This month was sponsored by our school. We served salad, ham, green beans, rice, rolls, incredible bundt cakes from many different shaped pans, donuts (leftover that morning from Hospitality Sunday), soda, water, and milk. Water is especially popular, we used up over 6 cases. And donuts, SEVEN huge boxes; we're talking over 20 dozen!
Even better, this month we begin serving on two Sunday per month, the 2nd and 4th. Most of our guests already knew about it, but some were pleasantly surprised as I went around telling them about it. One guy told me that we don't know how much it means to him to be able to count on such a good meal each month.
But this was the best part of the day. See, we call this Friends and Fellowship because it's about being with people, not just shoving food at them. It has always been Fr. Jim's vision that this be a welcoming and friendly place to be, free of judgement and preaching. Our service speaks volumes, right?
So, about 15 minutes before we began serving, one of the school parents came over and said a lady was looking for "Don" and could I help her. Okay. So I go invite this elderly lady to sit down and tell me what's up. She tells me she has an old pickup truck that, being 72 years old herself, she can no longer drive, but she was thinking that maybe St. Vincent de Paul might like to borrow it sometimes. Um, sure, I tell her, not mentioning the impracticality of it. I take down her name and phone number and assure her that our President will give her a call. Then I invite her to stay and eat. She asks if I'm sure, and tell her that I am. I take her in and have her sit with a group of other elders who are there every month. Then I move on to other duties and sort of put her out of my mind for the moment.
Later on, I'm outside petting a doggie who belongs to one of our homeless guys and I hear a guest leaving. As John asks her if the food was good, she says, (and I quote), "Oh yes, very good. But today what I really needed was the fellowship, and I sure did get it". Wow! It was the lady with the pick up truck. Her words will be burned in my mind for a long time. Who gets to be in a position to be part of something as awesome as this? God is good!