Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/6/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Intrepid mission continues to serve Manhattan's poor.

Catholic Online recently interviewed Jill Gadwood, a volunteer at The Bowery Mission in Lower Manhattan. The Bowery Mission has served homeless and hungry New Yorkers since 1879. Today, well over a hundred years into its work, the Mission continues to serve the needs of New York's "skid row" with compassionate care such as meals, shelter and clothing, as well as showers, haircuts and expert medical and optometric care. Additionally, each meal and every night of shelter is an invitation for holistic recovery and life transformation through a residential recovery program.

Bowery Mission volunteers, Peter Fitton, Jill Gadwood, John Paul Micallef, Jim Gadwood.

Bowery Mission volunteers, Peter Fitton, Jill Gadwood, John Paul Micallef, Jim Gadwood.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/6/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Bowery Mission, poor, St. Patrick's, Manhattan, New York, skid row


NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) - Jill Gadwood, thank you for your time. Please share with us, what is The Bowery Mission and why is its work so important to you?

GADWOOD: The Bowery Mission is more than just a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. In addition to serving over 900 meals a day, the Mission provides a lifeline to homeless men and women looking for a second (or even third or fourth) chance with its residential recovery programs. The Mission offers the homeless a welcoming, Christian environment in which to live while they recover from drug or alcohol addictions, pursue an education, look for gainful employment and discover or grow deeper in faith.

COL: What is the relationship between St. Patrick's Old Cathedral and the Mission? When did the partnership begin and what does it look like today?

GADWOOD:  The mission of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral is to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people of our community through worship, service, education and culture.  One of the great ways St. Patrick's Old Cathedral furthers this mission is by supporting local organizations which serve the homeless.  St. Patrick's Old Cathedral is just two blocks down Prince Street from The Bowery Mission, and since the spring of 2011 we have been forming a wonderful partnership of support and friendship.  We started with our first brainstorming session in the basement of the parish rectory with about 25 volunteer parishioners, and today we have over 150 volunteers who serve the Mission and other homeless organizations in various ways, including: serving meals, participating in the annual Don't Walk By event, holding donation drives at our parish to collect needed items, tutoring residents of the Mission who are pursuing a GED, connecting the Mission to legal service organizations and promoting The Bowery Mission Young Philanthropists' annual fundraiser.

COL:
Many parishes serve missions and do charitable work. What sets your endeavor apart from others?

GADWOOD:
  We have kept a local focus on our outreach to the homeless, serving The Bowery Mission, ACE (Association of Community Employment) in SoHo and the Catholic Worker's St. Joseph's house in the East Village.   While there are an infinite number of great causes out there, it is important for a community church not to overlook those who are struggling in her own neighborhood.  Because of the proximity, we have also been able to witness firsthand the fruits of our labors.

COL: Does St. Patrick's Old Cathedral enjoy a greater level of commitment or participation from parishioners than average?

GADWOOD: St. Patrick's Old Cathedral is blessed with a vibrant community of young professionals who are very involved in their parish.  They are always looking for ways to get involved, especially in community outreach work.  As mentioned before, our volunteer base for outreach to the homeless has grown six-fold in less than two years.  In addition to volunteers who participate in our local outreach programs, there are countless volunteers who serve the parish in other ways, including Eucharistic ministers to the homebound, lectors, altar servers, social committee volunteers, music ministers, RCIA catechists and mentors, and discussion group leaders.

COL:
What motivates you to do the work you do? Why not spend your time doing something else?

GADWOOD: I feel that I have a duty as a Catholic and disciple of Christ to serve the poor and others in need.  I have found volunteering with The Bowery Mission to be a wonderful experience because they are a faith-based Mission, offering the homeless more than just a hot meal and a shower but also offering them a chance to discover or grow deeper in a relationship with Christ.

COL: What are the needs of the community served by the mission?

GADWOOD:  Our volunteer group at the Mission works very closely with Peter Fitton, the Mission's Volunteer Coordinator, to assess the Mission's needs and tailor our volunteer efforts to those needs.  For example, we asked Peter what items we should collect during our donation drives at the parish.  His first response was "socks and underwear."   While most parishes collect toys for children before the Christmas Season, St. Patrick's Old Cathedral hosted an Advent Donation Drive to collect socks, underwear, hats and gloves for the homeless to help them during the cold winter months.  Socks and underwear are certainly not first on the Christmas wish list for most people, but the Mission has taught us not to take for granted the most basic necessities in life.

COL:
How can others become involved?

