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February 19, 2007

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Michelle

My family has been involved with Nazareth Farm (www.nazarethfarm.org) and it's newer spinoff Bethlehem Farm (www.bethlehemfarm.net) for many years, and they are both wonderful organizations. Here's some info about Nazareth Farm--Bethlehem Farm's mission is similar:

About our Mission

Nazareth Farm is a Catholic community of volunteers inspired by the Gospels and Social Teaching of the Church and focused on prayer, community, simplicity and service. This community is impelled primarily to reach out to high school and college volunteers who come to work with us for a week. The full time community of Nazareth Farm and the community of volunteers who come for one week, together form a community rooted in the Gospels and Social Teachings of the Church by sharing morning and evening prayer, meals, work, service and outreach.

Nazareth Farm is devoted to developing relationships and eliminating sub-standard housing through home repair in rural West Virginia. The community of Nazareth Farm lives in and serves the people of Doddridge County. We are prompted to reach out to the families of Doddridge and surrounding Counties with whom we minister build relationships and offer home repair. This service is rooted in the four cornerstones of prayer, simplicity, service and community.

Nazareth Farm provides a communal experience of Church as a center of action and prayer. The Nazareth Farm community lives its mission through shared prayer, meals, work, hospitality and community development. Thus, the community through reflection, promotes and advocates for social action and economic justice.


More about the Cornerstones

Prayer: On the Farm, we pray to begin the day, before each meal, as we work, and each evening to end the day. We recognize that God has given us all that we have, and we thank the Lord for the many blessings we experience daily. As Christians, we are called to promote a community of peace and prayer.

Simplicity: Too often, our lives get cluttered with the “stuff” of modern life, such as television, radio, and cell phones. The cornerstone of simplicity is all about being in right relationship: with God, with others, and with ourselves. We feel that by giving up things like TV, make-up, cell phones, iPods, etc., we are free to “tune-in” to one another. Conservation is another important part of simplicity, particularly with water. We ask that volunteers take only 3 showers during the week here, and that two of those be with our bucket showers (they use only 5 gallons per shower!) We also encourage volunteers to conserve water by using our outhouses instead of the indoor toilets.

Community: As a community of equals, we eat together, do dishes together, work together, pray together, and spend free time together. During meal time, we ask that volunteers take what they eat, and eat what they take. Rather than play video games or watch TV, we play games, sing songs, and have good conversations together. Also, on Tuesday nights, we invite many of our friends from the community over for supper, prayer, and fellowship. Rather than shop at large stores like Wal-Mart and Lowe’s for our food and supplies, we give our business to small and locally-owned businesses. We feel that we are called to be responsible members of our community and use our gifts and talents for others.

Service: We choose to do home repair for people who can’t afford the labor, and or can’t make the repairs themselves. We do repairs for no salary or compensation. We work with people, not for them. We try to recognize when our needs have been filled so that our excess can be used to fill someone else’s needs. The next step is to give of ourselves by truly giving of our need, not just our want. Nazareth Farm is about home repair, but more importantly we are about people. We believe that God loves each of us in the same way and so we strive to give all people the dignity and respect they deserve.

Roamin' Roman

Corpus Christi Catechism Fund is a local St. Paul, MN apostolate that funds and distributes 8,000 catechisms a year to every youth Confirmed in our Archdiocese.

It was founded and is still run entirely by young adults of the Archdiocese, I have been a part of it for a few years now and it is a well-run, professional endeavor that has both orthodox faith and good business sense (our buyer can obtain Catechisms for less than $4 each - your donation goes a long way!).

Young people like me volunteer our time to go to each Confirmation Mass and personally give a Catechism to each youth after they have been Confirmed by the bishop. This has made a huge difference in the lives of many youth over the past four or five years that we have been doing this, and not only for the youth who get their Catechisms from us, but also for their families who may read them, and for their parishes who may be inspired to use the Catechism more in their formation.

Any and all prayers and monetary help is greatly appreciated -- and if you are in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis, please consider joining us at a Confirmation Mass to help hand them out! :)

Roamin' Roman

Corpus Christi Catechism Fund is a local St. Paul, MN apostolate that funds and distributes 8,000 catechisms a year to every youth Confirmed in our Archdiocese.

