St. Francis Catholic Kitchen, 32 Years Later

Presently, I am here in Aptos, Calif. where I lived most of my life.  Since I moved to Phoenix, I have not been able to do youth retreats and help out at the St. Francis Catholic Kitchen in Santa Cruz, Calif.  I started this kitchen 32 years ago and ran it for 9 years.  For me, this was a crucible that really taught me a lot about sin, people and life.

IMG_3122When I started the kitchen in 1982, I purposely named it St. Francis Catholic Kitchen.  I put in the name St. Francis, because he followed Jesus’ call to “sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor.”  Jesus, all the saints, St. Francis, Mother Theresa and Dorothy Day, inspired me to give up my wealth and found the Kitchen.  I put in Catholic because I wanted my community, Aptos and Santa Cruz, to know what Catholics believe and how they help the poor.  I was strongly told to not put the word “Catholic” in the Kitchen’s name because it would not be “ecumenical”.  It was very hard to resist the pressure, but since it was all my effort, my money and my idea, I put in its name “Catholic”.   Ever since, people have kept trying to remove “Catholic” from it.

When I started the homeless shelter, I purposely called it “Jesus, Mary and Joseph Home”.  I gave it this name to let people know that what we were doing was CATHOLIC.

So today we were blessed to be able to go to this kitchen and help feed the poor.IMG_3136We began the meal by praying with the poor.

IMG_3168All poverty comes from SIN.  I have spent much of my adult life helping the poor.  And I see over and over that SIN causes POVERTY.  Here are a few sins that cause poverty.

  1. Greed.  Greed causes everyone to amass as much money and possessions as possible, even when it is gained at the expense of paying low wages, charging interest and high rents.  Corporations are only interested in one thing; profit.  They push all the small businesses out of business because they can not compete with such huge corporations that can pay low wages and sell at a cheaper priceIMG_3164
  2. Alcohol.  Most people in Third World Countries suffer from poverty from the dad being a drunkard and not working to take care of his family.  Low productivity comes from people who drink and then go to work with a hang over.  IMG_3145
  3. Drugs.  Many people are homeless and do not work because they are on drugs.  It also causes society to be dysfunctional as many people become apathetic from drug use.  IMG_3148
  4. Laziness.  Many people are lazy and do not want to work hard.
  5. Selfishness.  The more we are selfish, the less we care about working together to help each other out.
  6. Divorce.  Two houses for one family causes more expenses and single parent families are poorer than married people.  Child support, lawyer fees and child visit rights all cost a lot of money too.
  7. Corruption. Serious corruption in Governments and On Wall Street.IMG_3182