" 'When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.' "
To serve our guests, working to meet their material and spiritual needs, as an expression of our love of God and neighbor.
What We Do
Every Monday we welcome up to 70 guests from the Cathedral neighborhood who are homeless or otherwise in need. We serve breakfast and provide bagged lunches, toiletries, new underwear, and socks. Following breakfast, we join our guests to discuss the week's Gospel reading.
Respect is the foundation of all we do.
Guests have told us:
"We are treated with respect here and you listen to what we say. Everyone respects one another ... that is why we like to come. The atmosphere is different here."
Volunteers say they receive more than they give:
"I come every Monday because our guests feed my soul with food I cannot find anywhere else."
"Our guests inspire my heart with their dignity, appreciation, and smiles."
How You Can Help
What: You may choose to serve guests on Monday mornings, make bagged lunches at home and deliver them to the West Conference Room, contribute food or funds, or pick up donations.
Where: Guests are served in, and food delivered to, the West Conference Room. Enter the Cathedral's side door down the steps from the alley entrance (St. Matthew's Courtt).
When: Volunteers set up at 7:30am, serve guests at 8am, and conclude about 9:30am. You choose when to arrive and leave. Help is most needed between 7:30 and 9am. Come weekly, biweekly, monthly, or whenever you can.
On Mondays, volunteers drop off breakfast food by 8am and bagged lunches by 9am. Breakfast donors commit to a schedule and specific food items; lunch makers usually commit to deliver 15 lunches once a month.
Why We Do This
One guest says it best:
"For me, the Kingdom of God is what happens here every Monday morning."
We can live the Gospel by serving our guests:
" '... For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me ...' 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' " (Matthew 25:35-40)
According to Catholic Social Teaching, helping those in need is not only a question of charity, but a matter of justice:
"Distributive justice requires that the allocation of income, wealth, and power in society be evaluated in light of its effects on persons whose basic material needs are unmet."
Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, No. 70, p. 36, (Nov. 1986).