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Monday, March 31, 2014

We're All Technically Homeless: News from St. Luke's Youth Ministry


 



 


After a wonderfully busy weekend, we’re finally getting a moment to share some inspirational photos from last Saturday's StreetReach to the homeless living under the bridges and on the streets of downtown Los Angeles.  The St. Luke's Youth Ministry youth leader Ivonne, the other youth leaders and more than thirty kids all came by bus to serve the Servants of the Father of Mercy homeless family in DTLA, about 6,000 in the central district.  Thank you, thank you for all you have done for the homeless!

The youth group brought 300 pairs of socks, 300 candy bars, 300 chip packs water bottles, bags of clothing, pot of pasta y fagoli and more.  May God bless everyone that participated and Fr. John for helping put it all together.  At the end of the day the youth were asked, "What did you learn?"  One quipped, "Don't take things [like my house and home] for granted."  The others were asked, "Why are all of you technically homeless?"  Tough question, but one quickly had the correct answer - "Because we are not in heaven yet!"  Here are some pictures from the day . . .
 
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* * * REMINDERS * * *
* RETREAT
Reminder to mark your calendars now: Memorial Day Weekend, Servants of the Father of Mercy Annual Community Retreat, Prince of Peace Abbey, Oceanside, CA, 4pm Fri - Sun 2pm, May 23 - 25 - suggested donation is $195, however no one is left behind because of money!  Guests are welcome.  RSVP today!  Msgr. Liam Kidney Pastor of Corpus Christi Parish, Pacific Palisades and Abbott Charles of the Abbey will be our special guests leaders and speakers.
 
 
* GRAND OPENING
Annual anniversary celebration and grand opening of the Servants of the Father of Mercy chapel and warehouse, Fr. John Neiman presiding.  Reserve your calendar now: Friday, June 25, 2014, 6p to 9p.  Mass, blessing and reception.  Your family, friends and guests are invited too. RSVP.  1544 Morse Ave., Ventura, CA 93003, near the corner of Market Street and Morse Ave, across from the VFW Hall.

* HAWAIIAN LUAU FUNDRAISER
Sunday, May 18th, a fundraiser sponsored by Mai's Café and Tina's Polynesian Dancers, dinner buffet and show from 2pm to 5pm.  Servants of the Father of Mercy Warehouse. Tickets $20, Children $10, kids 5 and under free. 1544 Morse Ave., Ventura, CA 93003, near the corner of Market Street and Morse Ave, across from the VFW Hall.
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Visit our web site: http://servantsofthefather.org

Subscribe to the blog:  www.HomelessinAmerica.blogspot.com

Follow us on Twitter: GaryJoseph@Help_4Homeless

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tasty Fundraiser!



TASTY WEEKLY CHARITY FUNDRAISER - EVERY THURSDAY!

A Lunchtime BBQ created by Mai's Cafe 10am to 3pm this Thursday at Servants of the Father of Mercy warehouse, 1544 Morse Avenue, Ventura, CA 93003.  We deliver!  Call Tina Tuitama Vainuku of Hawaiian Aloha Dancers and place your order.  Who all is coming over?  Check out the pictures below - two platters of lunchtime BBQ from last Thursday, Bro. Gary Joseph famous pineapple Hawaiian bread and an Aloha Lunchtime flyer gives you the details.  It's a fundraiser for the homeless, 75,000 in the region.  Blessings, see you there!  Pass it on - share . . .

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Visit our web site: http://servantsofthefather.org

Subscribe to the blog:  www.HomelessinAmerica.blogspot.com

Follow us on Twitter: GaryJoseph@Help_4Homeless

Monday, March 24, 2014

Angels Wanted!



Possibly yourself and others of your family, friends and business network team may have the ability and desire to help donate to the two “key result” areas of the Servants of the Father of Mercy homeless (75,000) ministry that serves the entire Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles:  The KIA, Rondo delivery van and a 2,000 sq. ft. water and food storage HQ warehouse.

1.  There is an immediate need to raise $380 by Wednesday to pay off an emergency brake pad replacement for our KIA Rondo.  It was paid for by a post-dated check for this Wednesday that was issued on Saturday to the mechanic.  The van has 200,000 pickup and delivery miles since 2008.

2. Since 2008, after a six-year loan of $365 a month, the KIA Rondo has only 5 payments left with KIA Motors Financing.  We pray for an angel or two to help soon, making final payments so the cost of insurance coverage may be reduced to a more modest and affordable dollar amount making more money available for serving the homeless.

