Grassroots Ministry: Presence in Ministry & Community
Marie O'Dea rsm (Great Britain Union); 'The Homeless Jesus'
Used with permission
The world-famous sculpture – “The Homeless Jesus” - erected by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz, depicting Jesus as a homeless person lying on a park bench, came to Glasgow in 2017. The morning of the unveiling of the sculpture was wet and cold and as we stood there I recalled the many homeless people I have had the privilege of meeting during my time of working with this group in London and Glasgow. Pope Francis said recently in his message for the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, “it's not about numbers, it's about people. If we meet them, we will get to know them, and if we know their stories, we will be able to understand them.”
 Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2020
Spanish translation using DeepL Translator. Traducción al español con DeepL Translator
I entered the Novitiate in London in 1959 and after First Profession was assigned to the community in Crispin Street in the East End of London. The Convent was part of a complex, which included a Night Shelter called Providence Row. It was there I got my love for homeless people. After qualifying as a Social Worker, I spent six years working in the Night Shelter and then was assigned to the community in Glasgow where I began working in a Day Centre run by the Legion of Mary. I continued there until my retirement. After a year’s break I returned to the Centre for a few days each week to do volunteer work but had to stop when the COVID-19 restrictions were implemented.
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