It was founded and is still run entirely by young adults of the Archdiocese, I have been a part of it for a few years now and it is a well-run, professional endeavor that has both orthodox faith and good business sense (our buyer can obtain Catechisms for less than $4 each - your donation goes a long way!).

Young people like me volunteer our time to go to each Confirmation Mass and personally give a Catechism to each youth after they have been Confirmed by the bishop. This has made a huge difference in the lives of many youth over the past four or five years that we have been doing this, and not only for the youth who get their Catechisms from us, but also for their families who may read them, and for their parishes who may be inspired to use the Catechism more in their formation.

Any and all prayers and monetary help is greatly appreciated -- and if you are in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis, please consider joining us at a Confirmation Mass to help hand them out! :)

Brigid

These priests and brothers have been serving the poor since the mid-1930's here in the USA:

http://www.glenmary.org/help/default.htm

This from their web site:

"Food or Medicine? So many are one emergency
away from this tragic choice! Make a sacrifical gift this Lent and stand in solidarity with the people in Brother Terry's food line."

My parents gave for years to Glenmary and so do I.

Dan

The East Los Angeles Pregnancy Center is a garden variety pregancy counseling center located near East Los Angeles, California. The center is affilliated with an established umbrella group (International Life Services). The center is the only pro-life counseling center in a heavily Hispanic area that has been targeted by pro-abortion forces (there are numerous Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood-type clinics in the area). We are looking for help in the usual forms: donations, volunteer counselors, etc. We have volunteer opportunities for teens in particular -- we need help in fund raising drives that we do at masses on the weekends. If interested, call Rose Diaz ((323) 838-0204) and say that Dan Mansueto sent you. http://www.elapc.com/

Cathleen

www.vladmission.org

This is a group in Minnesota that supports the efforts of the emerging church in Vladivostok, Siberia. The Cathedral was returned to the Catholic Church in 1993(?), after having been confiscated by the communists and turned into an archive. The needs are monumental...the elderly, pregnant women, the poor, the sick. One of the most heartbreaking problems is that of street children....children who have been abandoned by their families and live in abandoned buildings. All of these problems are further compounded by difficulties with both the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox church.

They are in constant need of donations, of course, but they also recruit speakers who travel to parishes to speak about the mission and take up a collection. These speaking engagements are all done through the office of the Propagation of the Faith. I've been doing this for several years, and it's very rewarding. People respond so generously and are keenly interested in the Church's efforts. Additionally, they sponsor 10-day "work" visits to Vladivostok...you can go and help with whatever needs to be done...carpentry, helping in the orphanage, catechesis, hospice, and much more.

Please check it out! They need your help! Their website is very, very good. If you know of a parish who might host a speaker, by all means let the mission know, or e-mail me and I'll forward the information. Because the parishioners are so poor, they depend almost entirely on donations from outside Russia.

Br. Dominic Legge, OP

I am one of the student brothers at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. We run a mission in East Africa, and the work that the Dominican friars do there is really amazing and compelling.

For a surprisingly small donation, you can make a big difference in the lives of children in Kenya. The stories the priests tell would amaze you! So many of these children are orphans due to AIDS, and without help, they would be homeless and left uneducated.

For more information, check out the mission's website: http://www.eafricadominicans.org/charities_K.php

Lucy

Children Waiting Everywhere is a charity started by my godmother to provide physical and spiritual nourishments to AIDS orphans in Uganda.

To date, the charity has:built a water tank, started tea plantations, expanded the vocational school, provided medical care, started a Montessori school, and taken the children on field trips.

Children Waiting Everywhere with works closely with the Priests and Sisters of the Holy Cross.

http://www.childrenwaitingeverywhere.org/index.html

Susan

I'm seconding Cathleen's post about the work in Vladivostok, Russia. I've been there and cannot begin to tell you what a daunting job the Church is facing. The conversion of Russia is truly going to have to take a major miracle. The priests have told me they have counseled women who have had more than 20 abortions. Honestly, having an abortion is about as big a deal there as going to the dentist is here. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. The good people trying to help the situation are the Mary Mother of God Mission Society. http://www.vladmission.org.

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