Posted October 20, 2014 in MH Roanoke VA:
Notes From Near and Far: MH Roanoke

by Patricia Lawton.

I began writing these notes to the sound of a power washer on the front porch and the voices of teenagers sanding and scraping the floor on our porch. It was the annual visit of the Catholic Heart Work Campers.

The past three years they have come into Roanoke to volunteer their help to agencies and people in need, including us. They offer four days of work from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then upon leaving their work sites, they participate in lively faith programs: Mass and recreation.

So, each year we come to know the names and faces of the future Church as we work and pray together. They have endless energy.

Marie Therese McLaughlin attended the annual Feeding America Conference for all the agencies in the Roanoke area that participate in that program.

Close to 20 million pounds of food was distributed last year, with about 125,000 persons receiving this help each month.

In June, we gave a Saturday morning retreat to the members of the parish council from one of our local churches. As often happens, the three of us felt that the Lord really needed to come through for this retreat.

We had prayed, talked, and made an outline but wondered if it would be helpful. Of course it’s always best to lean mightily on the Lord!

We began the morning encouraging the retreatants to listen expectantly for a personal word from God. Then each of the three of us shared about life-giving words we had received from him.

Once again the Lord did come through! When we all came back together to talk about what was moving in our hearts, there were some tears and beautiful insights.

God acted in our lives in an obvious way another time, too. When we returned from a short trip, we discovered that more than 300 gallons of water had been used each day we were gone! There was a leak in the water line that comes in from the street to our house.

Finding the leaks required digging into our newly repaired parking lot. Sigh. To make a long story short, the diocese, which takes care of big projects on this property, is paying for the replacement of a 100-foot water line.

Then we discovered that the water line had been leaking for many months, at first just a little and then more. The Roanoke Water Authority will only reimburse for the two months immediately before the repair; the other months we just had to pay for. God, of course, knew this was coming. Read on.

Several years ago, one of the local deacons paid our water bill for over a year and then stopped when other necessities took priority for him. The day after we found out about these recent water bills, he came up to me after Mass and said he’d like to help us out again with our water bill!

I had completely forgotten that he had done this before, and he had no idea that we had been having a serious leak.

The retreat for the parish council and the way the water leak was taken care of are just two of the ways God is constantly taking care of our needs.


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