3.  The new warehouse storage location will receive rent payments from a benefactor’s estate beginning July 1st.  In the meantime, Angels are needed to help with April 1st rent, May 1st and June 1st.  The four-year lease is monthly .73 cents a square foot which includes water, electric, bathrooms and trash facilities.  Payments are set at $1,313 a month.

Possibly you may know of some family or friends who could chip in together and keep the homeless served with deliveries of food, water, clothing, blankets, hygiene kits, rosaries, prayer cards and more.  We're like Dominos, "We deliver!"

Here is our online contact information:
Donate: http://servantsofthefather.org/donate_2_homeless  

Visit our web site: http://servantsofthefather.org
Subscribe to the blog:  http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com

Follow us on Twitter: GaryJoseph@Help_4Homeless  
Join us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrotherGaryJoseph  

Since 2001, but officially founded by Bro. Gary Joseph in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2008 under the leadership of Cardinal Roger Mahony, the Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc. are “The New American Missionaries Bringing Our Homeless Home.” A 501 (c) 3 nonprofit tax-exempt and a Private Association of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. All donations are tax deductible.  There are no paid employees and the organization operates with a fully volunteer community of religious and lay brothers and sisters.
Mailing address:  Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc.,  P. O. Box 42001, Los Angeles, CA 90042.

Lots of blessings for all your compassion, kindness and consideration!

bro. joseph

This Week!



Thanks be to God for Don Burt, Lauren Cotner and their pastor, Fr. Paul at St. Lawrence Martyr Church in Redondo Beach, CA for a BIG heartfelt "Water Bottle & Snack Sunday" donation drive special for the Servants of the Father of Mercy homeless family (75,000) in So Cal.  Beginning on Saturday at 5pm and through all the Masses on Sunday to the last one at 5pm, church goers generously responded with 3,500 bottles of water and 100s of snacks of cookies, chips, applesauce, pudding, fruit cups, tuna cans, cracker variety packs and more.

The donations have been stored up at the Servants of the Father of Mercy new Ventura, CA warehouse location and will be combined into 1,000s of grocery-bag snack sacks and delivered in coming months to the homeless in the region by Linda McWilliams and Mark Burke in Orange County, Catherine Delgado and Angelique Gabrielle Perez in Ventura County and Bro. Gary Joseph and a special team going under the bridges to seek out remote homeless living in downtown Los Angeles.

May God bless Maggie Cervantes, a senior on the team for helping by getting up at 3am, driving to the beach, greeting parishioners and arriving home at 7pm!  Blessings to Pam & Joel Fischer for pickup and delivery at the Saturday Mass as well as Arnold, David & Maria Gonzales doing the same for all the Sunday Masses.

This week at the Servants of the Father of Mercy - can you help out?

1.  There is a need to raise $380 by Wednesday to pay off an emergency brake pad replacement paid for by a post-dated check for this Wednesday that was issued on Saturday to the mechanic.

2.  Thursday - Hawaiian Barbecue Fundraiser 10a to 2p.

3.  Snack bag making from 9:30a - 11a.

4.  6p - 9p Youth & Family Night "Easter Tree" making, dinner and a Bible movie where you are immersed in our new surround sound home theater system donated and installed last night by Orlando Jr.  Bring your children, youth and family!

5.  Delivery of food, water, clothing and more to the homeless in Ventura County and downtown Los Angeles, 8a to 2p.

Who can help the Lord?  Please call or email and let us know you are planning to serve.
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Visit our web site: http://servantsofthefather.org

Subscribe to the blog:  www.HomelessinAmerica.blogspot.com

Follow us on Twitter: GaryJoseph@Help_4Homeless

Thursday, March 20, 2014

As Jesus Noted, Doing Good Does Not Necessarily Make You Popular with the Authorities

A Massachusetts teenager who says she was fired from 7-Eleven for giving a cup of coffee to a homeless man has landed a new job within days—at a homeless-services organization.

“My lesson learned is that good deeds pay off,” Ava Lins, 19, tells Yahoo Shine. “Do what you believe is the right thing, and stand up for what you believe in. Only good things will come of it.”

The story began last Thursday, when Lins, a clerk at 7-Eleven in Salem, Oregon, says she began chatting with a customer about how he didn’t know where he was going to sleep on that freezing night. Lins, who immediately empathized given her own recent struggles with being homeless, gave him a small cup of coffee. “It directly influenced my decision,” she says. When storeowner Romany Youseff appeared and allegedly accosted the man, demanding to know if he had paid for it, Lins initially lied and told her boss that he had. She fessed up the next day and paid for the $1 coffee herself, but, she says, she was soon fired.
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Visit our web site: http://servantsofthefather.org

Subscribe to the blog:  www.HomelessinAmerica.blogspot.com

Follow us on Twitter: GaryJoseph@Help_4Homeless

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Never Close Your Heart to Anyone


Pope Francis: One of my favorite quotes from St. Peter Faber--no, my favorite--is: "Take care, take care, never to close your heart to anyone."

