In the days of “safer at home” and social distancing, the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Garfield Avenue might be the busiest spot in Venice on Saturday mornings.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., some 200 cars make their way into the parking lot of St. Mark Church via a Covid-conscious drive-thru system. Waiting for them are volunteers in bright yellow safety vests and face masks with grocery bags carrying fresh fruit and vegetables, canned goods, milk, and bread.
The order is first come, first serve. No sign-up required, no questions asked.
Organizers said 6,000 pounds of food are served here every week, although they’re not really sure how their small effort has gotten this big….
For St. Mark’s administrator Father Albert van der Woerd, the project is a testimony to the good that can come out of a difficult year like 2020.
Originally from the Netherlands, the 60-year-old has only been a priest for four years. When he arrived at St. Mark’s last year, he could not have imagined that besides having to close his parish in a pandemic, he would also be spending time in negotiations over the development of a 40-unit supportive housing project for the chronically homeless on Lincoln Boulevard.
The issue centered around the proposed location of the taxpayer-funded project, known as the Lincoln Apartments, next to St. Mark’s parish center. Involved in the proposal was Safe Place for Youth, a nonprofit that currently works out of the location.
Parish families expressed safety and privacy concerns, since a private driveway behind the complex provides access to the church parking lot, used often by parents and children for the school, and now, for the Saturday food drives.
After months of discussion between developers, lawyers, local citizen groups — often in the public forum — the archdiocese and developers reached an agreement that addressed the concerns raised. The project got final approval in September….
From a church that has some 1,500 registered families and 300 children at the school, parishioners Geoff and Michelle Forgione have a second-grader and another starting transitional kindergarten at St. Mark. The Forgiones, living in nearby Mar Vista, were among some 200 families that wrote personal letters to LA City Councilman Mike Bonin to express concerns.
Geoff, who recently joined the parish council, said he admired how Father van der Woerd navigated criticism by sticking to his principled approach.
“Father Albert really did his homework and did a lot of listening to a lot of people,” said Geoff, an attorney by trade. “There was a concerted campaign to undermine him and compel him to change course. To his credit, he fought through it in a very dignified and determined way, and in the end we extracted significant concessions from the developers in the interest of child safety….”
The above comes from a Dec. 28 story in Angelus News.
For whatever you do to the least of these my children you do also unto me
In the richest country in the world, millions are going hungry. I don’t think that is what God intended!
So then God should do something about it. If he’s not helping the people who are in need and not helping those who could help them, then it seems he’s cool with the way things are. You know who God is helping? Biden, Kamala, Newsom, Pelosi, Bezos, Zuckerberg, Musk, scores of Hollywood idiots, hundreds if not thousands of lesser Democrat politicians. Democrats have shut down the economy, causing much of this hardship. You know who’s getting screwed? Faithful Catholics. Oh, God seems to be cool with pope Francis too. Sure, let everything fall apart. Okay, God. Whatever. There’s a lot more he could be doing, but he’s not.
Kevin, God works through the physical world He created. Not like a child’s fantasy of “my Mommy and Daddy “magically” do everything for me!” God asks that we listen, and that He may do His work through our hands and hearts, consecrated to Him. We are His servants. We must dedicate our lives to work for His Son, Jesus Christ, to help Him transform the world, and build His Kingdom!
Kevin– God is mostly interested in preparing and purifying souls, interiorly– guiding them to Heaven. God is not too interested in human worldly affairs. It takes good “listening ears,” to hear what God is saying– only a few really listen, and fewer still, listen well, and follow! Jesus knew this, but came to earth anyway– and He suffered and died unjustly, on a Cross, for our Salvation. The whole thing looked like a tragic failure! Where was God, when Christ was wrongfully arrested and put to death?? But God knows all things– the Cross was a complete triumph, not a horrifying failure! God is always working in people’s lives, to purify and save souls, and prepare them for Heaven. The way the external human world appears– is often “insane,” and not “real,” to God. God has His own unseen ways, and they are far above our ways! You might ask God Himself to answer your question, “Where is God in this situation?” — and see what kind of reply He gives you! Might be interesting! I am sure that He would love to answer your question!
Your whole concept of “getting screwed” while vulgar and obscene, also shows that you think you are entitled to something. Entitlement is one of the hallmark characteristics of narcissism, aka pride.
Bob One, the US is the 11th richest country in the world.
Maybe a lot of future converts from residents of the housing project, who might in the process of straightening themselves out become productive citizens and parishioners. But be sure, parishioners and neighbors, that the responsible public agency keeps up the appearance and maintenance of those apartments.