June Newsletter

In a large temple there once stood an enormous and ancient clay Buddha.

Though not the most handsome or refined work, it had been cared for over 500 years and became revered for its sheer longevity. Violent storms, changes in government, and invading armies had come and gone, but the Buddha endured.

The monks who tended the temple noticed that the statue had begun to crack and would soon be in need of repair and repainting. After a stretch of particularly hot and dry weather, one of the cracks became so wide that a curious monk took his flashlight and peered inside. What shone back at him was a flash of brilliant gold! Inside this plain old statue, the temple residents discovered one of the largest and most luminous gold images ever created...Now uncovered, the golden Buddha draws throngs of devoted pilgrims from all over.

- The Wise Heart by Jack Kornfield

Dear Friend,

In the story above, it is only when the statue cracks from age and stress that it reveals its golden interior. So it is with certain guests of our guests. They may look like humble clay as they trudge along 12th Street towards Loaves & Fishes but the stress of shared homelessness cracks open their humanity and gives us glimpses of the spark of divinity within them. Their grace and generosity under pressure is truly golden. They joke with each other, comfort each other, pray with each other as they confront staggering losses, of jobs, of livelihoods, of families, of homes.

As Fathers Day approaches, we also think of the single Dads who come to our Maryhouse program. These men, some of them very young, find themselves homeless or near homeless and needing to be both mother and father to their children. Maryhouse helps them with practicalities - toiletries, diapers, new school uniforms - and lots and lots of listening and good advice. Their concern for their children under very adverse circumstances defines true fatherhood for us.

  • Albert has come to Maryhouse since his toddler son was a newborn. Albert’s own learning disabilities present challenges but he beams with pride as a very cute, healthy and curious Albert, Jr. charms the entire staff. Maryhouse has helped with advice every step of the way, from how to wean Albert, Jr. from his bottle to coping with the terrible two’s using time-outs rather than spankings. The family has been able to move out of a shelter and into a supportive, transitional housing program with Maryhouse’s help.

  • William is an extreme victim of the recession. He first lost his construction job, then his house to foreclosure and his wife to an affair. He’s gone from successful breadwinner to unemployed single Dad. Thankfully he had family to turn to. His grandmother has lovingly taken in William and his three young children. Maryhouse helps with toiletries, cleaning supplies and clothing to stretch the extended family’s dollars until William is able to find a job.

  • Joseph is a big man, over 6 feet tall. It is obvious that it is very difficult for him to ask for help but, for the sake of his two girls, he does, in a very soft voice. His wife died last year after a long illness. After he pays his rent, there’s not much left of his disability check. Maryhouse provides pull-ups for his two year old, and soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other toiletries for the whole family.

The wonderful women who work and volunteer at Maryhouse give one more gift to these fathers. They admire, fuss over and extravagantly compliment their beautiful children. They join each father in celebrating the amazing miracle that each of their children is.

May your own Father’s Day celebration be joyful as well, and thank you for helping Albert, William and Joseph.

Love & Peace,
The Loaves & Fishes Community
P.O. Box 2161
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone:(916) 446-0874
www.sacloaves.org
   

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Street Address:
1351 North C. St.
Sacramento, CA 95811

PO Box 13495
Sacramento, CA 95813

Phone: 916-446-0874
Fax: 916-446-0875

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