Monday, June 18, 2018
Friday, June 15, 2018
"From settlers to sheriffs and from cooks to cowboys the American west was carved out by homeless people! From Abraham to Joseph and from David the shepherd boy to Jesus our faith was established by homeless people! The homeless are a sign, image and symbol of each person’s pilgrim journey to our eternal home."
bro. joseph + Servants of the Father of Mercy - www.servantsoftheFather.org
By Elise Harris
Vatican City, Jun 14, 2018 / 05:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his message for this year's World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis challenged Catholics on their attitude toward the impoverished, asking whether they really listen to and love the needy, or engage in charity only to please themselves.
“The condition of poverty cannot be expressed in a word, but becomes a cry which crosses the heavens and reaches God. What does the cry of the poor express if not their suffering and solitude, their delusion and hope?” the pope said in his message.
“How it is that this cry, which rises to the presence of God, is unable to penetrate our ears and leaves us indifferent and impassive?” he asked, saying the World Day of the Poor is a call “to make a serious examination of conscience in order to understand if we are really capable of hearing them.”
Francis stressed the importance of being silent in order to really listen to those in need, saying that speaking too much of oneself will make a person deaf to the voice and the cry of the poor.
The pope expressed concern that at times initiatives aimed at helping the poor, which in themselves are “meritorious and necessary,” are carried out with an intention “more to please those who undertake them than to really acknowledge the cry of the poor.”
“If this is the case, when the cry of the poor rings out our reaction is incoherent and we are unable to empathize with their condition. We are so entrapped in a culture which obliges us to look in the mirror and to pamper ourselves that we believe that a gesture of altruism is sufficient without compromising ourselves directly.”
Pope Francis' message, titled “This poor man cried and the Lord heard him,” is based on Psalm 34 and was published June 14 in anticipation of the second World Day of the Poor, which he instituted at the close of the Jubilee of Mercy. The event now takes place throughout the world on the 34th Sunday of ordinary time, which this year falls on Nov. 18.
In his message, Pope Francis said that when it comes to serving the poor, “the last thing we need is a battle for first place.”
Rather, one must humbly recognize that it is the Holy Spirit who inspires people to be a concrete sign of God's closeness, since he is the one who opens eyes and hearts to conversion.
The poor, he said, “have no need of protagonists, but of a love which knows how to hide and forget the good which it has done.” The true protagonists, he said, “are the Lord and the poor. He who desires to serve is an instrument in God’s hands in order to make manifest His presence and salvation.”
Pointing to St. Paul's affirmation in the First Letter to the Corinthians that “the eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you,' nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you,'” Francis said this phrase goes not only for the different charisms of the Church, but it also goes for the poor and vulnerable in society.
True disciples of Christ, then, must not harbor “sentiments of contempt or pietism towards the poor,” but instead are called “to honor them, giving them precedence, out of the conviction that they are a real presence of Jesus in our midst.”
Francis also highlighted three verbs used by King David, the author of psalm 34, which are “to cry,” “to answer” and “to free.”
Not only are Christians called to hear the cry of the poor, but they must also answer, he said, noting that God's answer to the poor is highlighted throughout salvation history.
“God’s answer to the poor is always an intervention of salvation in order to heal the wounds of body and soul, restore justice and assist in beginning anew to live life with dignity,” he said, adding that this response is also an appeal for believers to do the same.
The World Day of the Poor is “a small answer” which the entire Church gives to poor people throughout the world as a sign of solidarity and shared concern, he said, and stressed the importance of having a personal encounter with those in need.
“It is not delegated power of which the poor have need, but the personal involvement of as many hear their cry,” he said, adding that “the concern of believers in their regards cannot be limited to a kind of assistance – as useful and as providential as this may be in the beginning – but requires a loving attentiveness which honors the person as such and seeks out his best interests.”
Pope Francis also spoke of the need to free the poor from the causes of poverty, which are frequently rooted in “selfishness, pride, greed and injustice.”
“These are evils as old as man himself, but also sins in which the innocents are caught up, leading to consequences on the social level which are dramatic,” he said.
To help migrants escape pride and injustice, then, means to free them from “the snare of the fowler” and to “subtract them from the trap hidden on their path, in order that they might proceed expeditiously and look serenely upon life.”
Like the poor blind man Bartimaeus from Mark's Gospel who was sitting on the side of the road begging when Jesus passed by, many poor people today are also sitting by the road waiting for someone to come and listen to their needs, Francis said.
“Unfortunately, often the opposite happens and the poor are reached by voices rebuking them and telling them to shut up and to put up.”
