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With the announcement of the Beatification of our Capuchin friar Solanus Casey on November 18 at Ford Field, I’ve had a lot of people ask what this means for the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. When I see the old black and white photos of the long lines of people that waited to see Fr. Solanus what I’m reminded of is how much people suffer in our world. The Beatification is, in many ways, a very public acknowledgment of the amount of suffering that people face and a challenge to all of us to try to respond in some faith-filled way to what we ourselves and/or what others are going through. It might be checking in on a neighbor in need; carefully listening (like Fr. Solanus) to what someone is going through; or maybe questioning tendencies in policies in education, transportation, housing, and health care that might perpetuate some types suffering. And we ask for God’s help to find this healing.
Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of many people, churches, Dominican Sisters, staff and various organizations, a monumental amount of school supplies were donated to the Rosa Parks Program during August 2017
All together we were able to distribute 339 backpacks filled with school supplies. Finally, Friday afternoon, Sept. 1, we had to start packing supplies in plastic bags as we ran out of backpacks.
One of the best components of the school supply distribution was that before any supplies were given, a conversation was held with each child and their parent regarding how they were going to make education a priority this coming year. The discussions ensued with honest and worthwhile thoughts about more time on homework and reading—and less time on TV and social media.
Rosa Parks Youth program recently just ended its Summer Peace Camp with an amazing graduation celebration. At the graduation, we premiered a film entitled “We Matter,” which was created by the Rosa Parks Youth program teens and the Get Ahead Stay Ahead Project.
I was at the announcement when it as declared that Solanus Casey would officially be a blessed soon. I kept smiling as I thought of how proud and happy Br. Solanus would be that his original ministry of welcoming people has grown and grown. His spirit of hospitality has continued and extends to 6 different sites and to well over 1,500 people a day. I know he would love to visit our beautiful children and urge them to love and be kind to each other.