in Benedictine fashion, she never stops working. Her current involvements include volunteering weekly with Friends of the Library, Sandwiches on Sundays, and St. Anthony’s “New to U” clothing give away. In addition to that, she is the #1 housecleaner at the Catholic Worker. She deep cleans the place every week– we’ve never been cleaner! And she helps us with all of our projects at the Worker House. She deeply believes in both praying and working.

Whatever Aida is doing, she believes in healthy living. She runs every day, practices Yoga, attends daily mass, gives and receives Jin Shin Jyutsu therapeutic massages and avoids (whenever possible) western medicine. Four years ago Aida was diagnosed with acute leukemia and has refused any and all suggested treatments (chemo, radiation, steroids, etc.) from Kaiser Hospital. She relies on her regime of healthy living, her chiropractor, and a solid prayer life. For 4 years she has been completely symptom free. Again, “God provides.

Aida, Jan and Larry working on getting the mailing out….

Her faith and good works at the Catholic Worker and throughout Redwood City are humble, innocent, and done with a kind heart. If you want to get to know how to “let go and let God,” then meet Aida.

We give thanks for the goodness of Aida and for all of you, our supporters, and of course to our God, who takes good care of all of us no matter what.

Love,

Larry Purcell, Ronnie Georges, Sr. Mary Jane Floyd,
Jan Johanson, J Arthur White, Susan Crane, Doug Herbeck, and Aida Figueroa

Aida gives a warm welcome to everyone.

P.S. Just so you know…after Aida was diagnosed with Leukemia I told her that “You can stay with us at the Worker for the rest of your life.” Her response was, “I thought so.” Isn’t life wonderful?

 

 

 

 

 

NEEDS

  1. Food in any amount, especially for Thanksgiving.
  2. Household items: paper towels, light bulbs, a very good bed (anything but a king size), umbrellas, 8 ½ X 11 white paper, paper towels, detergent, & Kleenex.
  3. Shower program needs: socks, new underwear all sizes (men and women),sweatshirts and sweatpants, body wipes for waterless showers.Call Susan for details (650) 366-4415
  4. Homeless: bottled water, sleeping bags, warm blankets, jackets, tents and camping gear, etc. Call Doug (650) 366-4415
  5. English Language School: teacher assistants (no need to speak Spanish), call Pam at (650) 365-6019.
  6. Transportation: we can use cars, trucks, vans,  R.V.’s and bikes etc. It’s a big need.
  7. A house or money to buy a house for a new center for the poor. Call Larry for a free cup of coffee. (650) 366-4415.
  8. CHRISTMAS GIFTS for families we adopt. We can also use gift certificates to Target, Safeway, Old Navy, Kmart and movie passes to Cinemark.
  9. Your ongoing love and support.

 

September Newsletter 2017

“Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone listens to my call, they will open the door to me. I will enter in and I will sup with them and they with me.”   (A song by Rev. Jack Olivier SS)

Dear Friends,                                                                                                             Sept. 2017
Something old, something new, that’s our topic. The old—we have offered scholarships to young people going to college for decades. Our motto is “Education is Freedom.” That’s not always true because some of the most educated men in the world got us into Vietnam. Nevertheless, we do believe in helping young men and women go to high school and then college. This year, with your very generous support, we have granted 9 scholarships ranging from $500 to $9000. Most were closer to $2,000

Nancy is a single mom raising two children and working full time. She is in her final year at San Jose State and we are helping her finish with a $9,000 grant.

Carolina is the first in her family to graduate from high school (Ronnie taught her in the 3rd grade) and the first in her family to go to college. We’re funding her $1,500 with a promise of another $1,000 if needed. This is for tuition, fees, books, transportation and food. Diana lived at the Catholic Worker House for 2 years during high school. We helped her last year with college and will help her again this year.

These are some of the scholarships we’ve funded. There are others we could help, but that depends on your donations. For example, there are three women in our halfway house for women coming out of jail. All of them are in school and each of them could use help.

Something new – Two days a week, Susan and Doug will open a shower program for the homeless at our English Language School. Our schoolhouse is not used in the mornings. So, from 9am to 11am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Susan and Doug will open the house for free showers for the homeless. They will also offer coffee, snacks, socks, underwear, toiletries and laundry facilities. If you want to help, call Susan or Doug at (650) 366-4415.

