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 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 Read more [...]

Westborough Public Library Purse Giveaway

Once again, our friends at the Westborough Public Library included the Little Store as one of their distribution locations for their annual “Gently Used Pocketbooks and Purses” program. These purses and pocketbooks are packed with various new items, ranging from hand sanitizer to rain hats to umbrellas, that the women find very useful. We gave them away at Easter time, and this year we distributed 100 pocketbooks and purses to customers of the Little Store. They actually were distributed in Read more [...]

Our Spring Fling Flea Market

Our Spring Fling Flea Market will be kicking off on Saturday, May 18, 2018 at 7:00 a.m. Our goal is to have a flea market every Saturday until the last Saturday in September, which is the 28th. Yes, we know this is a very aggressive goal, but we have to clean out as much stock stored in the shed as possible before Christmas.  To make matters a little more difficult we are going to be calling on you and yours for help in making this happen.   Where: Our Lady of Hope Center, 242 Canterbury Read more [...]

Valentine’s Day Fundraiser

The very best part of working in this ministry is the surprises we get from people who we don’t know. They come to us with some truly wonderful ideas to help others. Such was the case back in January when I received a telephone call from John William Bonia, a student at WPI and a member of the  AXQ fraternity. The fraternity brothers decided to make up origami roses and sell them to the WPI student body on Valentines day and donate the proceeds to an organization that works with the poor in the Read more [...]

Our Newest Citizen

  Say hello to our newest citizen, Maria Quinones.  Maria and one of her instructors, Deacon Tony Fiore, are pictured above holding Maria’s citizenship certificate.  Maria also worked with Liz Kavanagh, another mentoring volunteer but Liz was not available on the day when this picture was taken. Maria was a student in our Sr. Alice Petty, R.S.M. student mentoring program. This program pairs one student to one instructor so that they may learn English, citizenship, or computer skills Read more [...]

The Ramp

When we first looked at 242 Canterbury St. as a possible new home I had a list of things that we could do that would make it much more hospitable. One of them was to have a handicap ramp installed so that people who could not do stairs would have a ramp. After one or two false starts we finally had an outside metal ramp donated. That was over 3 years ago! It sat in our basement waiting to be installed. In February of this year, it occurred to me that a friend in this business of “do gooding, Read more [...]

A Family of Seven Needed Our Help

Editor’s note: The following article is provided by Stefan and Patti Wawzyniecki, Urban Missionaries of Our Lady of Hope, living in Connecticut. They perform “little acts of charity” within their parish community. Here is their story of helping, “the Least, the Last, and the Left Out” “We commit ourselves to stand at the side of those who suffer poverty and abandonment, speaking out for those who have no voice, and to working effectively to change these situations.” The above Read more [...]

The BIG DIG! (it’s all relative of course)

Many of you already know and some of you may not know that we have received a grant from the Maranatha II Trust to have two bathrooms installed at 242 Canterbury Street, one in the Little Store and the other in the shed. I wanted to give you a snapshot of the construction phase of the project. As you can see from the pictures below this is no walk in the park. Our parking lot looks as though a bomb went off! The excavators  had to dig two trenches,  10 feet apart, one for the sewer line to Read more [...]

Saint Bridget Parish Millbury MA 8-3-2017

On August 3, 2017 we have the pleasure of the company of volunteers from Saint Brigid's parish in Millbury MA. This day of work was set up by Greg Bernard. They came to volunteer as part of their parish youth program C.S.A.W.  which stands for "Christian Servants At Work.” Tim" and "Allie" brought 6 young men and women with him to do 4 hours of work. As always we spent some time with them explaining the Urban Missionaries of Our Lady of Hope and what we do. Once that is done,  we take groups Read more [...]

