When I sit down to write our newsletters I normally try to share the exciting developments and accomplishments of our work, such as last year when I was regularly writing about the building of new affordable housing at the Second Ave House, or the comings and goings of various residents of our houses. Other times I write about moving events such as last month’s letter telling of long-time guests passing away. These are the easy letters to write, they almost write themselves. Not this month. For the past several weeks, I’ve been racking my brain to find something exciting or interesting to talk about in this letter, but I finally had to admit that there’s nothing exciting going on right now.
Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. I often say that when we are doing our job well, nobody notices. The place is clean, we open on time, we have plenty of food, the plumbing works, and the bills are paid. A well-run program can be “boring” at times. And that IS a good thing. I think of being a parent; one of the most important things parents can do for their children is provide a stable loving environment. Heck, we all want a stable loving environment. We want to know we will be safe, accepted, and that our needs will be provided for.
I have to admit that I’m proud of the stable loving environment we have created at Catholic Worker Hospitality House. And I emphasize the “WE.” Too often I get too much of the credit for the work we do. But I know I’m only responsible for part of it. I – we – are blessed with stable and loving co-workers, probably the best we’ve had in our twenty-seven years of service. Pat, Debbie, and Mike S. do a great job of staffing the shelter; and Mike D. works the dining room one day a week (and covers for me when I’m sick or away). They do a great job and treat our guests with dignity and respect – and that makes my job so much easier.
There is a further reason why our work is so stable – you, our supporters. Why are we able to always have plenty of good food, make needed repairs and upgrades on our buildings, and ensure our bills get paid on time? It’s because of your ongoing generous support, whether it is financial contributions, donations of food or other supplies, or volunteering at the dining room. Your kindness enables us at Catholic Worker Hospitality House to daily serve those in need in our community. We can’t underestimate how thankful we are of all you do to make our work possible. You are the heart that keeps the body working. We thank you for all your past support and hope that you will continue helping us serve those in need in both boring and exciting ways.
In Christ’s Peace,
For all of us at
Catholic Worker Hospitality House
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
— Philippians 1:3-5