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 September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Living Faith

With just six months to live, news anchorman finds comfort with God Watch

Image of Dave Benton announced on his Illinois show that he had only six months left to live after a long battle with brain cancer.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Illinois news anchorman with Champaign WCIA-TV shared heartbreaking news with his viewers on September 11, revealing that after a lengthy battle with cancer, he had only six months to live. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 51-year-old anchorman, Dave ... continue reading


Did a Catholic Online candle contribute to a miracle? Here's a yes!

Image of Did a prayer candle have a role in a recent miracle?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has received many comments thanking us for sharing the prayers of the faithful. Catholic Online has a vibrant prayer community and we are happy to report another miracle. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mika T.* sent an email to Catholic Online ... continue reading


Pope Francis denounces ongoing global conflict as 'piecemeal' World War III Watch

Image of Pope Francis, who has often condemned the concept of war in God's name, said it would be legitimate for the international community to use force to stop

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In his visit to the Redipuglia monument, the resting place of 1000,000 Italian soldiers killed during World War I, Pope Francis condemned ongoing conflicts across the globe. "Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep. Even today, after the second ... continue reading


Fr Peter M. J. Stravinskas on the Exaltation of the Holy Cross Watch

Image of Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D. is the Executive Director of the Catholic Education Foundation.

By Fr Peter M. J. Stravinskas,Ph.D., S.T.D.

Every cross borne by any believer in history gains meaning and becomes life-giving when it is brought into a relationship with the Cross, the Cross from which Jesus reigned as the King of Love and over which He triumphed in His glorious Resurrection.  The ... continue reading


Two U.S. priests appointed by Pope Francis to address clergy sexual abuse Watch

Image of Father Oliver had previously served as a judge and promoter of justice in Boston tribunals and as a consultant to the Boston archdiocesan review board.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Addressing the sexual abuse of minors by clergy within the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has appointed two U.S. priests to top positions at the Vatican. Father Robert W. Oliver, from Boston and Jesuit Father Robert J Geisinger, a member of the Chicago-Detroit ... continue reading


The truth about climate change

Image of Pope Benedict is known as the 'Green Pope' because of statements he has made on the environment. Pope Francis is also said to be working on an encyclical about the environment.

By Tony Magliano

"Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change .  loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the ... continue reading


Cardinal George compares forcing of sexual agenda to Sharia law Watch

Image of Cardinal George compared American culture and government to Sharia law in the way it treats mainstream Christians.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cardinal George has criticized the imposition of a "public creed" to force acceptance of sexual depravity across the nation, enforced with the power of law. Cardinal George compared the forcing to Sharia law in some countries. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Head ... continue reading


Jesus Spent the Night In Prayer. Maybe We Should Follow His Example Watch

Image of Prayer is the most effective form of action for a Christian.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

What jumped off the page as I proclaimed the Gospel is the importance and priority of prayer. Before Jesus made this historic and eternal decision he spent the entire night in prayer. I know that in His Sacred humanity he shows us the pattern for our own lives. ... continue reading


Pope Francis, Vatican actively pursuing better relations with Mainland China Watch

Image of The status of the Church in Mainland China has long been a bone of contention between the Vatican and Chinese officials.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While as a nation it remains largely inscrutable and resilient to criticism in regards to human rights, Mainland China, along with both the Vatican and Pope Francis is now pursuing improved relations. The Pope hopes to warm their relationship and someday ... continue reading


Healing our Fractured Freedom Watch

Image of Christianity is the religion of freedom

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Let us consciously reflect on our own choices today. What informs our daily decisions? Do we seek to inform the exercise of our freedom with the truth? Are we aware of the effect of sin in our daily lives? Are we struggling against it and taking advantage of ... 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, First Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31
12 For as with the human body which is a unity ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 4, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:11-17
11 It happened that soon afterwards he went to a town ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 16th, 2014 Image

St. Cornelius
September 16: Cornelius whose feast day is September 16th. A Roman priest, ... 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