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Visit our web site: http://servantsofthefather.org

Subscribe to the blog:  www.HomelessinAmerica.blogspot.com  

Follow us on Twitter: GaryJoseph@Help_4Homeless

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I Love this New Pope!


By Anglican Bishop, Gene Robinson

I love this new pope. I pray for him every day—for his ministry, his safety, and the daunting tasks that lay before him. I like all the connotations of “Francis,” the papal name he took, conjuring the saint whose humility, sympathy for the fragile condition of humankind, and his commitment to the poor still are both exemplary and legendary.

But I am under no illusions that the journey ahead will be easy for this new pope, assuming that he continues to move in the directions he has thus far signaled.  And let’s be clear:  Pope Francis has, so far, only changed the tenor and tone of the voice of the Church he leads. That is no small thing, of course, when most Catholics and non-Catholics alike experienced his predecessor as aloof, hierarchical, and pretentious.

Perhaps most dramatic in that change of tone came in his question, after he was asked about gay priests: “Who am I to judge?” Who indeed?  His immediate predecessors seemed not to hesitate in heaping judgment on homosexuals, women (especially those who made the excruciating decision to have an abortion), the divorced, and a vast array of people who fell short of the Vatican’s moral ideal (exempting at times, of course, members of the Church’s own clergy and hierarchy from those same ideals).

How odd that the leader of the Catholic Church would make big news, espousing an attitude promoted by Jesus of Nazareth himself. Jesus dramatically lived out the command to “judge not,” so why would it be such news when his followers (not to mention the Pope!) would follow in his humble, non-judgmental footsteps?!  It is only a newsworthy development because there had been little evidence of non-judgmental and loving acceptance by his predecessors.

In other words, so far, so good—but it is only a good beginning. The hard work lies ahead: There is more to the Christian enterprise than merely being more kind, more sympathetic.

One of my favorite old sayings goes like this:  “It’s not enough to pull drowning people out of a raging stream; we must walk back upstream, and see who is throwing them in in the first place!”  Charity (pulling people out of whatever raging stream they’re in, like poverty, disease, discrimination, hunger) is a great and cherished tradition. Nothing wrong with it—as far as it goes. In addition to rescue and charity work, people of faith—indeed all who long for justice—must also do the hard, systemic work of changing the systems that cause and trap people in demeaning, dehumanizing conditions in the first place.  Some of those oppressive systems are found in the Church itself! Not just the pope’s church, but my church and every religious community of believers.

If Pope Francis is to be believed in all the kindly pronouncements of his first year (and I do), his good tone should be followed by the tough work of changing the systems of belief, doctrine and religious practice which perpetuate the victimization of those he seeks to serve. It is a small step forward to say of homosexuals, “Who am I to judge?”  Yet the official teaching of the Catholic Church is that homosexuals are “intrinsically disordered.”  Not a lot of wriggle room in that, is there?  That judgment and teaching about LGBT people is the basis for discrimination, rejection and violence the world over. It is fine to verbally decry the ecclesial “circle the wagons” approach to the child sexual abuse exposed in the last two decades, but real commitment to the safety of vulnerable children will require the Church to take steps to value and protect those children over the careers and reputations of its abusing priests.  Positive comments about the contributions of women in and to the Church sound fine, but what is needed is a long, hard look at its entire approach to human sexuality and gender which still treats its female adherents as “less than.”

I do not mean to be uncharitable here, nor naive. Such systemic overhaul of an institution that has existed for the better part of two millennia cannot and will not happen overnight, if it is seriously tried at all. Under the leadership of Pope Francis, the Church may have the best chance at giving it a serious try since the Second Vatican Council under Pope John XXIII.  But the Vatican Curia was there before he was elected pope, and it will be there long after his ministry ends.  There will be resistance to any change, much less the kind of change to which Francis’s humble ways point.  Over the years, we have learned what happens to people who are just too good for us!  But this pope seems to know that sacrifice is part of the deal of living with God.

I hope this pope keeps surprising and delighting us, sitting a boy in his papal chair and allegedly sneaking out of the Vatican at night to work with the homeless!  I hope he continues to show us the mind of Christ by his acts of humility and compassion. I pray that he persists in eschewing luxury and pretension. And I pray that he will stay close to the Son of God he is supposed to represent on earth, despite the institution’s every effort to tame their new leader and rob him of his pizazz.

