The needs do not stop coming in just because the Governor says, stop. On March 19, 2020, I received a call from Mike Boover, a Catholic Worker from the Mustard Seed in Worcester. They had two groups back out of their commitment to supply 100 bag lunches for April 3 and 9, 2020. He called wondering, “Is there any way the Urban Missionaries could help?”
I immediately started to call our different resources that might have the capability to produce one-hundred sandwiches and desserts. After a few calls, and as I was saying a bunch of Hail Marys, the thought came to me, “How about St. Mark’s and how about the Knights of Columbus Council 12710 at Saint Mark’s?” With everyone homebound maybe they would be up to this task. So I call my Pastor, Fr. Mike, and asked, “Are you bored?” “Yes,” came his reply with a giggle in his voice. “Well,” I said, “How would you like to help out the Mustard Seed. They need one-hundred bag lunches for April 3, 2020. Think the parishioners would be able to get it done?” “Yes, what do we need to do?” he promptly replied. I told him I would get the details and get back to him. When I called my friend Mike, I left a message. I received a call from Paula Bushey from the Mustard Seed. She gave me all the information as to what and what not to put into the bag. I relayed this information to Fr. Mike. Within twenty-four hours, I received a Flocknote message from Saint Mark’s announcing the lunch bag drive.
Two days later, I received another Flocknote message announcing that thirty-eight meals had been signed for. “Not bad,” I thought, “I hope they come through for us!” Then the count went to eighty-one, then to ninety-eight, then to one-hundred twelve!!! I had the blessing of picking up the food bags on April 3, from 9:30 AM to 12:00, in the pouring rain may I add. Then it was off to the Mustard Seed to meet Paula and offload the bags of food. Did I mention the pouring rain?
In the meantime, I sent an email to our Grand Knight, Gary Pothier, asking if it would be OK to send an appeal to the Knights to supply one-hundred bagged lunches for April 9, 2020. I got an immediate reply, “Walter I will send out the notice to the Knights and see what the response is.” An hour later I received the appeal from Gary in an email. Within two hours we got the first reply from a brother Knight, Deacon Dan Lavoie, “We will do ten meals.” And it was on, within five days we had pledges for one-hundred seventeen bagged lunches. I will be picking up the Knights donation and delivering it to the Mustard Seed. God is Good!!
And then, on April 2, 2020, I was looking through my Facebook account and saw this, “Does anyone have a laptop I can borrow for a couple of weeks?” I immediately wrote, “Contact me at email@example.com.” Within minutes I received an email. “Thank you, do you have a laptop?” I replied, “Where do you live?” she answered, “In Gardner.” I replied, “I am in Worcester. Can you come to Worcester to pick up the laptop?” She replied, “Yes I can. I go to Our Lady of Lourdes in Worcester and Fr. Brian O’Toole does the rosary and morning prayer on Zoom so that is why I need the laptop.” I sent her instructions on how to get to the Cathedral of Saint Paul and set up an appointment for 10:00 A.M. on April 4, 2020. God is very good!
At 10:00 A.M, She was ringing the doorbell. I opened the door and invited her into the hallway of the food pantry. I gave her the laptop and reviewed what she would need to do to get it on the internet so she could use Zoom. She thanked me profusely and left with the biggest smile any face could conjure up. God is very, very good!
As of April 9, 2020 we are able to handle all of the food requests and any other requests for help that come our way.