Saint John’s High School Shrewsbury MA

Once again the young men from St. John’s High School, Shrewsbury came to visit. And once again they did an outstanding job for us. We get 4 groups a year from St. John’s and it is always the same. Hard working young men eager to pick up a 5 pound sledge hammer and reduce anything within a 5 foot radius to splinters. Nothing brings a smile to a young man’s face quicker than when you say, “smash it.” Absolutely nothing! This group had the pleasant task of smashing and bashing 4 couches, Read more [...]

Retreat!

No, I’m not talking about running away from an enemy, but running away from this busy demanding world we live in. And where did we run to? The St.  Scholastica Priory and St.  Mary Monastery in Petersham, MA. Kathy and I did our personal retreat on Sunday and Monday and the Urban Missionaries of Our Lady of Hope had their day of Recollection on Tuesday, August 1, 2017.   The location is truly bucolic in the very best sense of the word. Kathy and I refer to it as “holy ground”, Read more [...]

Y.N.I.A. St Gabriel Upton 2017

Y.N.I.A. St Gabriel Upton 2017   Part Two of our Young Neighbors in Action experience was with a group of very hard workers from Saint Gabriel’s Parish, Upton MA. They arrived on Monday July 17, 2017 full of enthusiasm and with bright shiny faces.  They left us on Friday full of Coney Island hot dogs, wearing their battle badges of light blue paint, a little tired, but still full of enthusiasm.   This group had the job of finishing up painting the walls in the Just New room Read more [...]

YNIA – Young Neighbors In Action St. Katharine Drexel Parish ~ Kaukauna, WI

YNIA – Young Neighbors In Action St. Katharine Drexel Parish ~ Kaukauna, WI   When I first learned that we were going to a thrift store called the Little Store, I expected just that “A Little Store”. What I encountered when I got there was so, so much more than just that. We were greeted by a man named Harry who was ecstatic to see us and almost immediately remembered all eight of our names. We walked through the store to the back that was thankfully air conditioned. There, Read more [...]
Y.N.I.A. Wisconsin July 2017   I really can’t remember just how many years it's been since we first started hosting Young Neighbors in Action groups at the Little Store. It’s about 15 years. During that time Kathy and I have been constantly surprised and well pleased with the amount and quality of the work these young men and women accomplish.   For those of you who may not have heard about Young Neighbors in Action let me tell you a little bit about their style. Young men Read more [...]

Respect Life

Respecting Life By Ken Hannaford-Ricardi, Urban Missionary Jacob died too soon. He didn’t know it - no one did - but he was already on life support when he left Afghanistan that final time. Over the ensuing ten years, he received innumerable transfusions of camaraderie, comfort, and support from fellow veterans. While these expressions of fraternal solidarity provided temporary balm for his deeply wounded conscience, ultimately nothing was enough. For Jacob, it was time to go home. I met Read more [...]

6 Oread Street

6 Oread St.   Number 6 Oread St. is 2 blocks up from where the Little Store was located at 731 Main St. When I first became aware of Pat True was when I was working the front counter and she was checking out and as I gave her her change she announced, “Today is my birthday!” I immediately wished her a happy birthday. And then for some unknown reason I went to where we displayed the bread and pastries. I remembered that there was a birthday cake there and so I picked it up and gave Read more [...]

What Urban Missionaries Do – April 2, 2016

What Urban Missionaries Do   This is a story about love, about how being open to the suffering of others allows us to embrace it as our own. It is a story about comprehending the fullness of the Message and responding to what it requires of us. It is a lesson in abandoning our selves to the service of others. It is, in the world we inhabit, the meaning of the Cross.   Late last Saturday afternoon, Kathy and Walter received a phone call from the distraught daughter of a woman Read more [...]

Fr. Whats-His-Name

Have you ever had the honor to have someone pass your path and then walk along with you for a while? Well kathy and I had just this honor when Fr. Frank Liistro came into our life one evening about a week before Christmas many years ago. We were working at a factory building on the 4th floor that we had begged from a college classmate of mine for the Christmas Giving Program. All of the volunteers had left, it was about 7:30 in the evening and I heard someone desperately gasping for breath near Read more [...]