JustFAITH participants host impromptu inner city soup kitchen

All it took was one man on a bike to let people know soup was available on a chilly Sunday morning.


All it took was one man on a bike to let people know soup was available on a chilly Sunday morning.

April 23, 2012

EDMONTON - On the April 14-15 weekend, JustFAITH hosted a "Hot-To-Go Experience" for its 2011-12 participants.

On Saturday morning, we gathered in St. Theresa's Parish Hall kitchen and cooked three large pots of vegetable beef soup, enough to feed 100 people. We buttered and wrapped more than 250 buns, and filled 100 lunch bags with napkins, a soup spoon, goodies and fruit.

On Sunday, after the 8:30 am Mass, we returned to the kitchen, warmed up the soup and made two large containers of hot chocolate.

With all of the cooking done, it was time to load the van and drive to the inner city.

When we arrived, the area was deserted. We parked and unloaded. It didn't take long for a gentleman, riding a bicycle, to approach us.

"I'll be right back" he said. "I'm just going to tell some people you are here."

That is all it took. The word spread like wildfire and, before long, a lineup formed. One hundred and some people later, the soup was gone, and so were the bags of goodies. We packed up, said a prayer of thanksgiving and left.

Back at the hall, we unloaded, washed all the containers, hugged one another and promised to do it again soon.

We all experienced mixed emotions – the satisfaction and gladness of having provided a necessary service; but also the sadness and frustration of the reality we'd just experienced.

With time, we learn to manage those feelings. They will always be there, but we will use them as energy to fight the injustices we observe.

You can help these projects by donating some of the items we use, making financial donations or volunteering your time.

For more information on Hot-to-Go, Picnic in the Park or JustFAITH, call Maria (780-940-9010) or Stephen (780-909-4493) or come to see us at the St. Theresa's Parish Office.

JustFAITH is a 30-week social justice program based on Catholic social teaching, sponsored by the Edmonton Archdiocese and held at Newman Theological College.