These voices, the pope said, are “out of tune” and are guided by “a phobia of the poor, considered not only as destitute, but also as bearers of insecurity and instability, detached from the habits of daily life and, consequently, to be rejected and kept afar.”
By distancing oneself from the poor, one also distances oneself from God, he said, and urged greater solidarity on the part of Catholics through initiatives such as sharing a meal with the poor and needy.
Pope Francis closed his message saying it is often the poor who “undermine our indifference, which is the daughter of a vision of life which is too imminent and bound up with the present.”
Only by becoming rich before God, putting material wealth in secondary place, can a person truly grow in humanity and become capable of sharing with others, he said, and urged both consecrated persons and laity to “make tangible the Church’s response to the cry of the poor.”
“The poor evangelize us, helping us to discover every day the beauty of the Gospel,” he said. “Let us not waste this opportunity for grace.”
Thursday, June 14, 2018
Even if a father forsake his child or a mother abandon you, God the Father is forever your daddy, "Abba Father." Happy Father's Day!
(Each year in June, the Servants of the Father of Mercy celebrate our Patron "God the Father of Mercy" as inspired by Rembrandt in his 1669 painting "Prodigal Son" standing 8 ft. tall at a museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. You can gain personal and family graces by acknowledging God the Father this Father's Day when you pray the Lord's Prayer.)
"Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. Amen
"For Thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen."
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Rosaries first appeared in the ministry to our homeless family in 2008 after a mysterious package of rosaries appeared at our P. O. Box in Los Angeles just 3 days after it was opened. The rosaries had been sent many days earlier by an elderly woman shut-in who said "I found your address in a Catholic newspaper!" (Impossible!)
Since that time, Our Lady of the Rosary Makers (San Leandro, CA - Seattle, WA - Alaska, Myrtle Beach, SC, - Calgary, Canada and Santa Barbara, CA) have delivered more than 20,000 rosaries over the past 10 years to our Servants of the Father of Mercy 80,000 + homeless family in Southern California and beyond . . .
Saturday, June 2, 2018
"Observing Pollyanna's childish wonder at a glass prism converting light into a rainbow, Mr. Pendleton sobbed at the child’s beautiful outlook." (From the book "Pollyanna" that was made into a movie with Hayley Mills, 1960)
Matthew 18:3 "Jesus said to them, 'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'"The photo is a prism hanging from the skylight and shining hear the front door at 4:30pm today.
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
The new Servants of the Father of Mercy "Mobile Rescue Mission" compliments our StreetReaches that since 2001 serve 80,000 + homeless in Southern California and beyond . . . Currently, the mobile unit outreaches to 25,000 "Wheel Estate" homeless in the region living off-grid in camp grounds, RV parks, parking lots and on our city streets. From the basics like camping supplies, food and water to counseling and pastoral care they receive deliveries of varied and unique attention.
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Dear Team, Family, Friends, Supporters and Donors,
The long-awaited summer schedule is being distributed this Memorial Day Weekend at our 12th annual weekend retreat.
From serving 1000s of Downtown Los Angeles homeless to a Red Brick Pizza Anniversary Celebration in Ventura to the parched homeless living in 120-degree summer heat in Palm Desert - this newsletter has it all . . . Good news, however!
You are receiving a copy as well in a JPEG photo file format below so you can save and print copies for your home or office.
At the end of August there will be a new publication with the schedule for Fall and the December Holidays.
God bless you for caring and sharing the homeless missionary events and StreatReaches of the Servants of the Father of Mercy. Bro. Gary +
P.S. Got questions? Feel free to leave a comment below!
At our annual team retreat this past weekend, the insight unanimously came up that the weekly killing of school students in the US is the culmination of a very slow process of killing off God in the classroom since the 1960s. Since that time, many fought to remove prayer from school and later removed any mention of God in the classroom.Like abortion, the more that an entire country conspires to kill God off in various ways, they can also expect anarchy to consume the people. Of course Paul predicted this when he said . . . "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, relentless in evil, slanderers, extravagant, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it." 2 Timothy 3
So believe it or not, the return of the Lord is very soon, we just don't know the day or the hour. However, we do know the season as Jesus defined it and he said that the generation living in that season, they will witness his return. That's us! Moral of the story, everyone should be getting ready as if His coming is tomorrow. How? By being clothed in garments of charity, mercy, love and compassion and thereby confirming their dinner reservation in heaven!A public service announcement of the Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc. "Bringing our Homeless Home." Donate at www.ServantsoftheFather.org
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
"Pepper" has been on my mind a lot lately. We've had the privilege to love and serve this young man in his brokenness and poverty since 2001.
