Thursday, March 30, 2017

Cherith Brook Newspapers Online

The 2016 Cherith Brook Catholic Worker Newspapers are now Online:

We ALL made it!

By Paul Chan

Paul Chan is a regular volunteer for our Thursday night meals at Cherith Brook. His group fundraises annual to bene t CROP walk. We are fortunate to receive support form CROP walk for the past two years. Below is Paul’s reflection on hiking the Grand Canyon on behalf of the walk. 

This was a challenging hike! It was warm and sweltering at times, and then it rained on us on the way back for a total of 30 minutes. But we all held our spirits high as we supported one another throughout these last 10 miles, especially the last 3 miles when we ascended 3000 feet in elevation on over steep switchbacks. It was dark but peaceful, with only the repetitive sounds of our boots crunching over dirt and rocks. We made good me, arriving at the top at 1:17 am (a total of 22 hours 14 minutes later). What an accomplishment for this group of dedicated individuals – I am so proud of how we worked together!

Our journey up these last 10 miles is always quiet and reflective, as we each try to preserve every breath during the steep climb. During this me, I reflected on the fact that our walk today paled in comparison to the daily struggles of many people in the U.S. and throughout the world. Over the past year, I have spent me at Cherith Brook in Kansas City. Cherith Brook is part of the network of Catholic Worker houses throughout the U.S. and is located in a blighted area of east Kansas City. There, one meets men, women, and families who come for meals and showers. But Cherith Brook is more than a soup kitchen or a food pantry. It is a place of community and fellowship, where “volunteers” and the “homeless” can be difficult to distinguish, as both groups volunteer on any given day or night to serve food, wash dishes, and clean up after the meal or shower.  It is a place which recognizes the humanity and talents of all who come together to ‘break bread’. It is an oasis in east Kansas City, with 30+ fruit bearing trees and shrubs, large vegetable gardens abutting the street curb and behind the house, multiple bee hives and rain water tanks, and several dozen chickens and ducks squeezed in a 3-home lot.

My time at Cherith Brook has made me feel more connected with folks in Kansas City. You see, I live in an all-white upper middle class sec on of Kansas City, and it is hard to know the other side of the city without consciously making me to do so. But my time there is an important time in my schedule every week—in fact, it is my priority outside of work and family, and my family joins me. Three weeks ago, as I sat across the table eating dinner from a homeless man who I will call “Charles”, we shared his joy of finally landing an affordable apartment after many months of trying. He had tears well up in his eyes as he described how he had felt so INVISIBLE to the people all around him these past 2 years after a large unexpected medical bill depleted his savings and uprooted him from his prior residence.

Being at Cherith Brook reminds me of what is possible. Four adults live there and oversee the operation, and 2 of them are married and have raised their children over the last 9 years while living there (their kids started there in third grade and are now in 11th grade). The group lives “in community”, sharing earnings and resources for the greater good of the house’s operation and meeting for communal prayers most mornings. They organize rallies, fight for a fair minimum wage, and look for ways to promote peace and justice in the world...

Read the rest of the article and much more by clicking on the links above 

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