Church Chats

This is Who We Are

This Christmas season left me feeling quite amazed at the generosity of our neighbors. So many of you have been volunteering with our Safe Parking program even though we all know that December is the busiest time of the year for most Americans. Yet every day, four or five parishioners (or other friends) gave up an hour or two to provide some small comfort to our less wealthy neighbors, opening our Hospitality Room at 7:00 PM, providing dinner for our guests, closing the Hospitality Room at 9:00 PM, and others opening it again in the early morning to check the guests out, making sure the room was neat and tidy and our guests were off the property at the required time.

Since we had guests for Christmas, members of our parish donated gifts from the simple wish lists the children put together. Each child was given a new, quality pair of shoes and at least one toy from their list. The outpouring of support was beautiful to behold! One family brought three full bags to donate. The mom remembered that she also wanted to donate toward our campaign to get a hotel room for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for a family of eight living in their car. She offered us $25 which was gratefully received. As we carried the three bags to the car, her sixth grader asked why she had given me $25. When we explained it was to provide a hotel room for this family, the child pulled out a wallet and gave me an additional $25! So sweet and loving!

This is who we are and who we want to be: The face of Jesus Christ in the east foothills of San Jose!

Two days before Christmas, the transmission on the van our guests live in went out for good. The cost to repair the car was more than the car was worth. So we decided to see if we could collect enough money to get a “new old” car for them. After all, the van was not just their transportation, it was also their home. Through word of mouth, donations started to come in. I put a little story on my Facebook page and a friend who doesn’t live in this area at all, and is not even a practicing Catholic donated $1500! Amazed me! Parishioners helped our guest search the Internet for information on the best vans for the family and helped find just the right one. Donations poured in and we were able to assist this family in replacing their car/home. This is who we are and who we want to be.

They will know we are Christians by our love. (See John 13:35)

The needs continue. Our community will rise to the challenge. We will take care of each other. This is who we are and who we want to be!

Ellen Turner