Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 7, 2004
You follow through when you work with the needy
Committing yourself to the underprivileged demands integrity
By WCR Staff
"When I bring Christ with me and look and see Christ in them, then it is a love story with the poor."
- Lynn L'Heureux
Before he became involved in the St. Vincent de Paul Society, he was a sleep-walking Catholic. He just went along with the world. But he began to pray. He soon felt God call him.
"Eventually, I was invited to join the society and we have been bombed with requests," he said.
"Some nights we visit people until midnight because when children don't have food, they don't care how late it is, as long as you come."
Amerongen believes serving the poor through the society is a great opportunity for the laity to practise their faith. And it can be arranged according to a person's individual schedule.
"We see cases where people have been robbed and they have nothing. When I meet them, I try to see them in Christ.
"Our devotion to the Blessed Sacrament should be matched with our service to the poor. With Christ in us, we bring Christ to them and see Christ in them.
"In a prayerful way, it becomes manifest mystically," he said.
Attending his second meeting, Sid Steel, from Edmonton, has yet to make a home visit.
"I work for the Christian History Project which publishes books on the history of Christianity. We have people from different denominations and a lot of my friends were with the society. We talked about St. Vincent de Paul and I thought it was quite interesting, so I came," he said.
"This definitely speaks to my spirituality. I might not be the most spiritual person, but I know I'm helping people with their needs."
The poor might be struggling with issues other than money, says Heather Hemsing James, president of the Calgary South conference.
Regardless, service is paramount.
"They might be struggling through domestic violence, or sickness or possibly the loss of a job," she said.
"We try to express that God still loves them, we love them, and that is really what it's about.
"We are trying to do God's work."
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