There are times where I find myself romanticizing the work of the saints of today and yesterday who have helped people in need around them. We are all called to be saints but sometimes I get the idea in my head that the only way to emulate them is to become a missionary (family included) and go to the impoverished nooks and crannies of the world. Other times I feel like there’s no way I can make any real difference as just one person and feel defeated before I’ve ever begun.
The reality is…Saint Basil, Saint Nicholas, Mother Teresa, and so many others – helped the person standing next to them. I am called to do exactly the same thing. It made me realize that sometimes I’m looking straight into the eyes of someone quietly in need. I may be only one person who cannot alleviate someone’s financial struggles on my own…but I am one person who will use all of the strengths and talents God gave her to help that someone.
I choose to believe that deep down inside of us, we all want to help others who are struggling, whether we actually act upon it or not. Sometimes it’s a matter of just not realizing our neighbor needs help or not knowing exactly how we can help. It can be awkward and humbling for someone who is struggling to ask others for assistance and oftentimes we’d rather suffer in silence than ever utter a word to anyone and risk embarrassment or ridicule.
I’m asking for your help. Help for a family who are near and dear to my heart – my brother’s family. (Amazon wish list here) My brother, his wife, and their two children (with their third due at the beginning of December) just recently moved to Massachusetts this past August so my brother could attend the seminary. This has been a long time coming. One doesn’t just wake up one day and decide you want to be a priest. It is truly a calling.
They visited with us this summer shortly after Gabriel was born. My brother, Daniel, told me, “You have no idea. I’m literally following Jesus and trusting that He will take care of us.”
My brother (Daniel), his wife (Melissa), and their three children – Basil (4), Sophia (2), and baby girl (due beginning of December)
Parts of the grounds at Holy Cross/Hellenic College
This is the married housing where they are living on campus. My parents, myself, and four of my siblings all lived here for a month after my dad graduated from seminary until he was assigned a parish in Tulsa. (These weren’t converted to apartments yet when we lived there when I was a teenager.)
I truly believe that God helps others through the work of our hands. Some of the seminarians take on a part time job in addition to their full class schedule while most of the wives work full time to support their families and still accumulate debt due to tuition and the high cost of living there as they try to scrape by from semester to semester. As a teenager, I remember all too well the dynamics of my dad going to seminary while my mom worked full time. I remember it as some of the most wonderful and toughest years for our family – from gathering for prayers every evening as a family to receiving the poor family Christmas gifts & non-perishables. I have no doubt this is part of the motivating factor in wanting to help my brother and his family. My sister-in-law, Melissa, is a teacher and as we all realize, this is not a high paying job especially when you consider the cost of living in Boston. I implore you to help me provide some much needed help for their family.
I convinced Daniel and Melissa to create an Amazon wishlist with items they are needing for their family especially after most of their belongings were destroyed over the summer when their storage unit had a leak in the roof and mold was covering everything when they opened it to move stuff over to their campus apartment. I ask you to please remember that moment in the past when someone helped you out in a time of need and reciprocate that same kindness to my brother’s family in their time of need by purchasing one or more of the items off of their wishlist here.
Additionally, Melissa and Sophia have severe food allergies necessitating trips to specialty stores. Between the two of them, their allergies include: no soy, dairy, pork, shellfish, onions, apples, watermelon, and cantaloupe.
Therefore help with groceries is also appreciated by sending a Whole Foods or Trader Joes gift card to them at:
Daniel & Melissa Christ
50 Goddard Avenue
Brookline, MA 02445
I cannot even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your kindness and generosity as I know my brother and his family will appreciate it exponentially more than myself. Thank you – from the bottom of my heart.