The Fast of Hermas

Fasting With the shepherd of Hermas So many of you have made your Lenten offerings by donating to the Fast of Hermas.  It’s been a great help to us.  This year, upon medical advice, I am unable to fast but we’re asking you to continue the spirit of the Fast of Hermas, possibly fast a little yourself, and keep our Lenten appeal in mind. Hermas was an early Christian, who resided in Rome early in the second century of the Christian Era. A well-to-do freedman, Hermas set down a formula Read more [...]

First night – Our First Night, That is.

Most of you know about our annual Christmas Giving program and what happens when we open up the the doors. For those of you who haven’t heard the story, let me fill you in. In years gone by, Ken Ricardi and I would get to 242 Canterbury at 4:00 A.M. We would sit, have a cup of coffee, and speculate how many others would be waiting when we lifted the overhead door. Some years there would be two, or three, or five mothers standing outside our front door waiting for us to open. This year was a Read more [...]

This is a Christmas Story of Another Color

Anyone who has been following this ministry, knows that Christmas is our biggest thrill. Did you know, however, that over the years we have developed some very particular traditions? One of them is our annual bag party. That’s right a bag party, and it does get somewhat raucous. Ok, let me explain. You know that each of the bags of gifts we pass out each year has a label on it that identifies a special boy or girl. Have you ever thought about how that bag label gets on the bag, all 2,200 Read more [...]

My first Christmas at the Urban Missionaries

I have heard so many wonderful stories from all of the people I've met this Christmas season that it is hard to remember them all.  One story that I remember really touched my heart, and made me have a little sniffle. There was an older couple that came to volunteer. All of their children had grown up and moved away.   Their grandchildren had also grown up and were in many different places. They weren't going to be alone for Christmas, but it just wasn’t as busy as it use to Read more [...]

What Urban Missionaries Do

This is a story about a boy, a daddy, a family, and a grandfather. It just sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. It all started when Gregory's daddy died very unexpectedly. We got involved when the family asked us to do a pickup of furniture and household items. When we arrived, we were lead into an apartment to do the pickup. As usual, we took the table and chairs and some household items, most things that were left would go to the landfill. One of the items was a large fish tank. It looked Read more [...]

AmazonSmile

We recently set up our account with the AmazonSmile program. It has already started to generate a stream of income for us. now, we are trying to get the word out to all you Amazon shoppers to select either urban Missionaries of Our Lady of Hope or Refugee Apostolate, Inc. This will allow us to receive the benefit of your shopping on AmazonSmile. “What is AmazonSmile? AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and Read more [...]

Changes, Changes

As we told you in prior issues of StreetLights, we will be making some changes to StreetLights beginning with our February 2018 edition! We will be reducing the total number of pages to four, adding color pictures, and providing links to point you to a more in depth copy of any article. We will also be asking you for an email address that we can use to send your copy of StreetLights, which will allow you to easily go from one article to another simply by clicking on the article’s link. StreetLights Read more [...]

The Director’s Chair

Well it is Christmas once again! I don’t know about you, but this issue of StreetLights seems to be coming around all to quickly to suit me. I was just getting into the swing of summer and all of a sudden it is winter! Good grief. We are really moving along here with all of our outreach programs. We are as busy as ever. Our newest program that we are formulating is “Saints-in-Training” which will be an outreach collaboration program with various church youth groups to the elderly. We have Read more [...]

Merry Christmas!

Our Christmas Season is well underway! Once again, we are reaching out to you for a donation of your hard earned cash so that we can continue our Christmas Giving Program. We always wonder how in heaven’s name we are going to be able to get somewhere around 15,000 gifts. To say that it causes us to doubt is an understatement! However, we have learned from the past, and what you have taught us is that you are there and ready to help. We are praying that this year is no exception. We could Read more [...]

What Urban Missionaries Do!

Today I had one of those experiences, you know the kind that just jump out at you, smile and say, “Here I am!” Well, this one had the audacity to pop into my mind as we were gathering for our Tuesday prayer service. I had gone up to the meditation room ten minutes before noon, our usual time, so I could have some quiet time with the Lord before everyone else came up. As the folks were starting to gather, I noticed that someone was moving chairs around in anticipation of the number of people Read more [...]

Bag Party!

