New Beginings

 

In the last week of November, I brought one of my potted plants into the house for the winter.  It was very green and had no evidence of any budding flowers.  So I decided to put it in a warm, well-lighted area, with plans of maintaining it until spring.  But guess what?  When I went to water it, a tiny bud greeted me!  And now after two weeks, I have a beautiful daisy-like flower all dressed in orange.

But for this plant to survive and thrive, it needed to be relocated.

In the past two months, the St. Aloysius Community Center too had to be “relocated.” Years of relationships built on care, nourishment, and love, now benefits the St. Al’s Community Center as it has become a Ministry without walls.  We are meeting people where they are:  in the streets, in their apartments and homes, and in their hearts—addressing the needs of mind, body, and spirit!  Our relationships are surviving and most importantly thriving. 

As we relocated, we needed a way to store donations. Through initial storage space at Our Lady of La Salette Parish in Berkley and the work of dedicated volunteers, the newly formed St. Aloysius Neighborhood Services has been able to store and prepare donations used in our ministries.

In a few short months, we have been given another promising opportunity. Our sister parish, St. Josaphat in Detroit, has wonderfully asked to become an active companion in ministry to our brothers and sisters in Detroit.  St. Josaphat is an advertisement icon for the City of Detroit. With its beautiful cross spires, St. Josaphat boldly stands along southbound I-75 on Canfield (ten minutes from St. Aloysius) as a welcoming gateway to Downtown Detroit.  Fr. Darrel Roman has graciously offered the parish hall for much-needed dinner/party space for St. Aloysius’ Parish and the Senior Program. But also, the basement and second floor area of the parish hall can be utilized for storage of donated groceries and clothing. And a bonus for our volunteers is safe and abundant parking space—free of Downtown Detroit meter maids!

An orange daisy is a joyful gift of nature, unexpected yet so welcome especially in the darker days of winter.  We are so grateful for all the volunteers and parishes who have given so much to the St. Aloysius ministries. We welcome St. Josaphat as our new companion. May we all be God’s instrument of peace and joy as we serve our brothers and sisters in downtown Detroit.

Author: Mike Carsten OFS

Member of the Secular Franciscan Order; National Fraternity (NAFRA) Ecumenical and Interfaith Chair Minister, Troubadours of St. Clare Fraternity; President, Franciscan Ministries Inc., Serving the poor in Southeast Michigan;

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