Casa Maria

Casa Maria


(mellow piano music)
(distant conversation)
– I started here.
The first experience
I had, I think, was
in college when I was
at the Newman Center,
at the university.
So it’s been a while that
I’ve known this place.
– Every single day, we’re open,
except for Thanksgiving
and Christmas.
And we’ve been serving 450
bag lunches every morning,
in addition to 125
family food bags.
– One day a week,
people from our parish
come down to prepare the soup.
We’ve been doin’
that for many years.
It predates me.
(kitchen utensils clank)
It’s a part of the
mission of the church.
We do it; I do it
because it’s part of
living the Gospel.
It is the primary mission
of the church to reach out.
– Well, six of us live
and work, here, full-time.
We pay ourselves 10 bucks a week
and, you know, live simple.
It’s part of our ethic
as Catholic workers.
(bags rattle)
And we wouldn’t be able
to do this, unless
people came down here
and cut up the
turkey that we serve
and put it in the soup
pot, make bag lunches,
put food in the family
bags, drive the van,
all kinds of stuff we need.
(lilting electronic music)
And if volunteers didn’t do
it, this place wouldn’t exist,
and people would
be way more hungry
than they are, right now.
(bags rattle)
(distant conversation)
(upbeat electronic music)
– “I don’t have a job.
“But I always like
to come here and help
“because it has always
been part of my conviction
“to do something.
“I’ve always helped, here.
“This gives me
emotional well-being
“and is an example of my faith,
to follow God’s teachings
“and ask for His mercy.
(in foreign language)”
– Showing compassion
and giving to
– How are you?
– your fellow man,
your fellow women,
that creates joy
and is something
that’s way better than
anything material can
give you. (chuckles)
So this is one opportunity
to come down here
and get involved with us.
Be with poor people, to be
with people that are suffering
and to be part of a solution.
– (in foreign language)
(mellow electronic music)
– “I think there are many
things that need doing.
“Because sometimes,
when you look around,
“you notice all the
poverty and stress.
“And I believe we have
to offer more love.
“We do a lot of things,
“like making lunches,
sorting produce,
“and helping out the
clothing distribution.
“Casa Maria is a beautiful
place. (in foreign language)”
– I’ve been volunteering
here, off and on.
(mellow piano music)
I began, probably
40 years ago.
So that’s when I was in college.
– [Man] How much
longer do you think
you’ll be coming back?
– I’d love to be able
to do this until I die.
And I have no idea
when that will be.
I’m 67.
(inspiring orchestra music)
I’m workin’ on it.
I don’t spend every
morning, down here.
I spend far more
mornings workin’ out
so I can be healthy, longer,
and be able to do this
and other things, longer.
– I think if you do something
that redeems society,
you know, it produces real joy.
And for us, here at Casa Maria,
like doing this
ministry is a way for us
to live out our faith.
(inspiring electronic music)

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