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Monday, October 1, 2012

House News

Bob Sampson and Tina Sipula attending the Midwest Catholic Worker gathering at 
Great Oaks in Lacon, IL.  Over 200 people were in attendance.

by Tina Sipula

     And so, the hottest summer of our lives is behind us, and the ramifications of what that means to the farmers has not yet been tallied, or how that will reflect on our grocery costs.  A few gardeners were able to share some of their produce with us, but not as much as in the years past.  My canning this year lasted only about two days, which resulted in a few batches of tomatoes, some hot peppers and some hot pepper jelly.  Perhaps some fall produce will hit the porch with the cool weather now and folks can enjoy the nourishment of fresh squash and perhaps some beets and greens.  Thanks to all who shared, because it is so seldom the people in our lines get to eat fresh food.
     Many thanks go to Moira Sennett, who came and spent her annual 10 days at Clare House this summer.  Moira took on the project of updating our mailing list.  This was a huge project the Wednesday volunteers started months ago, but Moira tackled it and wrote out our “delete list” by hand until her fingers cramped.  She also took charge of the house with Sr. Glenda so Bob and I could have a little time away.  There is very little private time for us here at Clare House with the door bells and phone seemingly constantly ringing, so we are so grateful for the opportunity to have a break and enjoy some time together. 
     A few weeks ago, the warehouse that stores our food from our annual food drive, warned us that we would probably run out of food before our food drive starts in November.  We contacted some of the local media, and the response has been wonderful!!  We now will be able to make it and keep our doors open until the food drive begins on November 1.  Some local businesses have pledged to collect food for us beginning now and continuing until our food drive ends on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, November 21.  If you would like to drop off food, the following places will accept food for us during their regular business hours:  I.S.U. golf course at Gregory and Adelaide Streets in Normal, the I.S.U. Fitness Center at 347 S. University St. in Normal, and Morris Tick Co. at 501 E. Stewart St. in Bloomington.
     Our Annual Holiday Food Drive is sponsored by Extreme Motors, Radio Bloomington and both Schnuck’s Supermarkets.  This food drive is what we rely on to keep our doors open all year long.  If you can help by putting a box out at your church, business or school, we would very much appreciate it.  It is these “mini food drives” that collectively help us reach our goal of 8 to 9 semi-truck loads of food.  If you would like to volunteer to help during the food drive, we need a couple of hundred people to sort the food at the warehouse twice a week during the month of November.  If you would like to have fun doing this with a great group of people, please call Mike Marvin at:  829-1518.
     In the July-August 1940 issue of “The Catholic Worker,” Dorothy Day wrote of “The Agony of the Poor,” which is still appropriate today:
“Our greatest misery is our poverty which gnaws at our vitals, which is an agony to the families in our midst.  And the only thing we can do about it is to appeal to you, our readers, begging your help.  Those of you who read this, those of you who have helped us before, please help us.  We are stewards, and we probably manage very badly in trying to take care of all those who come, the desperate, the dispossessed.  Like Peter, they say, “To whom else shall we go?” and they are our brothers in Christ.  They are more than that; they are Christ appearing to you.  So please help us to keep going.  Help these suffering members of the sorrowing Body of Christ.”

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