November 15, 2016, Detroit – The following blog is by Sister Nancyann Turner, OP, who ministers in the Rosa Parks Children and Youth Services of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit. It was originally posted on the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s website.
I think Thanksgiving must be a difficult time for those who feel bereft or abandoned. I remember my first Thanksgiving prayer with the children at the Soup Kitchen. Brother Ray and I had worked hard to promote prayers of gratitude among the children. One distraught 9-year-old girl shouted out, "I ain't thankful for anything. I don't even know who my daddy is." Her pain stayed with me for a long, long time, but eventually, her life got better and she often expressed words of gratitude.
Sometimes, I also feel pain at the beauty and simplicity of prayers at the soup kitchen morning prayer. So often, someone prays, "I thank God I woke up this morning."
Being with so many grateful people has greatly encouraged and increased my own gratitude. But I know gratitude cannot be forced and I will continue walking with some people who need love and patience and healing before their spirit can recognize gratitude. Hopefully, some day, all people will experience blessing and express thankfulness.
Even when times are hard, I must remember to grieve but not to despair. Despite many challenges in our city, country and world, there are, also, so many, many blessings of life, love, family, friendship, a beautiful moon and a rising sun…
Will this Thanksgiving season be a time you can share gratitude with someone? Will this special day be a time that you pray thankfulness?
"With gratitude, all life is a journey of blessing. Without gratitude, all of life is perceived as a burden.” - Jonathan L. Huie
"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie
September 8, 2016, Detroit, Michigan – People of all faiths and cultures are invited to a prayer service to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace. The service begins at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at the Capuchins’ St. Bonaventure Monastery Chapel, 1780 Mount Elliott, Detroit. Security and lighted parking will be available.
Sponsored by the Capuchin ministries – including the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and the Solanus Casey Center – the event focuses on the theme, “Let Peace Begin with Me.” Capuchin Friar Ray Stadmeyer, pastor of St. Charles Church in Detroit and director of the Capuchins’ On the Rise Bakery, will be the featured speaker. The Capuchin Soup Kitchen Choir and the Dearing Dancers will perform at the program, which includes international prayers for peace.
“We gather to speak of peace and so much more,” Brother Ray explained. “We gather hoping our hearts can change and surrender to a force greater than our need to control, judge, hate, fight, and exclude. We come together, begging the God of all creation to allow us to see in one another and in all creation the spark of the Divine.”
All participants will be invited to make a commitment to work for peace in some way during the coming three months.