A girl named Daniela, who benefits from our small scholarship aid, is 13 and in the
6th grade. She needs special aid in school as she cannot go at a normal pace. Her teachers say that her slow pace is probably due to family dysfunction.
Now that the family receives food and help from the Casa, Daniela shows significant improvement! Daniela wrote a thank you letter for the aid she receives. She also sent this story:
The Lion and the Porcupine (adapted from Aesop’s “The Lion and the Boar”)
“During the summer, as the hear provokes much more thirst, went to drink to the same river a lion and a porcupine. As they met, they started to quarrel about who should be the first to drink, and from discussion they passed on to fierce fight to death. But in some moment of rest, they saw a cloud of vultures ready to devour the one who would lose the fight. Then, recapitulating they told themselves . . . it is better that we be friends and not food for the vultures and crows. Useless fights are good only to food and entertain the spectators and curious.”
This is a wise lesson for sharing and peace, from a deprived little girl living in the slums and misery of Tijuana. Continue reading
Pope Francis, December 25, 2013
From a Jesuit Seminarian who stayed at the Casa . . .
“I went to teach catechism with Sisters Angeles and Teresa in the Santa Julia Colonia. It is far off and known for its high crime rate. Many houses are built precariously along the hillside, and this colonia has undergone very little development as the years have passed. We visited two hardworking families first. They were very warm and generous to us.”
“We finally reached the Center, a small building with three classrooms and a large field. The Sisters told of the problems they have had with theft and vandalism even though the rooms are very simple. It was living in extreme poverty or in very desperate situations which led to all this, I thought.”
“I was asked to share my vocation story with the kids and was not sure how they would receive it, my reality being so very different from the one they were living. Certain things are universal, such as love for God and a calling to make something meaningful out of one’s life no matter social status. The students listened attentively and asked lots of good questions. At the end of class, we went outside to play soccer, girls versus boys. Girls beat us 11 to 6! This was a great experience which I can share with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I am grateful to God and to the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for the priceless work that they do.” Continue reading
“Earn for yourself the psalmist’s praise: ‘He gave freely to the poor; his righteousness will endure forever.'” From St. Basil the Great on Charity
From Ma Del Carmen H.: “I am grateful to all the persons that help Casa de los Pobres and to Casa de los Pobres because they can help us. Because with the scholarship aid, I can buy school supplies, the uniform and shoes. This helps us very much because this avoids the BULLY. My children have more time to listen and be attentive to the teacher instead of caring to cover their torn shoes and be thinking what are they going to buy at recess time. For all these I am sincerely grateful to all who make this possible, specially to God. I Thank You!” Continue reading
from St. Francis of Assisi
A Jesuit Novice writes about his recent visit to a distant Colonia:
“We visited Dona Elma, a diabetic, who comes to the Casa when she can for food and medical help. This trip takes two buses and 45 minutes. She has problems seeing and walking. Her house is in a downhill ravine with a difficult and uneven path. I was saddened when I saw the situation in which she lives. The walls are falling apart, the roof doesn’t cover the entire home, and she needs to use a bucket as a toilet since the outhouse is no longer functional. She receives very little help from the government and finds that going to the Casa de los Pobres is worth the difficulties. When she is able to make the trip, she obtains food and medical attention. I was amazed by her faith and joy. In spite of all this, Dona Elma does not lose her good spirits. She says she always tries to look at the bright side of things.”
Person blind 11 years, caused by diabetes, invites others with diabetes to follow proper care and treatment so blindness does not happen to them.
A note of gratitude: “I, Filomena, am very grateful to Casa de Los Pobres because I have received help with my hernia surgery and medical care on both of my ankles for the sores caused by diabetes. I am very grateful for the benefactors and the Sisters. They know my needs, and I am grateful to all the persons and the Clinic at the Casa for the help they have given me for the care of my sores and for my medicines. I thank God for having them all, and I pray to God for them.” Please know that those who come to the Casa are truly thankful for all of the services they receive because of your generosity. Continue reading
Sister Gudelia visits Colonia Ferrocarril near Tecate, Mexico where there are no public services and tells us: “Some parents work at making bricks while others ‘work’ in the dumps of this colony. The family that invited me into their house goes to the dumps daily with the hope to find food, clothes, or other items for their 5 children. The mother said that sometimes she has picked up tortillas and takes them to feed her children. The family was very happy with my visit and felt blessed to receive bread, rice, beans, toys, and blankets. It is moving to see such poverty and deprivation. This colonia is their world because they are so isolated. Thank God we are able to relieve them a little when we visit.” Continue reading
(Quote from St. Irenaeus)
Those whom the Casa serves are destitute, not merely poor. These people live in shacks that are often rodent-infested. They experience the torture of empty stomaches, cold nights, crawling vermin, insecurity, gnawing idleness, and premature death. (Read about visits to the colonias and the conditions there.) The Sisters offer rays of light to many of these men, women, and children.
Rosalinda, 36, came to the Casa in great turmoil. She had run away from her husband because he brutally beat her and used drugs. Her two little boys are 4 and 6. She is desperate for a job to support them, and meanwhile, makes and sells burritos outside her son’s school. She needs help with food, clothing, medical care, and school supplies for which the Casa has been a God-send. She no longer feels abandoned and is “grateful from her heart because the Casa opened its doors to me and my little boys with a shower of great love.” Continue reading
“We stuffed our little truck full of food early one morning and drove about 45 minutes to a remote Colonia. Smoke, dust, garbage everywhere, random collections of wood and scrap stacked together to pass for shelters — many side-by-side, all covered with black soot and white ash.” Continue reading
(a letter from Fr. Gil Gentile, SJ . . .)
Do a Work of Mercy during Lent – Feed the Hungry by Buying a Bag of Beans!
Dear friends & family,
Once again we are appealing to your wonderful generosity. The last time that we made this appeal in 2013, the response to our “Legumes for Lent” Campaign was truly amazing! As you can imagine, the need continues. For the meals and for the grocery bag program for the elderly, handicapped and families, the Casa uses over 7,000 pounds of dried pinto beans per month which costs between $4,000-$5,000! Continue reading
What are the Greatest Needs?
Sister Armida says: FOOD and MEDICINE are the greatest needs now. Sick people line up at the Clinic while it is still dark and cold. The breakfast lines are very long. People begin arriving at 6:00 AM and circle around the sidewalks outside the Casa shivering in the cold while waiting for the doors to open. The Casa is a place of refuge, spiritual solace, and friendship for the many men, women and children who come there.
WE THANK GOD for all who donated money to feed the hungry people, and for you who donated blankets, food, and warm clothing. We are grateful for the steady supply of blankets from the Scripps ER delivered by Ron. Your generosity for January was $15,436 from our monthly donors and this includes an anonymous donation of $1,000 from the San Diego Foundation. Three additional anonymous donations of $20,000, $4,000, and $2,300 were also received. Late Christmas giving was $1274.92. Plus 350 new tarps were donated! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! Continue reading