GADWOOD: 
Our parish website has a "Get Involved" page where parishioners or friends of the parish can express their interest in particular volunteer opportunities, including community outreach to the homeless.

Once parishioners email me about serving the homeless, I add them to the volunteer list serve and keep them updated about ongoing volunteer opportunities.  You can also contact the Mission directly by visiting these links:

Visit the Mission website here.

Donate here.

Volunteer here.

Ms. Gadwood, thank you for your time and please accept our prayers for all your continued good work for those most in need.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Living Faith

Let the Holy Spirit Teach us How to Become Prayer Watch

Image of St. Paul wrote to the early Christians in Greece, telling them to pray without ceasing. (1 Th. 5:16-19) They did not live lives of ease, in any sense of the word. They had families, occupations, bills, and yes, difficulties and struggles beyond what many of us could imagine. They also suffered greatly for their faith. Yet, he instructed them to Pray without ceasing. Did he really mean it? I believe that he did.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When the Spirit dwells in a person, from the moment in which that person has become prayer, he never leaves him. For the Spirit himself never ceases to pray in him. Whether the person is asleep or awake, prayer never from then on departs from his soul. Whether he ... continue reading


Pope expresses regret with exodus of Christians from Mosul Watch

Image of

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

In his weekly Sunday Angelus address Pope Francis mourned the fleeing of the last Christians from the Iraqi city of Mosul, who were told by ISIS forces last week to either convert, pay the Jizya tax or leave. (CNA/EWTN News) - "They are persecuted; our brothers are ... continue reading


Your Catholic Voice Foundation delivers for Sisters of St. Joseph

Image of They're on their way, thanks to you.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An order for 350 Bibles for a Catholic school in Grenada has been shipped to the sisters free of international shipping charges, thanks to you, the readers of Catholic Online. The shipping charges stood at approximately $800, and was covered by donations. Now, Your ... continue reading


This is Ch__ch. What is missing?

Image of What's missing? You are!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What's missing from this church? You are! Are we mistaken? Show up and tell us you are already there and get your daily prayer and more for FREE as our thanks.Click here now to say you're there!Now you can share this question with your friends. Are they at church? continue reading


Unaccompanied migrant children need our help

Image of This is an image of immigrant children presently housed in conditions that would be unconstitutional for convicted felons. These children are without their families, alone and afraid and without control over their future, they are the victims of many culprits.

By Tony Magliano

Tens of thousands of children fleeing desperate conditions have entered the United States asking for help. And many more are coming. What kind of welcome is being offered to them? The answer to that question is still largely undetermined. According to Human Rights ... continue reading


Freedom, Choosing and Becoming: Moral Life and Truth Watch

Image of Our Moral Life in Christ.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

What we choose determines who we become. Choosing what is good changes the chooser, empowering him or her to proceed along the pathways of virtue and develop the habitus - or habits- which promote Christian character. The Catechism of the Catholic Church ... continue reading


Pope Francis warns of migrant children falling prey to 'racist and xenophobic attitudes' Watch

Image of Pope Francis is calling for help and concrete solutions tot he plight of migrant children now flooding U.S. borders.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As hundreds of thousands of migrant children from Central and South American continue to flood the United States across the border of Texas, Pope Francis is calling for help and concrete solutions. Speaking at the Mexico's Foreign Relations Secretariat yesterday, ... continue reading


Pope Francis seeks 'urgent intervention' for migrant children flooding U.S. border Watch

Image of The U.S. has deported Honduran children as young as 1-1/2 years old this week. It was the first such flight since President Obama pledged to speed up the process of sending back illegal immigrant minors from Central America.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In response to the thousands of unaccompanied South American children flooding the Texas border, Pope Francis has called for "urgent intervention." The pontiff says the U.S. needs to welcome and protect minors who travel on their own to seek a better life in ... continue reading


Pope Francis prays and appeals for peace in the Holy Land

Image of Pope Francis waving during the Angelus address.

By Elise Harris

Pope Francis asks us to pray for peace. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - Following his reflections on the Sunday's Gospel parable of the sower and the seed, Pope Francis called for peace in the Holy Land, asking participants to join him in a moment of silent ... continue reading


Should Catholics go out of their way to help fellow Catholics?

Image of Catholics should help Catholics in every way.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What is Catholic to you? Is Catholic a part of your core identity, is it part of who you are? Are you a Champion of the Faith? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - We call ourselves Catholic, but how often do we live our Catholic identity? Are we lapsed Catholics, ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10
1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:1-9
1 That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Bridget of Sweden
July 23: Saint Birgitta was the daughter of Uppland’s Lagman, Birger ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter