• August 11, 2010

Heart’s Home ministry beside the Homebound in Brooklyn

Each Saturday and Sunday the Heart’s Home mis­sion­aries go to Farragut Housing Project to bring com­mu­nion to the home­bound not able any more to go to mass on Sundays.

“Farragut is sadly renowned for its vio­lence because of the pres­ence of gangs as well as drugs and alcohol. In the midst of these young people who seem to have lost any ambi­tion for the future, of these single girls who are mothers too early, of lonely and sick people, we are given the gift of friendly faces and I would even say of holy fig­ures.

The first face that comes to my mind is Linda who has been bedridden for her last ten years and there­fore is com­pletely depen­dant on the care of others. Her bed­room is filled with stuff and the walls are decrepit and of an inde­scrib­able color.
Linda wel­comes us each week with bounty and joy thanking us for coming to visit her. To this day I have never heard her com­plain about her sit­u­a­tion or the fact that she has no visits. She likes to have news from our fam­i­lies and the other mem­bers of the com­mu­nity. But above all she loves to pray to God. She sings along with us as if the words were in her heart all the time and she some­times says the words of the Gospel with me when it is one of her favorite pas­sages. She seems to be inhab­ited by Another and receives the Body of Christ with a lot of grat­i­tude. When we are talking about her age, she tells us mis­chievously that she hopes she will live until 100 years old (she must be in her eighties).
Despite being unable to do any­thing, despite her lone­li­ness, despite her phys­ical pain, despite the ugli­ness of the place where she is living, she wants to live up to 100 years old! To me she is a living host offered for the world’s redemp­tion and thanks to her there are many morn­ings when we find the courage to get up and to face the day in front of us.

After all these years spent at the ser­vice of the poor, I keep being filled with wonder at them and learning from them the meaning of living, loving, serving, giving one­self. Father Thierry de Roucy wrote just one year after Heart’s Home’s foun­da­tion: “There, you under­stand, you can not cal­cu­late. You do not save for retire­ment. You do not wonder whether it will be pos­sible or not to go skiing. You do not look at your neigh­bors to see if you are richer than them. You do not give what you have in excess. You give your essen­tials and you mys­te­ri­ously know that giving it over to the one who is knocking at the door is giving it to Christ Himself. […] And, of course, you know it well enough, it is not heaven but you will learn how to open your eyes to those behav­iors which will move you to the deepest and pro­claim the Gospel to you so strongly...” Obviously the poor and the little ones are our mas­ters!”

sr Regine

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