Br. Ed Gura and voluteers from St. Al’s offer food and warmth at the Rosa Parks Bus Terminal in Detroit.
Christmas 2018 at St. Aloysius Church left me especially grateful for the love of a great number of people who make possible our outreach ministry to those in need on the streets of Detroit. Donations of food, winter clothing, hand warmers and much more far exceeded our hopes, and because of the generosity of so many, many people are being fed and keeping warm.
On one particularly cold December morning we set out for the Rosa Parks Bus Terminal in vehicles packed with food and winter clothing, including three large bags of assorted sizes of men’s and women’s winter coats. On this day God sent our way many people in need of winter coats. To our amazement we were able to match up every man and woman with the correct make and size. One young woman came to us without a coat. We only had one left and it was a perfect fit for our new friend.
Every time we take to the streets to clothe and feed those in need, I am reminded of the many, many people who make it all possible. It leaves me in awe of all of the food and clothing we have on our serving line for all who will come to us. I was especially reminded of this at Christmas when I joined with our young people of St. Aloysius Church to serve a meal and hand out winter clothing, hand warmers, hygiene products and socks on Christmas Eve morning. Despite the chill we still served over 100 people and even had extra food for our guests to take home for another meal later in the day. God truly does work in amazing and saving ways.
The many caring people who help us feed many hungry people reminds me of the many hungry people Jesus fed with but a few pieces of bread and fish. There were even bushel baskets of food left over after 5,000 were fed, just as we had left-over food after serving our Christmas Eve morning meal. Miracles do happen when we see with the eyes of Jesus.
As we continue to tread the pathways of the New Year, may we do so with hearts open to the grace of God who desires to strengthen our desire and resolve to grow in holiness, mercy and patience, just as the God of our salvation is holy, merciful and patient. May we allow ourselves to be changed in the ways God wishes to change us this year.
(This story originally appeared in the Winter newsletter of St. Aloysius Neighborhood Services.)