It has been clear to us for a long time that if we do not provide “affordable housing,” then the next crucial need for the very poor are bathrooms (toilets, showers and washing facilities). Showers are preventative medicine.

As the old and new happens, there are other events happening. We have been granted, via Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, $600,000 for the creation of a new Catholic Worker Center and hope to be able to establish this within the next year to year and a half. We have told our “angel” donor that we will try to come up with another $200,000 in order to make a purchase more affordable.  As Sr. Mary Marceline (my aunt), used to say, “God provides.”

With all of our hearts, we thank you for all of your support and we thank God for making all of life possible. God bless you.

our love,
Larry Purcell, Ronnie Georges, Sr. Mary Jane Floyd, Jan Johanson, Aida Figueroa,
J. Arthur White, Susan Crane, and Doug Herbek

P.S. A note about Sr. Mary Jane: She is very well. She just got a new hip and is pain free for the first time in a long, long time. By the time you get this, she will be out of the hospital and back at the Presentation Mother House at 2340 Turk St., S.F. Calif. 94118.

NEEDS

  1. Food in any amount.
  2.  Household needs: towels, detergent, tickets to events, cleanser, freezer bags (gallon), foil, shampoo, 8 ½ X 11 white paper, lap top computers and other electronic stuff, Kleenex, hand soap.
  3. English Language School: Teaching Assistants for one night a week (Mon, Tues, or Thursday) to help with either literacy classes for adults, or with Art and vocabulary classes for women and children, or homework club for elementary age children.

If you are interested, the hours are from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.
Call Pam at (650) 365-6019

  1. A house or money to help buy a house.
  2. Scholarships: We have granted 9 scholarships so far and will offer at least 3 more (at $2,000 each) if we can.
  3. Homeless needs: tents, sleeping bags, socks & underwear, razors, shower substitutes (adults wipes), baby wipes, snacks etc.
  4. Transportation: cars, trucks, RV’s, bikes (locks & lights too.)
  5. Your ongoing love and support.

 

June 2017 Newsletter

“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the king will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.”   (Matt.25:37ff.)

 

Dear Friends,                                                                                                 June 2017
Susan Crane has been at the Redwood City Catholic Worker for over 5 years. Her compassion for the poor is marvelous. So many of our homeless friends who come to our front porch for food, clothing, and a good night’s sleep know Susan and she knows them. She describes one of our porch guests this way: “Roberto slept on our porch every night for about 2 months (this was 2 and a half years ago). At that time and to this day, Roberto had a part time job at a local deli. He is an artist (a dancer) and participated in Redwood City’s 150th celebration and has performed at Davies Symphony Hall in S.F. He is KIND , responsible, and poor. Periodically, he introduces someone to us (from the street) with the sure knowledge that they too will receive socks, shirts, toiletries, sleeping bags, bikes etc……During the winter rains, Roberto has spent 30 days in our county shelter while he was still working. He joins thousands of others in his futile search for “affordable housing.”
At our home for teens, in our home for day laborers, and in 5 apartments, we house about 25 to 30 people a night . This is a drop in the bucket. What we do is very little and it is what we do.
As the rich have gotten richer and the poor poorer, more and more people are living in doorways and in homeless encampments in Redwood City. Doug Herbek has been living and working full time at the Redwood City Catholic Worker for less than a year – he plans to stay indefinitely. Doug has been a lawyer, a monk and a Catholic Worker. In Redwood City, he spends his time taking food, sleeping bags, tents, dry showers, bottled water, bikes, hand sanitizers, toiletry kits and other items to homeless encampments. We know he’s made inroads because more and more of the homeless show up at our front porch asking for dinner or coffee or whatever we have thanks to you, our supporters…..God provides. These men (Roberto, Al Fred, Rob) and women (Ivy, Jennifer, Robin, Linda, Alicia – to name a few), come to us as the Body of Christ—broken. Dorothy Day was right when she said, “We must seek forgiveness from the poor for the bread we give them.” God help us, we live like Kings and I like to say, “We have already won the lotto.”

Hope you too find R + R this Summer.
Love,
Larry Purcell, Ronnie Georges, Sr Mary Jane Floyd,  Jan Johanson,  Aida Figueroa, Susan Crane, Doug Herbek, and J Arthur White.

eichenberg

The Lord’s Supper (1953) Fritz Eichenberg
(Today there would be many women and children in the picture.)

