On December 25, Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, yet the true date of Jesus’ birth is unknown. It could be the late December date, then again, it could have been in March or August or October. Clearly, a date just after the winter solstice was chosen for it’s symbolic importance. Throughout history cultures have marked the winter solstice as a time of renewal in a time of darkness. Will the sun return? Will life return to a world in dormancy? In a world filled with darkness where is hope to be found? While Christianity doesn’t celebrate the rebirth of the world, it does play off the primal fear of darkness and a “dying world.” But really, the actual day of Jesus’ birth is unimportant. What is important is what the birth of Jesus the Savior means to humanity.
Instead of celebrating the rebirth of creation, we Christians celebrate the “new heaven and a new earth” that comes into being with the birth of Jesus. We now have Emmanuel—God with us—to share in our humanity, to show us a better way to live, to comfort us in our daily struggles, to forge a new and deeper intimacy between God and creation. In a time of darkness when God’s people face utter destruction and all hope seems lost, God sends a comforting message: I will be with you. I will share in your daily joys and sorrows: family, work, worship, pain and suffering.
In our daily work at Catholic Worker Hospitality House we too try to walk with God’s people during their time of trial to comfort and encourage–to be a source of hope in a time of darkness. We serve and share in hot meals, provide both emergency and permanent housing; visit the sick, including taking folks to doctor appointments and to pick up medication; and visit the imprisoned, including letter writing and this year creating re-entry housing for folks coming out of prison. We do all this and more to enter into a deeper intimacy with our brothers and sisters.
This intimacy is what attracted me (as well as our staff, volunteers, and sup-
porters) to the Catholic Worker Movement. We have found that working and bonding with those in need has not only created close relationships, but has given us a better understanding of the plight of the poor and marginalized in the world. It has also made us less judgmental and more compassionate. By serving and nurturing we become better people, we enter into that new creation offered by the birth of Jesus. As someone who has not always been good, I love how the Catholic Worker Movement creates a place where it’s easier for all of us to be good and to do good, a place where we can all grow closer to God and one another.
For twenty-three years Catholic Worker Hospitality House has been a beacon of hope and love to the marginalized of our society, doing what we can in our daily work to comfort and care for God’s people. This Christmas we ask for your continued support of our work with those in need. With your help we can continue walking with God, serving God’s people, and enfleshing the new heaven and new earth offered by the birth of Jesus.
For all of us at Catholic Worker Hospitality House
WE GIVE THANKS
Once again Catholic Worker Hospitality House hosted a traditional Thanksgiving Feast for all our guests in the parish hall at St. Bruno’s Catholic Church. It was a lovely event with over two hundred folks joining us for a day filled with good food and friendship—and there was plenty of both. I love how not only our current dinning room and shelter guests attend, but guests from five years ago, ten years ago, and even twenty years ago return “home” to share in the holiday.
We are thankful for all of you who prepared and brought the food for the feast. By many people sharing some of their gifts, all have enough. Quite simply our Thanksgiving Feast would not be possible without your love and generosity.
We give thanks.
CHRISTMAS DINNER NEEDS
Can you help us host our annual Christmas dinner for our guests by cooking part of the meal? We need:
–Ham, cooked and carved, enough for 10 people
–Milk or juice
–Cookies, pie, or cake
Please bring food donations between 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Friday, December 21. We will be serving the meal between 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. that day. Food can be brought to our dining room at St. Bruno’s Church, located at 555 W. San Bruno Ave. in San Bruno. Please call
us at (650) 827-0706 if you can bring anything or if you have any questions. Thank You!
If you’re interested in providing a gift for one of our guests, may we suggest the following: sweatshirt, thermal underwear, gloves, socks, or underwear. Whether homeless or housed, our guests spend a lot of time in the cold and would appreciate any of these items. Gift cards are also very much appreciated, especially for places where folks can pass the time: coffee houses, restaurants, movie theaters (Century Theaters are close to us). We thank you for your generosity in helping to make this holiday season special for our guests.
Coffee, creamer, and sugar
Dish soap, disinfectant, cleanser
Trash bags (all sizes)
Shampoo and Conditioner
Money, for ongoing expenses