To The Daily Sun,
"Never have I prayed so well as in the streets."
That phrase was uttered by, Rosalie Rendu, a deeply caring woman who worked with Frederic Ozanam, the founder of the St. Vincent de Paul, in 19th century France. The statement epitomizes the notion that religion doesn't stop at the church door. I think it marks the work of St. Vincent de Paul in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Following in the tradition of Ozanam and Rendu of "finding God with the poor," our Laconia organization has started and maintained a number of needed programs.
Jo Carignan, with the able assistance of her team of volunteers, manages our Food Pantry. The program served more than 4,000 households, including over 11,000 individuals in 2014 in the Lakes Region. The Food Pantry also provided more than 700 turkey baskets for this year's Thanksgiving holiday. Food donations include meat, vegetables, fruit, bread, cereal, paper products, diapers, soap, detergents, and toothpaste.
As the Thrift Store manager, I have the support of four great supervisors and close to 80 volunteers. These volunteers combine a variety of talents and, of course, a lot of hard work that goes into sorting, pricing, and displaying furniture, household items, and clothing. All items from the store are donated by people who live or visit the Lakes Region. While we sell most of these items, we do give away approximately $20,000 in furniture and clothes each year. The proceeds from the store sales go to support our other programs.
The largest of our programs in terms of dollars and cents is our Financial Assistance program. Under the coordination of Bill Johnson, teams of twenty SVdP volunteers reach out to help families in the Lakes Region with over $130,000 in dental, medical, daycare, rent, utilities, fuel for heat, car repairs and fuel assistance. They conduct individual interviews to help clients with budgeting and offering emotional support, encouragement, and guidance with decision choices.
Long-time SVdP volunteer, Sue Page, monitors our organization's Children Foundation. This program works with school nurses, guidance counselors and daycare centers to provide education-related assistance to children. This includes school supplies in September and camperships in the summer. At Christmas this year, the foundation will provide children's underwear and outerwear to more than 700 children. The Children's Foundation is a benefactor of the WLNH's Children Auction.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the time and effort by more than 120 volunteers, the donations of clothing, furniture, food, Christmas gifts, and the financial support you, our contributors, provide all through the year. I hope you'll continue that support this year. As you know, St. Vincent de Paul in Laconia, has never paid any wages or salaries, relying on our all-volunteer staff and management. If you'd like to join this outstanding team, please give me a call (524-5470). Echoing the words of Rendu, "if you have nothing to give, give yourself."
On behalf of all the people at St. Vincent de Paul, I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Erika Johnson, President
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Last Updated on Monday, 22 December 2014 09:07
To The Daily Sun,
In response to James Veverkas vile letter to The Daily Sun, concerning the baby Jesus, God in a human body. Mr. Veverka starts his trash letter by wishing all you readers a super Satanic Solstice (Christmas) season. Well sir, you might serve satan, but your readers don't to us the baby Jesus is the Savior of the world. "Period". And we love Him, because He first loved us. (John 3:16).
You must live a sad life, not a kind word in all the trash you write, never a word to encourage us at all, how sad. People of the Lakes Region, my advice is show your love for Jesus by doing this simple thing. "Come on ring those bells, light the Christmas trees, Jesus is our king. Born for you and me, come on ring those bells, every body say, Jesus we remember this is your birthday."
Sorry I did not make your hate list, I wish every person in the Lakes Region a blessed Christmas.
William Liam McCoy
Last Updated on Friday, 19 December 2014 09:20
To The Daily Sun,
It's astounding the things James Veverka writes here in the paper. I keep telling myself not to respond to his wild-eyed crazy talk but then here I am again. It's like debating someone who believes the earth is flat, the sun and universe revolves around us and no facts, science or reason can get through the walls of ignorance he erects to protect his ignorance.
Right out of the box James claims Benghazi is a fake story. Probably believes our ambassador and security team are "fake dead." He must have missed the news stations, all of them, broadcasting the president, and every Democrat who could talk telling us it was because of some obscure YouTube video no one had ever heard of which caused the "spontaneous demonstration that got out of hand." No, he didn't miss these things he chooses to ignore these facts. They don't fit in with his crazy agenda.