NEEDS

1. FOOD in any amount. Bottled water, individually wrapped dinners, or gift certificates to buy needs– (Target or Safeway) are great.
2. HOUSEHOLD NEEDS: fans, Kleenex, a very good refrigerator for the house for teens, shampoo, conditioner, combs. Tickets to events, cars, trucks, RV’s, computers etc. 3Homeless outreach: water, bikes, locks and lights, tents, sleeping bags, tarps, pads, reuseable shopping bags, food baskets with sturdy wheels for the elderly, gift certificates etc.
4. BACK TO SCHOOL: Back packs and supplies for elementary, H.S. and college, We will give $2,000 scholarships to another 6 or 7 students if you help us.
5. JOBS: Day Laborers are terrific workers – call Cesar or Juan Carlos (650) 339-2794 and they will find a great worker for you.
6. A HOUSE or money to buy a house for another Catholic Worker center. Call Larry (650) 366-4415.
7. Your ongoing LOVE AND SUPPORT – With all of the guests we house nightly, our expenses have skyrocketed. During the summer months most of our financial support goes on vacation. If you can help us, now is a great time.

 

“I was a stranger and you made me welcome”

“I was a stranger and you made me welcome”  (Matt. 25)

April 2017
Dear Friends,
My wife, Ronnie, has taught in Redwood City’s public elementary schools for the past 20 years.  This January, children in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades came to school crying because they were terrified that their mommy and dad might get deported.  Many parents draft wills and trusts designating an uncle, aunt or close friend to care for their small children in case both parents suddenly die.  Imagine being undocumented parents with small or high school age children who are U.S. citizens.  Imagine worrying about an immigration raid (ICE) that quickly leads to losing your mother and father.  Your children are at pre-school and no one comes to pick them up or your teenage child comes home to an empty house – these are very very real fears today for many of our neighbors.  One family (Ronnie taught their 3rd grader nine years ago) has filled out the papers designating Ronnie and I as the guardian of their three children if they are deported.  What a worry!!!!

Two other families who lived at the Catholic Worker for free for 2 years and 1 year respectively saved $23,000 and $14,000 each. These two very poor families  used all of the money they saved to purchase homes in Mexico in case they lose everything here by being deported.  This is their plan “B”.

Susan Crane has been a live-in Catholic Worker with us for 5 years.  Her compassion is legendary.   She has been going to meetings of Faith in Action to help develop a network of volunteers who would agree to arrive at nearby locations as ICE  conducts a raid.  “RAPID RESPONSE” hopes to get volunteer supporters (citizens) to help undocumented sisters and brothers by arriving within 7 minutes of an immigration raid.  Packets of information have been developed to help immigrants respond safely and legally to a knock at their door from ICE.  These same packets contain forms for parents to designate who will care for their little ones in case of an emergency  as well as a page of “Know Your Rights.”   If you wish to be part of “Rapid Response” or if you know someone who needs a packet of information, call Susan or Larry  (650) 366-4415.

REFUGEES: by Brian Bilston

(READ FROM TOP TO BOTTOM AND THEN FROM BOTTOM TO TOP)

They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
Welcome here
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way.     (NOW READ BOTTOM TO TOP)

NEEDS

  1. FOOD  in any amount.
  2. Household needs: laptop computers and electronic stuff for teens, firewood (split), a vacuum cleaner for Aida, carts and re-useable bags for the elderly who line up for food every Friday at the Catholic  Worker,  musical instruments, tools, paper towels, an electric fan, hand soap, Comet, etc.
  3. Transportation: After housing and jobs the next priority is “getting there.” We need bikes, cars, trucks and R.V’s. By the way, San Bruno Catholic Worker is building a second “Tiny House” on wheels and we need a church, business, or home to park it with a sewer hook up.
  4. Teacher Assistants for our English Language School–one night a week, Spanish is not necessary.  Our
    School is growing and now has 120 plus students.   Call Pam (650-365-6019).
  5. A House or money to buy a house for a new Catholic Worker center. Call Larry for a free cup of coffee. 
  6. Work for day laborers. Call Cesar at (650) 339-2794.
  7. Your ongoing love and support and don’t forget to check out our website:  http://www.rwdcw.wordpress.com

                               Holy Easter,

                               Larry Purcell, Ronnie Georges, Sr. Mary Jane Floyd, Jan Johanson, Aida Figueroa,
J. Arthur 
White, Susan Crane and Doug Herbek

P.S. Mary Jane continues to live at the Presentation Mother House (415) 752-1602. Her address is 2340 Turk Blvd,  S.F. CA. 94118.   She is an angel among us.

