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The gift of human touch…

Posted: June 10, 2015

We all crave connection… Someone that “sees us” and wants to know our name! Last night when I was at Holy Rosary I heard an amazing story from one of our long-time volunteers, Marianna. It was a hectic night. She and her husband had served hungry and thirsty guests! Paul was serving gravy and Marianna was pouring milk and water as fast as she could. A young guest stopped to ask if she could touch Marianna’s skin. The young girl gently stroked her forearm. Marianna demonstrated on my arm. Her soft hands reminded me of my beloved grandmother. She said the guest asked her what her name was. Marianna told her and asked her what her name was. The girl thanked her for the meal and the milk. She said she would, “see her next time”… And, then Marianna asked her if she could give her a hug. They embraced.

Marianna was deeply moved by this child. We talked about our need for connection and human touch! This was a holy encounter. I believe that we are sent to answer one another’s prayers. Marianna was at Holy Rosary to share her love with a child who needed someone to be present in that moment. Marianna also knew that this child blessed her too.

I am always grateful for the love that is shared by our community. I also feel privileged to hear these stories. This is our faith …a hug in a hot basement on a summer night. It that brief space, two strangers, a grandmother and a child made a profound connection.

I also met a grandmother with five children when I was pouring water. When I asked her how she was doing she said, “Better now that we have food.” She also had one grandson who arrived after we had broken everything down, and put the food away. He would have brought the children in her care to six… We scrambled to put a plate together for him, because we didn’t want him to leave hungry. After I left, I thought what it would mean to care for all of those children and to worry about where your next meal would be coming from. 

School is out. This creates a great hardship for families that rely on the school breakfast and lunch programs to provide two meals a day for their children. It’s clear that St. Patrick’s was providing more than a hot meal last night.

I continue to be amazed by all of the people that make this work possible from the generous donors to our green envelopes, to our volunteers and staff who shop and prepare the meal, to all of the beautiful people on our teams! Thanks for making it possible to bring a meal and love to the City of Minneapolis!
                      

-- Maura Schnorbach