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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Priest's silver to help homeless

Father Guy Blair of Green Bay, Wis., is hoping to turn the silver he inherited from his mother into cash that will aid his parish's homeless shelter.

As reported, he is auctioning off 14 silver items, including five urns that date back to the 1790s, vases, along with coffee and tea pots, that he and his siblings inherited when their mother died over the summer. He hopes the items, which have a minimum total bid of $21,000, bring in $50,000 for St. John the Evangelist shelter.

And while it may be tempting to see this move as some sort of response to comedian Sarah Silverman's admonishment to the pope to sell the Vatican in order to feed the hungry, it should be noted that Father Blair, who is a member of the Sacred Heart Fathers, has long been a champion of the homeless, earning the honor of Person of the Year from the Green Bay Press Gazette for his efforts. (Click HERE to read related story.)

"As a spiritual leader I need to stand up for the people we are praying for," he told the newspaper. "I have to speak and act as a follower of Jesus."

1 comment:

  1. Helping the Homeless, a Foolish Prayer, and a Change in Perspective

    About 30 years ago I thought I was a good guy. I was involved in helping the homeless at St. Michael's in Southfield (Detroit). I also had two foster children, helped people move & repair their homes, and felt I was quite generous. But one day, one of the people I was helping said that I don't care about the poor and homeless. I was intrigued because I specifically gave her a job (baby sitting) and said she could stay at our home until she got back on her feet.

    It really botherd me, so I prayed a foolish prayer. I asked God to help me to be more sensitive and understanding of the poor and the homeless. In less than three years I went from a nice home, wife, 3 kids, 2 cars, huge bank account and retirement account to divorced, unemployeed, rarely able to see my kids and homeless bouncing from place to place.

    It made me realize something. We, the church, are passing up a great opportunity to help the under-employed, many of which are homeless. We, the church, could own apartments/ shelters that we don't pay taxes on but are used to help people of low to no-income.

    To help find a job, they basically need a physical address, an email address, internet, heat, water, electric, food, a computer, a bed, a chair, and a table to work at.

    If you notice, our only continuous costs are the food, heat, electric, internet, and water. The other costs are basically one-time (sunken) and likely donated. I could get into more detail but there is limited space.

    Why don't we use our tax advantage to buy shelters and help these people? I think we, the rest of the church, need to see the light, or God might make the rest of us more sensitive to the poor and homeless . . . or maybe that is exactly why the economy is the way it is.

    Henry Vanden Brook
    Hvandenbrook@email.com

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