Macey’s Clothing Drive

February 2nd was a cold, cold day and rather quiet in the Little Store because of the cold.  Riley was on the front counter and Walter and I were in the back office. A call came in from the front counter, “There’s an enormous donation coming in, you’d better get out here!”   What we found when we ran out to the front was Macey Poitras-Cote from St. Rose of Lima parish and her parents,  Pamela and Jason, unloading 2 trucks full of clothing donations. Macey was happy to describe the Read more [...]

Groups, a blessing of the special kind

Our biggest source of volunteers far and away is from parishes and schools. It is also the biggest source of energy, noise, and fun times, not to mention the tremendous amount of work that gets done. Did I mention fun? Whenever a group comes in, we always give them a tour of the facilities and explain the work that we do. This gives rise to many questions, some easy, others difficult, but the one everyone asks is, “How long have you been doing this?” When I answer, “Forty years.” Read more [...]

Through Service, Providing Global Relief, in Worcester

(Hello everyone! We recently had a great group of super-motivated students from Assumption College come to The LittleStore to give a hand. They were great to work with, and helped out a ton. Assumption College posted an article on the visit, and why they decided to help out with the Urban Missionaries. Click the link below to read more directly on Assumptions site.) Traditional final examinations are generally held in a classroom with a proctor. For students enrolled in GLS 112: Perspectives Read more [...]

Ed’s Visit

Once again we had our visit from Ed Lee, the owner of the buildings we occupy. Ed travels from China, where his factory is, to the U.S where he makes a number of stops at his customer’s places of business, and when gets to New England he stops by here to say hello and catch up on our progress. Ed has been a benefactor for our ministry ever since he donated monies to help us purchase our truck ten years ago. Since that time, he purchased the buildings we currently use, helped us purchase our Read more [...]

It’s a Fish Story

(We have had so many compliments on our fish tank, that we decided to offer another perspective on how we got it! Many of you have read Walter's take on the installation and purpose of our fish tank, so it's time to hear Kathy's thoughts on it!) Well, a fish tank story.  If you really want to know, it’s a love story.  It began as a sad story last March when our grandson, Gregory, lost his 51-year-old father to the flu. It was sudden and shocking to all his family. It was tragic, and without Read more [...]

Death Comes A-Knocking

The month of October was not very kind to us. We have had a cousin, a brother deacon, and a flea market brother die. The loss of these three has left us saddened because the thread that was holding us together has been cut. Joan Callinan My cousin Joan passed away from cancer of the brain. I had the privilege to be with her just two weeks before she passed. She was barely recognizable from the ravages of the cancer, but her indomitable spirit was alive and well. We shared some memories and Read more [...]

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 little 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 of 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 be. 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 [...]


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 convenient 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 show 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 who 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 the world is a trash bag party?"

Here's 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 or 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 Read more [...]