In October, the month of the rosary, we are especially conscious of the fact that Madonna House is truly Our Lady’s house. In Catherine’s mind, Mary and the apostolate were one. It was she who taught us to go to Mary with our burdens and to count on her in everything we do.
In the gift shop, for example, we see Mary as our buyer. We believe that it is she who inspires people to send donations that can be changed into money for the poor in a number of countries.
One item that has been extremely popular this year is toy lead soldiers. So if you still have those soldiers you played with as a child and would be willing to part with them, we know some folks who would be happy to buy them.
Other things people are buying these days include bracelets; German beer steins; small linen hand towels decorated with cutwork, embroidery, or lace; and small boxes that lock (with the key).
Also, if you have any catalogs from quality gift stores or recent price guides for nostalgia and collectible items, they would be helpful to our gift shop staff in pricing our donations.
Our kitchen staff are very grateful for the sturdy food processor someone sent. Thanks also for continuing to send your empty plastic food containers (from cottage cheese, margarine, ice cream, etc.). They are so useful.
The kitchen is also asking for book matches, large wire mesh strainers or colanders for keeping rice out of our drains when they rinse it. And for our blenders, they need rubber rings to seal the blade.
The men who look after our electrical equipment often need quite specific parts. Right now they need: metric and imperial hand-held nut drivers; a clamp meter to measure line voltage, ohms and amps; and cube taps (both 3 and 2-wire), which allow 2 or 3 more plugs into one outlet.
Then there are their more general needs such as duct tape, portable dehumidifiers and batteries of all sizes (especially "D" and "AAA").
At different times of the year, we put on plays, skits, and various kinds of theatre productions. For these, we could use some stage lighting fixtures and a small light control box for dimming stage lights.
The farmers, who are continuing to bring in the harvest, would be happy to receive single service paper towels, and they are still hoping for some nylon rope (1/4 to 5/8 " diameter).
Mary’ Davis’ orchards and berry patches did very well, and she is now ready to replenish the garden shed for next year. She is asking for lime, blood meal, bone meal, and whiffle balls.
The flu and other ailments have kept our nurses busier than usual over the last few months. They are low on a few supplements and meds.
Can you send any of the following? Immodium (or generic brand), Gravol (for nausea), Refresh eye drops (or similar brands) multivitamins, vitamin D (400 mg), Calcium (500 mg), magnesium (250 mg) and calcium/magnesium combination.
Restoration needs wide scotch tape or other mailing tape and 9 x 12 or larger envelopes for mailing out bulk subscriptions. Our more general office needs are: regular scotch tape, 2-sided tape, and #8 envelopes.
Cana Colony, our summer retreat-vacation camp for families had a full complement of families for each of its six weeks and offered, as always, a setting conducive to social and spiritual renewal. The families had lots of fun, too.
For next summer, Cana could use fishing reels, adult-size life jackets, and family-size lettuce spinners.
Before ending this column, we ask you to remember the men in the maintenance department, who are diligently keeping everything running smoothly. They are asking for WD-40 lubricant, paint brushes (2 to 4 inches), and medium and large plastic snow shovels.
Last but not least, we need clear medium and large garbage bags for shipping donated clothing.
We are very conscious of the need for holy priests. During this Year of the Priest, let us join together in prayer for our pope, bishops, priests, and seminarians.
Be assured we will not forget to bring your needs and intentions to the altar in our daily liturgies.
In Our Lady of Combermere,
Susanne Stubbs and Mark Schlingerman (October 2009)
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