Then off he goes on another diatribe blaming everyone and everything not linked with Obama for all the failures and problems and ends with how we have pulled ourselves up out of all of that and it's all sunshine and light now. Bull droppings!
He is right that I do indeed hate Obama because of all the lies and harm he and his delusional followers have done to our nation and people. Our economy sucks, our security is being undercut, national debt has soared, our laws are regarded as optional, rioting, looting and burning is becoming a pastime for anarchists and race-baiters. You know James excuses all these things because they are the work of his left-wing loons, just ask him.
And as for Obamacare doing so well, let's ask all those who were happy with their insurance and doctors who now have neither. Let's ask why deductibles have soared, co-pays doubled, local hospitals, like in Rochester, not allowed to service ACA patients?
Oh yes I do hate Obama and his phony cronies and for all the right reasons.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 December 2014 08:59
To The Daily Sun,
I do have to thank the Belknap County Delegation for giving the good citizens of the county the opportunity to see the complexities of running the county. Most of us didn't realize the level of detail that employees need to follow in their day-to-day service to the residents of the county nursing home, jail and government. Nor do we realize how important are the many decisions that must be made so carefully.
I find the detail and the debates about the values of what is important or not a real treat to read and enjoy, no matter how mundane the reasons, and why we need to have the important work of the delegation belabor its valuable time rehashing line items ad infinitum.
I do have to wonder how long this education will continue. I can hope no more than two years.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 December 2014 08:55
To The Daily Sun,
That global tax that was instituted by the Roman Emperor Augustus was the very reason Joseph and Mary, who was nine months pregnant at the time, were traveling to Bethlehem from their home in Nazareth.
Here is the relevant biblical passage, with a little editorial emphasis placed on certain keywords.
Luke 2:1-6 begins, "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own [ancestral] city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David), to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered."
Notice how many times the subject of taxes comes up in that first section of scripture. That was the reason Joseph and Mary were coerced, forced, to travel on foot to Bethlehem from Nazareth, a rough and grueling journey of about 70 miles, especially for a young woman in her ninth month of pregnancy. They had to file the equivalent of their 1040 form in person.
That journey should to be referred to as "The Long Torturous March to Bethlehem," because of its similarity with the forced population movements of so many modern-day tyrannies. Jesus' birth was marked by the first world tax. The Roman Empire was able and willing to coerce millions of people throughout the known world to battle the elements, to travel great distances, regardless of their condition, so they could be counted and taxed. No excuses were tolerated. This was a tyrannical government operation from start to finish!
Joseph and Mary were not "homeless," as some of the modern big-government atheistic, shakedown artists and promoters suggest. They were forced to encamp in a barn because this massive population movement, prompted by the emperor's greed, resulted in a shortage of beds for visitors.
Note the next verse, Luke 2:7, "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."
Joseph was a carpenter — a working man — who had funds for the trip, and also had ample money for a room at the inn in Bethlehem. It's just that there were no vacancies available, due to the overcrowded conditions caused by this forced temporary population relocation.
One of many lessons we should learn from this passage is that government is not your friend. It is the enemy of freedom. Government is not Santa Claus. It is the Grinch. Government is supposed to be our servant, especially in a free society. But government is not your servant. It is specifically designed to be our master. Government seldom really helps people. It most often enslaves them.
Even back then, 2,000 years ago, government was heartless and cruel. It thought nothing, for example, of forcing women to march long distances, even in the last stages of pregnancy, to comply with its demands. That's the way government has always been, and that's the way it will always be — at least until Jesus comes again.
And when he does, it will once again prove the truth of another Scripture — Romans 8:28, which says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose."
So, "Don't be afraid," as the angel told the shepherds that night in Bethlehem. There was "Good News" then, and there is still good news now, in this season of joy as well. Truth is truth. Light is light. And God, the Son, not Caesar, is still on the throne.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 December 2014 08:46