Last Thursday, before I left for my son’s house in Central New York, I attended a luncheon where the volunteers who served each week at Concerns-U Food Pantry were served lunch. When you sign-up to serve as shoppers for our clients , you are agreeing to a 52 week commitment . There are 55 weekly volunteers who stock shelves and walk with clients as they chose protein, vegetable, fruit, soup, grains, and even fats and sugars. All this is done within the regulated amounts for the family size. We also offer frozen meats, and toiletries as well as fresh produce, when available.
Colleen, the director, gave us a “Father Help Me Serve” mug which will be a daily reminder of our friends at the pantry. The pantry is a part of Catholic Charities, but open to all people in our area based only on their need and address. Not all volunteers are Catholic, but we are joined together to help the poor and hungry. After the clients are in our computer, the only requirement is bringing a piece of mail each month to prove their address in our area.
In her opening remarks, Colleen shared that Pope Francis has declared that 2016 is the Year of Mercy. There are many times from my life that I, too, need mercy, either from God or others pilgrims along this journey of life. I want to share the words on the Prayer Card in the picture.
‘ The motto “Merciful Like the Father” is taken from the Gospel of Luke 6. It serves as an invitation to follow the merciful example of the Father who asks us not to judge or condemn, but to forgive and give love and forgiveness without measure. The art was painted by Jesuit Father Marko Rupnik.
We all need mercy as we are all sinners, everyone of us. Go and show mercy to others and forgive as you want to be forgiven with mercy, yourself! Monday is my day at Conserns-U from 9-2 and honestly, it is one of the best days of the week for me because of the other volunteers as well as the precious clients we are there to serve!