Listening to stories
By Frank Smith C.Ss.R.
Recently a victim of violence collapsed at our front door. Recently, too, we led a service at the local youth group for a 17 year old who was killed when the stolen car in which he was travelling over-turned.
Events such as these are part of my life in the Wendouree West Exodus Community in Ballarat, Victoria, where I live and minister in a government housing area of 1,100 households with two married couples from the Redemptorist Lay Community.
Together we are challenged to live the call of St Alphonsus Ligouri, the founder of the Redemptorists, to “preach the Good News to the poor”.
- In our contemporary times this means:
- living among those who are poor in housing similar to them;
- welcoming those who are poor and listening to their stories;
- building community and leadership with those who are poor;
- addressing the social issues connected with poverty.
I experience frustration, pain and sorrow, but also deep joy and thanks for God’s people.
He will free the poor who call on him.- Psalm 72:12