|October 21, 2013 • VOL. 51, NO. 18 • Oakland, CA|
Our seminarians serve — literally, at St. Edward
Twice a month in the parish hall of St. Edward Church in Newark, parish groups take turns serving a free meal to anyone who needs one. Civic groups have also gotten involved, said the pastor, Father Jeffrey Keyes, CPPS. Two local barbers provide free haircuts. People often donate clothing, which is available for people to pick up what they need.
Friends and Fellowship grew out of a parish prayer group, led by Father James Franck, CPPS, parochial vicar. About three years ago, after praying together and discerning for a number of years, Father Franck said, the idea came: Let's try a meal once a month.
"We wanted it to be parishwide," said Father Franck. So the prayer group put together a booklet on how to provide this dinner, and invited other groups in the parish to take on a dinner, which is served from 1 to 3 p.m.
That once a month has grown to twice a month, with the meal served on the second and fourth Sunday of each month. About half a dozen people actively oversee the operation, Father Franck said.
Carillo and the seminarians joined various groups, including the Respect Life and Indian ministries, in answering that call. Each group is responsible for buying, preparing, serving and cleaning up. "The food is always good," said Father Franck. About 70 to 80 guests attend each meal, he said. Sometimes, there are 100 people. Often, there are families.
"We have a pretty regular clientele," Father Franck said. "Anybody can come." He said some of the guests are senior citizens who enjoy the opportunity for some company as well as food.
Musical groups provide entertainment, and the volunteers spend some time talking with their guests.
"Often the people who are the happiest are the ones that are serving," Father Franck said.
back to top
|Copyright © 2013 The Catholic Voice, All Rights Reserved. Site design by Sarah Kalmon-Bauer.|