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The Capuchin ‘On The Rise’ bakery’s story began 10 years ago, when a man named Edward Collins walked into the Capuchin Soup Kitchen after 32 years in prison. The Department of Corrections had made a baker out of him during his time in the system, and his newfound skill took him to wardens’ birthdays and prison anniversaries. Upon his release, however, his felony gridlocked his ability to find employment, and Collins, disheartened, decided to return to the living he had known: selling drugs.
By Providence, Edward attended a Soup kitchen prayer session open to all guests and there met Cynthia Lockhart the Conner Kitchen chaplain. She referred him to Br. Ray Stadmeyer who tasted his pie and decided to let him use the Capuchin ovens in off hours to make products for Sunday bake sales at suburban Catholic parishes.
I greeted Monday March 20th by placing Neil Young & Crazy’s Horse’s “Rust Never Sleeps” on my turntable. It along with many other albums I find too depressing had been vacant from my listening routine for the last six dark months. With Monday’s return of equal day and light; the vernal equinox, I enjoyed my breakfast while listening to “My My, Hey Hey.” Certainly even with the return of the sun Mr. Young can be pretty bleak listening, but I always look forward to the return after his exile. Much as I might enjoy living in a place like California, I wonder if I would enjoy the sun as much, if it had not been banished for so many months, would the sun feel as warm if I didn’t have the contrast of the low dark days of winter.
The days are lasting longer; energy levels seem to be on the rise, birds are chirping more. But, I think we all can agree, we should expect more snow, even a possible storm. Another season is right around the corner, our Church’s liturgical season, Lent. Another season that we are actually in is referred to as Carnival, Mardi Gras, or as us Poles say, Karnivale. Mardi Gras tends to be the day prior to Ash Wednesday. Most folks don’t realize the religious connection to Mardi Gras, Carnival, Shrove Tuesday, Fasching or whatever you want to call it. In Christian parts of the world where it is celebrated as a season, others think of it like a week or day as a giant, binge drinking day of public revelry.
May the blessing of love be on you,
Live within you and all around you.
May it be your shelter in the storming hours,
And your warming fire when chill winds blow.