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Monday, February 9, 2009

Mother Knows Best

Last night, a first-hand story was related to Homeless in America by Mary Lou, a Ventura County California resident and member of Our Lady of Guadalupe church.  She was born and raised more than 60 years ago in Oxnard, CA. In the 1940s, her mom, Josephine taught the children lots about charity to the poor and the homeless. Not by speaking, but by example!

Josephine almost daily welcomed the homeless, (called “bums” at the time) into her own home. She gave them whatever hot meal she was cooking and insisted that they eat off the nice china of the house and not from paper plates. Mary Lou remembers the word getting out and soon many of the poor would daily gather around their family’s house for a little food and a little comfort from Mama Josephine.

Now, more than 60 years later, the Oxnard Rescue Mission has carried on the tradition next door to the family’s original residence that had been sold decades ago. The home itself has been coincidentally purchased by the rescue mission and is now operated as a transition house providing overnight accommodations for the homeless.

Josephine has since passed on, but when she was alive, she would frequently wish to go and park by the mission to see what had become of her little home-based labor of love. Now in heaven no doubt, she looks down kindly on those poor who frequent her neighborhood today and upon those who compassionately carry on her tradition.
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