February Newsletter 2017

            “I thank my God whenever I think of you…remembering how you helped to spread the Good News from the day you first heard it right up to the present.” (Philippians 1)

Dear Friends,
Sister Mary Jane Floyd has been a teacher ever since she entered the convent at age 17. Over 40 years ago, she helped found the Catholic Worker House in Redwood City.  While she has had other jobs, M.J. has always been a teacher at heart. She is a pro. For the past 20 years, she has directed (along with other women) our English Language School. What a force!!! I call her the “steel butterfly.” She embodies the Gospel and we love her so much.

mjblossom  Due to a series of health problems, Mary Jane now lives at the Presentation Sisters’ Motherhouse. If it were up to Mary Jane, she would be back at the English Language School tutoring kids tomorrow. But, while her spirit is willing, her body just can’t do it. Please feel free to write or visit Sr. Mary Jane Floyd at: Presentation Motherhouse, 2340 Turk Blvd in San Francisco, Calif. 94118.

“I was stranger and you made me welcome.”   (Matt.25)

Notre Dame University in Belmont called and asked if one of their graduate students could live with us to finish her education. We said “yes.”

Fatimah came to the U.S. on a student visa. Allah is her God. Islam is her religion and the middle east was her home. Her full scholarship (room board and education) came from her government. By custom, simply because she is a woman, her scholarship depended upon her father’s approval. At some point, Fatimah’s dad arranged (as is the custom there) the perfect husband for her back home. When she refused to marry a stranger, her father withdrew approval and all support disappeared. Without financial assistance, Fatimah continued her education and owed the university $17,000. She wanted to enroll in January 2017 for classes, but was told she had to pay at least half of her debt in order to register for classes. If she were not in school, then she would lose her student visa and could be deported home. Five generous supporters of the Catholic Worker donated $9,000 to pay half of her debt and the university re-enrolled her this January (she can finish her Master’s degree by Dec. 2017).

Having taken care of housing and education, our next big hurdle was transportation to and from school. Many of Fatimah’s classes were at night and got her home after 10pm.  She needed a car. Other supports came to the rescue and put together a gift of a car for Fatimah, along with free maintenance.

As if that were not enough, the Romero Foundation (a very strong and effective advocate for vulnerable immigrants) took up Fatimah’s cause and have found and paid an immigration lawyer to handle her asylum claim. If she were to return home she would be in physical danger.

It takes a village to raise a person. . . we can’t do everything but we can all do something…act locally and think globally…arms are for hugging….all these phrases take on new meaning when a refugee is knocking at the door, crying in your arms, and seeking a home.

Have a Holy Lent,

Larry Purcell, Ronnie Georges, Sr. Mary Jane Floyd, Jan Johanson, J.Arthur White, Susan Crane, Aida Figueroa, & Doug Herbek.

NEEDS

  1. Food in any amount.
  1. Household Needs: lap top computers for college students, paper towels, tickets to events, tools (gardening and construction), sleeping bags, socks, a small dining room or kitchen table, a vacuum cleaner, power washer, vehicles and bikes, an exterior wooden door 69 ¾” X 28”   etc.
  1. Day Laborers: If you need gardeners, haulers, carpenters, painters, craftsmen or handymen call Cesar  (650) 339-2794.
  1. Homeless friends need: ponchos, long underwear, jackets, sleeping bags, socks, sweat shirts, etc. Call Susan or Doug (650) 366-4415.
  1. A house or money to buy a house. Call Larry for a hot cup of coffee (650) 366-4415.
  1. Susan Crane has been a live-in Catholic Worker for the past 5 years. Susan has spent more time in prison for non-violent protests to nuclear weapons than she has been with us.  A peace group in Germany has invited a delegation, which Susan is part of, from the US  to lead non-violent workshops and participate in their peace camp this summer. If you want to help Susan with her $1,100 budget send a check to the Catholic Worker and earmark it for Susan and help resist nuclear madness.
  1. While Sr. Mary Jane has been away, Pam Hitchcock has taken over M.J.’s role at the English Language School. Pam’s phone number is (650) 365-6019.  Currently, there are almost 100 students enrolled in our English Language   School. By the way, we have a bid to paint the outside of the school for $4,000.
  1. Your ongoing love and support.