Missionaries, Companions, CPPS Sisters and friends of the Precious Blood Communities gathered at St. Charles Center in Carthagena, Ohio, on Monday, October 22 to celebrate the feast day of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. Fr. Jim Franck, C.PP.S., presided and preached the homily.
He spoke of joy being a keystone in the life of St. Gaspar and all Christians, including himself. He described this joyful experience in his life:
While in ministry at St. Edward Parish in Newark, Calif., he’d been moved to establish a free meal for the homeless, to be offered twice a month. He asked each of the parish’s 24 organizations to take a turn preparing and serving the meal. “I wanted the whole parish to be involved,” he said. “Each group said yes.”
From the start, the outreach went well, he said. “I was surprised! We had 60 to 80 guests at every meal. At one of the meals, I remember standing off to the side, looking at the people who were coming in–and the people who were there to serve the meal were the happiest bunch in the place. I was filled with joy. I had been afraid that we wouldn’t be able to pull it off, but we did it. I thought, ‘This is the Kingdom of God–people taking care of each other. And I’m privileged to be a part of it.’
“That’s what God wants us to have: a deep sense of God’s presence, that God loves us and invites us to give of ourselves. That’s how we experience joy.
“Those dinners were claimed by the whole parish. It wasn’t MY thing, it was OUR thing. And it’s still going on.”