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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Food Drive at US Cellular Coliseum on March 24th!

Music Connections Foundation,
who offers Kindermusik to area families,
in conjunction with the Central Illinois Drive Professional Basketball team
and the U.S. Cellular Coliseum,
will sponsor a
Food Drive to benefit Clare House
on Saturday, March 24, 2012.

Fans are asked to bring non-perishable goods (within date, please!)
to the 1:05 pm basketball game
and deposit in the receptacles provided.
For additional information regarding the basketball game, log onto

Clare House News
by Tina Sipula

     It is Ash Wednesday when I sit and write and the basement is full of volunteers bagging groceries for Friday’s hand-out. Bill, Bob, Kathy, Deborah, Ed, Mignon, are all on-deck to sort through many boxes of food to bag up at least 100 bags to be ready for Friday’s hand-out. They are a faithful crew who have been coming for years and years and laughter wafts up the stairs as they work.
     When they come in, we speak of Lent and ashes, and Bill and I were at the same Mass at 7:00 a.m., and Sr. Glenda reminds us that we are all made of “fairy dust” from God, and she used to tell the children at St. James parish in Decatur they were from “fairy dust.” I like that.
     I want to believe that we are all from the same dust that God created in the very beginning of the Universe. We are all the same. We are all from the very beginning and are all brothers and sisters. If the whole world believed in that, what a different world it would be. We strive to treat everyone as our brother or sister and greet each person as if they are Christ.
     At Christmastime, the Tinervan family came through again with turkeys for everyone in the line, and huge boxes of food and produce for everyone. Thankfully the weather was warm enough to hand out everything in the parking lot again this year. We give many thanks to the Tinervans for their annual Christmas donations, and we give thanks for the pledged support of the Gudeman family who are now on deck with us every week to help here and at the soup kitchen. They are a family of seven who weekly contribute and volunteer at the soup kitchen and here at the house. I feel like an auntie to the children who range in age from four to fourteen. What a blessing!
     Last Sunday I spoke at the Peace and Justice Group from the Mennonite Church and one of the members reminded us of the pacifism of Dorothy Day. We live in a world of such turmoil and violence. Let us pledge to work for a world of peace and justice every day of our lives. Many of the Catholic Workers I know put their lives on the line every day and are in jail for acts of civil disobedience protesting war and injustice. Please pray for them and all who work for peace and justice in the world.
     During this Lenten Season, please consider this passage from Isaiah, Chapter 58, vs. 6-7:

“This is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke;setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke;sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own.”

Blessings for Lent and Easter,
Tina Sipula

Our Updated Wish List...

Stamps, celery, onions, chickens, hams, eggs, cheese, lunch meat, ground beef, chuck roasts, soup base, fruit, large cans of soup, tuna, tomatoes, baked beans, chili beans, hot dogs, buns, 1 gallon baggies, 33 gallon trash bags, small heavy paper plates, powdered drink mix, cereal, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, baby food, baby wipes, baby formula, diapers, toilet paper, sanitary pads, paper towels.

  • Money for: bills, taxes, insurance
  • Gift Certificates for grocery stores
  • Tickets to anywhere

Feeling Good at Clare House

by Bill Tolone

     When we volunteer at Clare House, it's easy to feel good when we think we're "making a difference" in people's lives by distributing food to our sisters and brothers in need. While there's some truth in this, it's dangerous to believe that only we are the ones helping others to grow and "help themselves." What is equally true is that, when our sisters and brothers come to us at Clare House in need of food, they are the ones who help us grow in many ways. We owe them thanks for this chance to act within God's plan. This is truly a win-win situation.
     What if Clare House didn't exist? Would our sisters and brothers still find food in other places within Bloomington-Normal? Probably. But, as part of the Catholic Worker Movement, Clare House provides a unique opportunity for all of us to show our love and concern for each other. What we do at Clare House does not result in monetary gain for anyone. Nor does volunteering at Clare House necessarily give us any privileged status. Being a part of Clare House is simply a way to show that we're all in this together.
     Many years ago, I read an article entitled "It's Not Easy Being Green," dealing with the topic of biracial or multiracial lineage. The author, who was biracial, talked about her difficulties in "fitting in" with others who were not--at least visibly--biracial or multiracial. At Clare House, it is easy being "green" because we realize that we all share many racial, ethnic, gender and lifestyle characteristics. In other words, we realize that in many ways we are all the same on this earth. We can talk with and relate to each other in so many ways. We can even come to better understand each other.
     So, who benefits the most from Clare House?