  You are invited to attended the Annual Trash Bag Party!!!!   Saturday, November 23, 2018 From 12 noon until 5 pm     Festivities take place at:   242 Canterbury St. Worcester MA 01603     Lots of snacks and beverages! RSVP appreciated!     Come on down and do a good deed before the holiday season overruns your good intentions! You're having a what? You're having a what?... So you are probably asking yourself "what in Read more [...]

Annual Anniversary Party

Once again the Urban Missionaries of our Lady of hope will celebrate another year of blessings received and works of charity accomplished by the Grace of God. We will gather on October 20, 2018 at Saint Joan of Arc Parish, 570 Lincoln Street, Worcester, MA, in the ARC at 6:00 p.m. for the celebration of a Mass of Thanksgiving for all of the blessings given to us this year. A short program will follow and a buffet of hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be available. We hope to see you there. This Read more [...]

Thank you, Volunteers

For all of our 39 years of existence, there has been one constant that makes this ministry what it is. It is the number of volunteers who come to the Little Store and offer help. Kathy and I are always overwhelmed when we see the individuals and families and groups of friends passing through our doorway. They are full of energy, and laughter is their sign. It moves the soul! We tell everyone about our volunteers. They are our heroes. the dictionary defines a hero as, “a person who is admired Read more [...]

Just a Heads Up

Once again we are gearing up for the Christmas Giving Program. Yup, it all starts at 5:00 a.m. Saturday, October 6, 2018.  I just love writing to you about Christmas while the temperature is in the 90’s! However, I do need to make you aware that we will be counting on you to come and volunteer starting on the first Saturday in October and continuing right up to December 24th. We will be doing applicant intake every Saturday, from 5:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Starting October 6, 2018, and also Read more [...]

Welcome Karla Reuter!

We are pleased to introduce the latest member to join our team, Ms. Karla Reuter. Karla is program manager for Food Distribution, Christmas Giving Program, and the Saint Stephen Housing Initiative. Karla has a Bachelor of Science in Education, a Master of Religious Education, and a Certificate of Youth Ministry Studies. She was most recently employed as the Religious Ed. Coordinator at Saint Anne Parish in Southborough. Karla lives in Northborough, with her husband Deacon Paul, and her four Read more [...]

What Urban Missionaries Do

For years now we have been struggling with the problem of when/where/how to place newly arrived refugees, immigrants, and asylees into apartments in the city. Many are newly arrived and really don’t understand the rights and responsibilities of being a tenant and some landlords may take advantage of this, much to the detriment of the tenant. Let us be clear, we are not saying all landlords are not nice, but over the years we have met a few who aren’t and it always costs the tenant. We have Read more [...]

Summer Fun Giveaway

It started with a phone call from, of all places, the company that does our trash hauling. Dennis, the owner, with his confirmation class at Christ the King Parish came up with this idea to help kids this summer. They collected 30 milk crates, and loaded them with summer items for kids, including sun screen, crayons, chalk, coloring books, beach towels, etc. Dennis called us to see if we would be interested again this year, to pass them out to the children of our customers. Of course, we said Read more [...]

Changes

There is a time for all things and now is a time of change in our ministry family. It is both a happy time because we are welcoming Jeff Hall as our Little Store operations manager and Riley Smith as our Saturday counter clerk, and a sad time because we are saying goodbye to Marielis Manzueta, who has been our LittleStore clerk for the past year. Jeff Hall Jeff was volunteering for us at the Saint Paul Outreach - Food Pantry on Saturday mornings for a little over one year while he was Read more [...]

The Director’s Chair

It is that time of year when we make our annual appeals for volunteers and for new sustainer enrollments. I know I have been beating this drum for a long, long time, and I am wondering if I haven’t put you to sleep. Or maybe it is just me getting old!  But without either of these two really important tools, volunteers and sustainers, we are seriously hobbled in what we can do to address the needs of “the least, the last, and the left out.”  And addressing them is a  must, with whatever Read more [...]

Our sustainer drive

It is spring and that means it is time for our sustainer drive. This year we have the opportunity to tell you about  Irene L. Healy, a sustainer extraordinaire. Over the years, I have introduced many of my parents’ friends to our StreetLight readers. There was Ma, Auntie Freddie, Mary K, and now there is Irene Healy. Each of these individuals has had a profound effect on me personally, as well as on this ministry.  Each of them was entertained by my mother’s and father’s stories about Read more [...]