USA – Monroe, NC
Since our arrival in 2008, the mission has also seen growth in volunteers wanting to pray and work alongside with the Brothers. Since the Monastery is primarily for the use of the Brothers in order to attend to their spiritual and formation exercises, the need for a center to sustain the ministry without disrupting the Monastery’s Order of the Day, is a must.
In this center, it is our aim to minister specifically to the least of our brothers and sisters. It is our desire to open and operate a night shelter where the homeless can come and feel at home when evening draws near. A common refectory will also be provided for soup kitchen. We also plan to have new and gently used clothes distribution center, food line, and medical missions. In addition, we desire to provide a study area for the children attending school to do their homework, and English classes for Hispanic community through the assistance of friends and associates.
A section of this center will also be used as a general warehouse to gather food and necessary items needed in our mission overseas. We will do this by encouraging various individuals, groups, Churches, and communities to give and share their food, resources, and time in helping us reach out to the least of our brothers and sisters in all of our missions.
In a nutshell, it is our hope to make our center radiate both the active and the contemplative aspect of our lives. In other words, it is our aim to maintain and provide “Mary’s section” to attend to the spiritual needs of God’s people —– the poor and the suffering, and “Martha’s section” in order to address the struggle of day to day living.
1. WAREHOUSE: Last May 1, we opened our new MOP warehouse for food storage and collection of various other supplies needed both in Monroe and by our other missions overseas. As part of our work here in Monroe, we will be visiting a number of parishes in the Diocese and have food drives to collect supplies needed for all of our missions throughout the world. We understand that many of the parishes here do not have the capacity to store large quantities of food. We hope that our assistance with promotion, collection and storage may relieve the parishes of this burden. We also plan to operate some of our ministry functions from this property. This may include meals for some of the poor families but in the beginning we hope this property helps us expand our ministry and include more opportunities where many of our friends and associates can participate more directly in our ministry to the poor. Ideally this will be like a drop- in center where many friends will be able to volunteer in packaging food, helping to prepare the shipping containers and food distribution to both our MOP missions and the poor in our immediate neighborhood. We began minor work to the property, including cleaning, painting and minor improvements after we had signed the lease contract. The address of this warehouse is at 203 – B Lee St. Monroe N.C. 28112. In this warehouse we receive bulk food items like canned goods, rice, cereals and other necessities like toothpaste, soup, shampoo, diapers etc…
We are in need of one or more people who could help sponsor the $900 monthly rental of the warehouse.
Our food pantry, for the local people, remains located at the monastery address at 1403 Griffith Road, Monroe.
Since the foundation of our mission, we have seen that the establishment of our typical apostolate, i.e. to conduct centers for the homeless, the abandoned and the poor, has met with difficulty. While we do not foreclose hope of eventually establishing similar works in the future, we now know that the United States, as a first world country, offers challenges that are completely diverse from our “typical backyard” – the third world. Some of these challenges are regulatory where governmental regulations has imposed much tougher standards and requirements that limits our ability to open a house for the poor where the least of our brothers and sisters can come for a warm home, a caring and loving atmosphere, fraternal fellowship and needless to say, moral and spiritual guidance. In addition, the nature of poverty we found here in the US differs from the nature of poverty in the third world. These and other considerations cause us to go to prayer for direction and to discern God’s will for our mission.
Your Help: Collection of Food
While being still in the midst of economic crisis, the Lord has not stopped asking us to give the poor something to eat lest they faint on the way (cf. Mt. 15:32-38).
|An increasing number of families are seeking our assistance for food on regular basis. With our pantry shelves poorly stocked, our need for food in reaching out to the least of our brothers and sisters in the neighborhood is greatly needed.|