Pepper is filled with an internal joy and natural desire to help others. Over time he has become widely known as the "Mayor of Downtown" Los Angeles.
Not many years ago he saw me under a bridge, gave a big hug and said "I follow God now!" He also tossed his weapons over the bridge into the LA River. Here is a minute movie short, "Pepper!" Pray for him, he will steal your heart . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGeN9MTqYag
P.S. Please remember help the Servants of the Father of Mercy. Just like Dominoes' "We Deliver!" supplies to 80,000 + homeless www.ServantsoftheFather.org Thank you, Bro. Joseph +
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Approximately 25,000 of the 80,000 homeless in Southern California have joined the "Wheel Estate Boom" and are now lodging in automobiles, late-model Winnebago's and make-shift trailers. With average apartment rents in the region exceeding $1,400 a month, homeless have turned to the streets, Walmart parking lots, churches and RV camp sites to make ends-meat. "Mobile Homeless" make no apologies in the Golden State where the working poor cannot find stable housing. Their new motto? "God loves trailer trash too!"
Monday, May 14, 2018
Pray for our brother Cody? Various census have pinpointed 85% percent of the homeless in the US are just "boys" and men. Being homeless truly is a gender issue. It is also a national issue too. Forty-five percent of our homeless family are war veterans and only 4% are women. Men are more likely to experience combat, mental illness and PTSD that leaves their friends and family unable to cope. Homeless men should be everyone's concern along with women and children!
Saturday, May 12, 2018
"On this retreat, just give God a small bit of your time and God will give you back a hundred-fold an eternity of time!" Bro. Joseph +
Who all is coming on the 12th Annual "Youth & Family" Servants of the Father of Mercy retreat?
* * * When? May 25, 26, 27 (meals included, rooms available)
* * * Where? Siena Prayer Center, 1931 Poli Street
* * * Who? You and your family!
* * * What? Monsignor Liam Kidney pastor of Corpus Christi Church and Bro. Gary Joseph founder of Servants of the Father of Mercy takes us all on a journey of "Adoption, whereby we cry out 'Abba Father.'"
* * * RSVP in the comments below for a lifetime of inspiration!
"On this retreat, give God a small part of your year and God will give you back a year that does not fall apart!" Bro. Joseph +
Friday, May 11, 2018
A HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MESSAGE
“And the Lord God said to the serpent, because you have done this, I will put at war between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; she shall crush your head, and you will lie in wait at her heel” (Gen. 3:15).
Paraphrased . . . “Since you have made use of Eve to lead mankind into sin, I will make use of a woman to bring about the redemption of humankind. The woman I will choose and prepare, inferior to you by nature, will be superior in grace and glory to what you were before your fall, and more powerful than you and all your rebellious followers. Never for a moment will you be able to seduce her as you did Eve, or have dominion over her. With the power of the Church, her children, she will crush your head. Mary will be My instrument in your humiliating defeat, and your eternal shame and damnation.”
Thank you mom . . . Happy Mother's Day to each mother one and all and a special shout out to those called "Mary!" Bro Joseph +
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
"By helping the lost and forsaken, we confirm our own adoption as sons and daughters of God!" Bro. Gary Joseph +
“Behold, what manner of love the Father has lavished upon us. That we should be called children of God." 1 John 3
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
GET TO KNOW YOUR ADOPTION AND YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN AT THE 11TH ANNUAL YOUTH & FAMILY RETREAT
SERVANTS OF THE FATHER OF MERCY
FREE BY DONATION
MAY 25 - 27, 2018
Reserve Now to Attend in the Comments Below!
A Three-Day Retreat at the Siena Prayer Center, 1931 Poli Street, Ventura, CA 93001 . . .
Overnight accommodations available for out of towners!
Includes all meals, snacks and retreat!
Monsignor Liam Kidney returns this year as our retreat's spiritual guide. Join him and us for a lifetime of spiritual wealth and inspiration!
Take the 101 to Ventura, CA. Exit Seaward Ave. in downtown Ventura. Go east 4 stop lights. Take a left on Main Street. The next block to the right is Santa Cruz, (just past Mai’s Café). Go right on Santa Cruz Street. The street dead ends, drive straight ahead, 1931 Poli St. Enter the parking lot and drive to the right, circle back behind the buildings. Park in the back, Siena House of Prayer is on your left.
Or arrive by Amtrak, just minutes away!