Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul.
– St Teresa of Avila
Our Experience with Loaves and Fishes
by Colleen Gillespie and Terry Brumfield
Terry and I started serving at St. Teresa’s in 1993. Neither of us can remember why we started volunteering at the Loaves and Fishes dinner, but we suspect it was because of the insistent nudging of Sister Celestine. Loaves and Fishes was started in the late eighties by Kathy Spreitzer, a teacher at St. Teresa Parish School as a service project for her seventh and eighth graders. Father John Hoffman was the pastor.
The dinner was prepared in the old Parish Hall and there were 20-25 guests who were served on the first Friday of the month. Only the stovetop worked; the conditions in the kitchen very outdated and most of the appliances were inoperable. To expand the meal offerings, we started cooking at our own homes and transporting the dinners to the hall just minutes prior to serving the meal. Our philosophy has always been that we should serve our guests meals that we would be proud to serve in our personal homes.
As part of the Millennium campaign, a needs assessment identified that St. Teresa’s Mission should provide a greater role in the community. A big part of the solution was to demolish the existing Parish Hall and add a new kitchen which could accommodate more guests. Terry and I worked on the construction project committee and helped design the kitchen.
We have had quite the group of characters with our guests, but the service has made us appreciate our lives and realize but for the grace of God that could be us.
The volunteers have been great! We have made a lot of dependable friends who back us up and who accommodate any craziness that arises. We have lost a few friends (Ned, Bill, Ruth and John) and their spirit is with us every time we cross the threshold into the kitchen.
Never in our wildest dreams did we think that our Parish Hall would be used daily and that the first Friday dinner would attract 80-100 guests. Loaves and Fishes Ministry now serves guests every Friday of the month!
Volunteer at Loaves and Fishes
Preparation begins at 3:30 pm, service begins at 5:00 pm and clean-up concludes by 6:00 pm
Volunteers are encouraged to commit to one Friday a month.
- To Volunteer:
Contact Tom Micinski at (773) 528-6650, ext. 212
Your support is vital to help ensure we can continue to fulfill our social outreach mission.