A Homecooked Meal for the Homeless
On Saturday, Nov 24, 2018, the friars of the Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish Community assisted the parish St. Vincent de Paul monthly homeless lunch.
The parish is known for a very active St. Vincent de Paul Society and the monthly lunch that is served to the area homeless population. Fr. Alvin Paligutan, OSA, associate pastor at OMGC, shared the impact that the program has across the archdiocese, "OMGC is one of 140 or so parishes here in the Archdiocese of L.A. with a SVDP chapter, serving around 200,000 people per year through the Society of St. Vincent De Paul." Fr. Mark Menegatti, OSA, in residence at the parish, spoke to the importance of the witness that the SVDP lunches provide, "This is important because it helps us respond to the Gospel call to meet Jesus in others, particularly the poor."
Fr. Alvin Paligutan, OSA helped by serving lunch with a smile to the guests who arrived, he says that he views his ministry with SVDP as an extension and continuation of Jesus' miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes, which fed 5,000 people. "Now we're feeding more. This is why, every 4th Saturday of the month I help to serve food, wait and bus tables, do dishes and talk to the people - to serve Jesus Christ himself in people of different circumstances - those who are poor, mentally ill, poor children and the most vulnerable people in L.A. But also to be the face, feet and hands of Christ, a vision of hope, for these people." Fr. Tom Davis, OSA, opened the meal by saying the grace, and Fr. Mark helped keep things tidy in the kitchen.
Mrs. Clare Padama, parishioner at OMGC & Augustinian affiliate, is the lead organizer for this monthly event. Close to 200 people were in attendance, and so many volunteers showed up to help that some were asked to come back and try volunteering another time. Asked why that might be, Fr. Mark replied, "Because many of the volunteers are familiar with one another, the community spirit does bring an ease and trust that I haven't seen in other similar homeless lunches."