“Always Be Grateful” November 2014 Newsletter

“Always be grateful.” (St. Paul the Apostle)

Dear Friends,                                                                                                                           Thanksgiving ‘14

The Giants won the pennant!!!! The Giants won the World Series!!!! How could life get any better for us diehard Gigantes fans? I’ll tell you how, but first I digress.

In early November a group of Catholic Worker supporters (Jim McGarry from the University of Notre Dame Dorothy Stang Center, a few Notre Dame Sisters, and Butch & Lynn Shafsky & friends) collaborated with us to open a new home for women in Redwood City. Our first guest there is Veronica (age 43, needs hearing aids, and has diabetes). Veronica has a daughter on full scholarship (tuition, room and board) at Notre Dame University. Prior to moving into her new abode, Veronica lived in a U Haul storage shed. Her new 1 and a half bedroom apartment was donated by one of our other supporters. Veronica will not pay rent for the first month and since December (Christmas) is always free, she will have the first two months free. Once she gets a job, her room, board, and utilities will never be more than ¼ of her income. If she has no income, then everything is free.

Now back to my question. As much as I love the Giants, as excited as we were when they won, it breaks my heart to know that Fred (our local resident Vet) lived in a tent in the mudflats for two years and that Veronica lived in a storage unit, and that Day Laborers get crammed into a rental unit in sleeping bags rolled out right next to one another, and that men & women need to sleep on our front porch and that Ingrisd spent a year in prison seeking asylum until Susan welcomed her to another home for women. Life can be much, much better than the Giants winning the World Series.

It is true that we beg for everything at the Catholic Worker House. It is also true that we live like kings. We have homes, beds, toilets, showers, cars, hot water, phones, clothes, medicine, T.V.’s etc. ALL THAT WE HAVE IS A GIFT.

This Thanksgiving we turn to God and you, our supporters, to say “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” And we pray that life will become a lot better for sisters and brothers in need. I agree with Peter Maurin who helped found the Catholic Worker:

The world would be better off
if people tried
to become better,

And people would
become better
if they stopped trying
to be better off.

For when everyone tries
to become better off
nobody is better off.

But when everyone tries
to become better
everyone is better off.

Everybody would be rich
if nobody tried
to become richer.

And nobody would be poor
if everybody tried
to be the poorest

And everybody would be
what he ought to be
if everybody tried to be
what they want
the other person to be.

PACIFIC LIFE COMMUNITY

For decades, non-violent peace activists in the Bay Area and throughout the western states have joined together to stop the insanity of nuclear weapons and transform weapons of mass destruction into low cost housing, rapid transit, alternative energy and sane living that contributes less to global warming. We demand that our government spend less on weapons and more on job-creating priorities like education, health, and the environment.

On Sunday, March 1st 2015, at Vallombrosa Retreat Center in Menlo Park, we will host an evening dedicated to PEACE. All are invited. On Monday, March 2nd you are also invited to a non-violent direct action against war and for life at Lockheed/Martin Corp. in Sunnyvale. Lockheed is the largest weapons manufacturer in the world. For details, call Susan or Larry at (650) 366-4415.

Peace and gratitude,
Larry for all of us

NEEDS

  1. Food in any amount. We now house over 25 people a night at various locations in Redwood City (two homes for Day Laborers, 2 residences for VETS, 2 apartments for women and children and our home for troubled teens).
  1. Household needs: socks, hand soap, Turkeys or Safeway gift certificates for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, a volunteer carpenter to replace kitchen counters and repair our front porch, Kleenex, paper towels, Pine Sol etc
  1. Christmas gifts for the families & teens we serve: gift certificates to Target, Old Navy, Payless shoes, Movie passes (Cinemark), music, clothing, jewelry, or anything teens and children love. We do have a number of smaller children in our communities now. (ages 6-12).
  1. Tutors for our English Language School to help small children with homework. Call Sr. Mary Jane (650) 366-4415.
  1. Jobs for Day Laborers: call Cesar at (650) 339-2794
  1. Your ongoing love and support.
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