New Beginnings

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Author: Br. Jerry Johnson, OFM Cap. 

After having the wonderful opportunity to do formation work with novices from eight Capuchin provinces across North America, Guam, and Australia for the last five years, I’m beginning a new and exciting assignment with the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. For the next several months of orientation, I’ll be working at the different soup kitchen sites in order to see how the whole system works. More importantly, however, I’ll have the chance to meet the great people that are the heart of the ministry. I’m very blessed and grateful to be a part of the community here.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been visiting with everyone at the Meldrum site of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen (CSK) ministries. Even though there are heart-wrenching stories of suffering and difficulty, it seemed like every time I turned around, I was inspired by yet another example of creativity, faith, and courage. One inspiring story I learned was that the kitchen staff and volunteers, led by Chef Allison Costello, not only prepare meals, but occasionally at the same time facilitate six-week culinary training programs for young adults from the Grow Detroit Young Talent Program. This is the same program that Mr. Reggie Huff spoke about in last week’s blog. Another example of the effort to support the creative talent already present in the local area is the CSK Earthworks Training Program, or EAT. This generous group has been very hospitable to me and they have helped me understand the mission of the Earthworks urban agriculture program. While they focus mainly on agriculture, they have also shared with me delicious homemade desserts of sweet potato pie and bean pie. The bean pie was made from navy beans – you have to try it! It has been a living example of the of the out-pouring of life from God. This can be seen through the connections of the soil, healthy food, the importance of community, and all doing our best to nurture life by caring for one another.