The Catholic Church is a mighty big ship to turn around, even with a beautiful, charismatic, and inspiring captain at the helm. But God is good, and God will be at Francis’ side as he challenges the Church to live up to its lofty, humble, servant values. Like I said, I pray for him every day.
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Visit our web site: http://servantsofthefather.org

Subscribe to the blog:  www.HomelessinAmerica.blogspot.com

Follow us on Twitter: GaryJoseph@Help_4Homeless

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pot of Gold


"Pot of Gold" Raffle is taking place now!  A 50/50 fundraiser for the Servants of the Father of Mercy mission to serve water, clothing, food and blankets to 1,000s of homeless in So Cal.  You could win $1,000s of dollars "Pot of Gold"!

Tickets are $1.00 each, 6 for $5.00 or 15 for $10.00

Winner will be drawn 6pm, St. Patrick's Day, Monday, March 17,2014 At:
Corn Beef & Cabbage with Green Beer Dinner
Hosted by Mai Pham, Mai's Cafe
1967 E. Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001
 
Drawing between 7p and 8p at Mai's, winner need not be present!
 
Get your tickets now by contacting: Bro. Gary Joseph,   Miguel Dorado Rubio, Nancy Pena, Catherine Delgado, Angelique Gabrielle Perez, Mai's Café, Mai Pham, DiaClau Montevene or by calling 310-595-4175, or by email gary@servantsofthefather.org.

The fine print . . . Amount of the "Pot of Gold" is not guaranteed. Winner need not be present.  Sponsored by the Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc. & Mai’s Café, 1967 E. Main St., Ventura, CA.  Servants of the Father of Mercy “The New American Missionaries Bringing Our Homeless Home.” A 501 (c) 3 nonprofit tax-exempt and a Private Association of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Internal Revenue Service Tax Identification Number 26 – 3855133. Listed in the Official Catholic Directory page 732.
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Visit our web site: http://servantsofthefather.org

Subscribe to the blog:  www.HomelessinAmerica.blogspot.com

Follow us on Twitter: GaryJoseph@Help_4Homeless

Another Riches to Rags Story



In 2002, Scott Neeson was the President of 20th Century Fox International overseeing films like "Titanic" and "X-Men."

The Scottish-born executive had a million-dollar salary, a yacht, a Porsche, and lived in Los Angeles' ritzy Brentwood neighborhood.

But in 2003, everything changed when Neeson went to visit Cambodia's Steung Meanchey garbage dump and saw children playing with syringes and broken glass.

"How could anyone survive here?" Neeson recalls to People magazine. "I couldn't look away."

During a second trip to Cambodia, Neeson was trying to help sick children near the dump when he received a call from an agent whose A-list client was "having a meltdown before boarding his private jet because it wasn't properly stocked with his favorite [in-flight entertainment] amenities."

It was a wake up call to Neeson, who tells People, "The kids I was with were very sick and here's this movie star yelling. If I needed a sign, that was it."

So Neeson left his high-paying Hollywood job and started a nonprofit called Cambodian Children's Fund.

"Since 2004, Neeson's charity has helped house, educate and provide health care for more than 1,450 children in the country's most desperate slums," according to People.

Now 53-years-old, Neeson has lived in Cambodia for the past ten years, where he says his one luxury is an espresso machine.

"I guess I identify with [the kids] never believing they could do anything with their lives," says Neeson, who gew up in a working-class household and dropped out of high school to deliver movie posters to theaters. "They've been through so much, but they're so hugely energetic and joyful. I've got more love in my life than I ever thought existed. My fear is what would have happened to me if I was still living a life all about me."

"I miss a lot of things about Hollywood," Neeson said, "but I wouldn't change this for the world."
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Visit our web site: http://servantsofthefather.org

Subscribe to the blog:  www.HomelessinAmerica.blogspot.com  

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hearing God's Voice this Lenten Season . . .



Yes, God does speak to us today, in much the same and diverse ways he has spoken in the past. In the Bible God speaks in dreams, angels unaware, through prophets, teachers, preachers, inspiration, in times of prayer, praise and worship and locutions to mention a few. The Bible tells us that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. If one is proud, arrogant, controlling and power seeking, it would be rare for God to speak to this kind of person. If one is poor and meek like Jesus, Jeremiah, the prophets and John the Baptist, God speaks to these types of individuals. Ultimately, he likes to speak to those who obey what he is telling them. The more we obey, the more he speaks, The less we obey, the less he speaks to that person. Mary was obedient to the message of the Angel in spite of the cost of hatred, stoning and persecution. To hear God's voice means to say yes when we know it will lead us to persecution for his name's sake.

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Visit our web site: http://servantsofthefather.org

Subscribe to the blog:  www.HomelessinAmerica.blogspot.com  

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