“You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love….Always be thankful.” (Colossians 12ff.)
One of our teens had been at the Catholic Worker House for “at risk” teens for about 3 months. During that time she had never initiated a conversation with me (Larry). In fact, whenever she spoke, her voice was little more than a whisper. Because terrible things have happened to her, she has lost her voice – a symptom of not realizing how precious she is.
One of our goals at the Catholic Worker is to melt the “ice of fear” that paralyzes our teens. We have found that every person (no matter how damaged) has a healthy person inside screaming to come out. No one wants to live in fear. Our teens try hard to overcome fear with trust; but where there is severe damage, it is so difficult and scary. We have also found over the years that if we offer a safe and sane home and expect our teens to go to school every day and every class, then they tend to get stronger and healthier. As we love them, the ice of fear sometimes melts.
Sure enough!!! After being in our safe and sane home, this young women (our silent teen) came to me and initiated her first conversation in 3 months. She began tentatively, “Can I ask you something?” I put my book down and said, “Sure, what’s up?” She then asked, “Is it O.K. if I call you grandfather?” When I said, “Yes,” she walked across the room and kissed me on the cheek. She now does that first thing every morning.
Love works. Miracles happen. The body of Christ is alive and well in our midst. Thank God.
Peace and gratitude,
Larry Purcell, Ronnie Georges,
Sr. Mary Jane Floyd, Aida Figueroa,
Jan Johanson, J. Arthur White, and Susan Crane.
P.S. Our English Language School and tutoring programs are closing for the summer, but we will need teachers and tutors in September when a new year begins. We are DESPERATE for someone to teach basic computer skills. Call Sr. Mary Jane Floyd, (650) 366-8315. We will also need backpacks & school supplies.
P.P.S. Susan Crane is working with one of our very generous supporters who is donating to the poor the use of a second 3-bedroom apartment. This new residence for women and children was furnished by our supporters, repaired by Day Laborers and painted by volunteers from Notre Dame University. If you would like to help Susan with this new Catholic Worker, call her at (650) 366-4415. Susan will continue to live at our house for teens and manage the new center with help from volunteers.
P.P.P.S. CORRECTION: In our last newsletter I gave you an incorrect website for our Catholic Worker. The correct one is: rwdcw.wordpress.com Susan developed this website and it is terrific.
- Food in any amount. One thing we never get is fish and our current family loves fish; 25-pound bags of pinto beans (you cannot give us too many pinto beans).
- Household needs: sleeping bags– we have 2-4 guests sleeping on our front porch these days, Pinesol, Kleenex, shampoo & conditioner, bikes, help with wi-fi connectivity problems (call Susan 366-4415), socks, underwear, paper towels, backpacks filled with school materials.
- Vehicles: bikes, cars, vans, trucks, RV’s etc. If you need a worker, call the DAY LABORER ORGANIZERS (Cesar or Ramon) at (650) 339-2794.
- Invitations to give talks to groups about any of the following topics: the Catholic Worker, non-violence or resistance. Call Larry or Susan 366-4415.
- A house or money to buy a house for a new Catholic Worker. Call Larry for a cup of coffee. (650) 366-4415.
- Volunteer doctors, dentists, plumbers, carpenters, electricians and handymen.
- Your ongoing love and support.