Faith in Action: Roche Family Serves the Homeless
John 18: “Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and truth.”
When God put compassion for the homeless in Tom Roche’s heart, Tom decided to take action by contacting King’s Harvest Homeless Shelter in downtown Davenport to see how he could possibly help. He discovered that they’re always looking for volunteers for a variety of ministries throughout the year.
After learning about the various King’s Harvest volunteer opportunities, Tom and his wife Catie decided to commit to providing a meal to people who utilize the King’s Harvest Shelter during the winter months. Catie shops and prepares the meals, and Tom brings a couple friends with him to serve the meals to the men and women at the shelter on Wednesday nights. He says “The first couple of times we served, I was completely surprised by the joy and goodwill in many of the folks that use the shelter. It’s hard to deny Christ’s love when you see this.”
With a busy family of their own, in addition to their commitment to serve the homeless, Tom explains “Sometimes, the service feels like another weekly task, no different than mowing the lawn. When I feel a close connection to God, and I am completing the service to bring him glory, I can’t think of anything more meaningful that I’ve done.”
As a result of his service to the homeless, Tom realizes that “For most of my life, I’ve ignored the poor. I figured that they made their bed so they should sleep in it. I viewed the poor as beneath me. I now realize I was denying God’s will by denying my equality with these people and by denying them the ability to share in the many blessings that I’ve received from God. To be honest, I still do that in many ways. But by serving the folks at King’s Harvest a few hours a month, I am at least more aligned with God’s will than before, so I am happier than before. This is the most measureable success I’ve seen in this service.”
There are many opportunities for St. Paul’s parishioners to serve the homeless in our area. Although Tom and Catie’s meal ministry won’t start up again until next winter, you can fill out a volunteer application and find other opportunities to help at www.kingsharvest.net Or, check out opportunities at Humility of Mary Housing, another local shelter at www.humilityofmaryhousing.com. You can also text Tom if you want to help with meals in some way next winter. His phone number is 563-340-3572.
For more ideas of how to launch your faith into action, be sure to read service stories in the bulletin throughout the Easter Season, and check out the Service & Justice tab on http://www.stpaulcatholicparish.org. The Service & Justice commission is praying for you to discern your own way to follow God’s calling for your life.