Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/6/2013 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Living Faith

Pope Francis lauds Ecuador's centuries-old Catholic tradition Watch

Image of Having reflected on the nation's Catholic heritage, the Pope noted the Christian significance of Ecuador being home to the peak

By Ann Schneible, CNA/EWTN News

Landing in Ecuador on Sunday afternoon, Pope Francis began his tri-nation visit to Latin America by stressing the Gospel's role in fostering respect, dialogue, and care for the vulnerable, while praising the nation's centuries-old Catholic heritage. Quito, ... continue reading


Remembering another great encyclical!

Image of

By Tony Magliano

While Pope Francis' new encyclical Laudato, Si' is enjoying wide publicity, few people are aware this year marks the 20th anniversary of another powerfully prophetic social justice and peace encyclical: Evangelium Vitae ("The Gospel of Life"). Trying to awaken the ... continue reading


TIME FOR REVOLUTION: Pope's encyclical rumbles relationship between evangelical Christians, conservative Catholics Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Pope Francis has condemned - and will continue to condemn abortion and define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, he has encouraged church leaders to speak more about mercy and compassion. Even more divisive is his recent encyclical, which calls ... continue reading


Ten Commandments monument at Oklahoma capitol ordered removed but one man will not let that happen Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oklahoma's Supreme Court recently overturned a previous ruling and issued another stating that the display of the Ten Commandments on capitol grounds violated the state's constitution. They ordered its removal from the grounds because of the religious leanings of the ... continue reading


Italy's 'incorruptible' preserved saints remain displayed in churches to be honored Watch

Image of

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Several incorruptible bodies of saints remain to displayed to be honored around several churches in Italy. These haunting images bring a different kind of eerie to the tourist and locals who are visiting these churches. Some of these saints are in a fragmented state, ... continue reading


Amazing beautiful ancient mosaic church floor found under courtyard of current church Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient decorated mosaic floor of an ancient church, underneath its modern incarnation, during an excavation. The Christian mosaic is believed to be about 1,700-years-old and part of the old Byzantine church of the fourth century. ... continue reading


Former 'Accountant of Auschwitz' asks God for forgiveness during trial facing 300,000 counts of accessory to murder Watch

Image of Oscar Groening,

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Auschwitz guard, Oscar Groening has asked for God's forgiveness after serving Austchwitz during his testimony in court, last Wednesday. The 94-year-old worked for Austchwitz when he was just 13 and later became the "Accountant of Auschwitz." MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


U.S. archbishops express excitement over pending papal visit Watch

Image of After visiting Cuba, the Pope will visit three major cities on the U.S. east coast - Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia - and the respective bishops of those cities were indeed jubilant.

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

Looking forward to Pope Francis' September visit to the U.S., the nation's bishops were exuberant on Tuesday, as the itinerary for the apostolic voyage was released. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - Fewer than three months before the scheduled visit, Archbishop ... continue reading


Pope Francis to meet with president, prisoners and homeless during U.S. visit Watch

Image of Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at Madison Square Garden and preside over a vespers service at the newly spruced-up St. Patrick's Cathedral.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis' visit to both the United States and Cuba will be hectic. In addition to meeting with political officials in both countries, the Pontiff will meet with prisoners at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia and the homeless at the ... continue reading


Learning from Elijah: Shipwreck, Struggle and the Broom Tree

Image of Elijah under the broom tree

By Deacon Keith Fournier

There are lessons that can only be learned under the broom tree. The lesson St Paul gave to the early Christians in Greece about the reality of being shipwrecked and experiencing daily struggles in life is critical in our age. God is searching for men and ... 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, Genesis 32:23-33
23 That same night he got up and, taking his two ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 17:1, 2-3, 6-7, 8, 15
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen, Yahweh, to an upright ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:32-38
32 They had only just left when suddenly a man was ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 7th, 2015 Image

Bl. Ralph Milner
July 7: English martyr. He was born at Stocksteads, Hampshire, and was a ... 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