Annual Tradition Benefits Clare House

by Anne Murray

The Murray Family has gone "Caroling for the Clare House" for the past 2 years on December 23rd - we have always loved singing together, especially at Christmas, and we thought it would be a fun way to share music with our neighborhood in Rollingbrook South subdivision and give our neighbors the opportunity to share with the Clare House! 

A new addition to our tradition this year was the incorporation of the “Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest!” Pictured above: Laura, Joyce, and Amanda.

The day before my youngest son, Bryan, and I go around several streets in our neighborhood, hanging invitations on mailboxes to leave a bag on the porch the next night when we come by. This year, we had over 25 homes participate! Many were waiting outside or came to their doors to listen to us carol! Mike's parents, Bill & Joyce Murray, volunteered at the Clare House and have passed that down to their children and grandchildren! After we go caroling, we come back to our house for hot chocolate, Christmas goodies, and family time together! Looking forward to next year! 

Our son, Bryan on the left with his cousins Brady & Garrett Murray - silly hats went along with ugly christmas sweaters!


by Toby Gudeman

     “We who mystically represent the Cherubim and who sing to the Life-Giving Trinity the thrice-holy hymn.” Thus the Orthodox sing before the Great Entrance each Sunday, where the very ordinary looking people stand before God and sing representing those angelic beings, “six winged, many eyed, who soar aloft, borne on their pinions, singing the triumphant hymn; shouting, proclaiming, and saying: Holy, Holy, Holy” without ceasing. Great and glorious mystery that people who would not inspire a second look on the street should stand for those awesome ones who guarded the Garden of Eden, whose image was over the mercy seat, who filled Ezekiel's vision, and among whom God dwells.
     But there is another mystical representation that takes place, not surrounded in liturgy housed in a church, but outside the side door of a house on Washington street without ceremony. There those in need line up to receive food, drink, gloves, hats, blankets, diapers, wipes, baby food and formula. They look like people, people you see everyday, but they mystically represent the Son of God, Jesus Christ. For He said, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' Food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, in faith believing to feed those at the door of the house on Washington street is to feed the King of Heaven. Who loves the Lord must hold these most dear. “Lovest thou me . . . Feed my sheep.”
    “Remember, O Lord, those who bring forth offerings and do good works in Thy holy churches, those who remember the poor, and upon us all send forth Thy mercies.”      

We Can't Leave Our Values At The Door

     The National Prayer Breakfast was on February 2, 2012. In his speech, President Barack Obama made mention of Dorothy Day as a “great reformer in American history.” Below is the quote from the President's speech:

“We can't leave our values at the door. If we leave our values at the door, we abandon much of the moral glue that has held our nation together for centuries, and allowed us to become somewhat more perfect a union. Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Jane Addams, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, Abraham Heschel -- the majority of great reformers in American history did their work not just because it was sound policy, or they had done good analysis, or understood how to exercise good politics, but because their faith and their values dictated it, and called for bold action -- sometimes in the face of indifference, sometimes in the face of resistance.”

At the soup kitchen....

Tina Sipula, unloading cardboard for recycling and unloading soup at the soup kitchen.


by Sister Glenda Bourgeois

     During the past decade I have experienced a quantum awakening. Becoming more aware of the Journey of the Universe I have started to see the world differently and myself in a whole new way. This perspective (in my limited understanding of it) is exciting and integrative. It is the Mystery that invades and envelopes me. So, it is in this perspective that I offer a Lenten reflection.
     For many years each of us has celebrated symbol-filled liturgies that invite reflection on the mystery of life and death. We do this walking with Jesus as his life winds down to that moment when he passes from this life to life beyond life in resurrection, a truly transformative event.
     This journey of Jesus is iconic for every Christian in immediate as in ultimate ways. Death is integral to life. The pull and tug of self-dissolution --those little dyings by self denial, by delayed gratification and by fidelity to the truth of who we are--strengthens our capacity for self-transcendence.
     We become aware that in the life of Jesus as well as in the cosmic journey there is a giving over of life on behalf of ever- expanding creativity. The journey from death to life is the pattern of cosmic evolution. Death is part of the on-going development of the universe. We see this in many ways, one of which is the image of supernovas. A supernova is the death eruption of a star. Our earth and we ourselves were born out of such an event. The elements of the star that died find continuation in our earth and in our selves.
     Jesus invites reflection on this reality in words that John attributes to him: “Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains alone, but if it dies it will bear much fruit.” “I have come that they may have life, life to the full.” Here we are encouraged to accept the truth that death does not have the final say. We are invited to trust the Mystery at the heart of the process. Judy Cannato expresses the Mystery so succinctly.”In every moment of death there is release of the Spirit and in every movement of the Spirit there is resurrection and life.”
Death to life is a universal truth. It is the archetype for every life journey, the journey of the universe, the journey of Jesus and my own journey.