But first …
Worcester’s proposed new homeless shelter shouldn’t be at J.B.’s junkyard!
Great idea, Mauro DePasquale! Let the state/city make the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel recreation center A NEW CITY HOMELESS SHELTER. Winter is here …Why have our homeless men and women freezing to death on our city streets?
😢We hear Hotel Grace plans to leave St. John’s church basement and shelter its homeless on Southbridge Street – in J.B./Frankensteins junkyard big concrete building. … BIG mistake! You cannot just dump 50 – 100 homeless people in a huge concrete box and pay J.B. $$$$.
Legit homeless shelters need: showers, heat, toilets, separate, safe quarters for the women, space for men, a kitchen, a triage nurse, a social service advocate. Like the old PIP – but not a wet shelter. To give $$$ and trust the lives of the most vulnerable in our community to the hustler J.B. IS WRONG!
Hotel Grace folks, please WORK WITH THE DIOCESE AND CM ED AUGUSTUS TO GET THE OUR LADY OF MT CARMEL CHURCH Recreation Center – a big, safe space with toilets, the required facilities – up and running as a homeless shelter.
It is not – like J.B.’s building – sitting on a main Worcester street, in an already struggling neighborhood – a South Worcester ‘hood on the rise again!
Mt. Carmel Rec Center is set way back off Shrewsbury Street, on Mullbury Street. It is a quick walk from the WRTA Union Station HUB … buses or vans can easily drop off and pick up clients …
This building should not be razed, and if the Italian American community wants to keep it alive doing Jesus’ work, then PERFECT! Praise God!
– Rose T.
Throughout the week we had seen giant beams of light moving through the night sky over El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. Saturday night after Ulysses’ basketball game at the Delta center, we drove down to Bowie High School, where the lights on the El Paso side of the border originated, to learn more.
The lights it turned out were part of an installation known as “Border Tuner” or “Sintonizador Fronterizo.” Participants here and at a location in Juárez were able to control the beams of light — and when a beam of light from El Paso intersected with a beam of light from Juárez, the participants on both sides of the border could suddenly hear each other and speak to each other.
At one point on Saturday night a DJ in El Paso was transmitting music on his beam of light and a woman in Juárez was singing along on hers. All of us could listen as their beams were joined.
A little later Amy and Ulysses and I stepped up to the mic and introduced ourselves to whoever might be listening on the other side.
“Hola, me llamo Beto. Como se llama usted?”
“Catalina” came the response from the other side of the river.
“Y cuantos años tiene, Catalina?”
“Yo tengo cuarenta y siete,” I told her.
I then shared my kids’ ages and asked her what sports she played:
“Tengo hijos de trece, once y nueve años. Cuales deportes juega, Catalina?”
“Taekwondo,” she answered.
I encouraged Ulysses to speak. He stepped up to the mic and told her he played basketball, “yo juego baloncesto.”
We then watched and listened as others spoke to people across the river through these beams of light. A family who followed us turned the dial that moved the light beam so that it connected with a different light beam from Juárez. A new conversation began, with a different family, about food and music.
There were tens of thousands of people on both sides of the border who participated, able to talk and listen to each other regardless of the political or national divisions or the physical distances. Sometimes profound conversations about history and art, sometimes playful conversations between young people who were getting to know one another (a young woman in Juárez asked a young man in El Paso, “eres guapo?”), sometimes collaborative music compositions, sometimes families talking about sports and their favorite kinds of foods (Catalina told us hers were tacos).
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, the artist who conceived the project, told me that he wasn’t so much building bridges between Juárez and El Paso as he was illuminating the connections that already exist — connections of family, of history, of culture, of language, of people.
Border Tuner was beautiful and it helped us to remember or see in a different way how special the U.S.-Mexico border is. Not a place to be afraid of, not something to lock down or wall-off. It’s a place to celebrate and share with one another. At its best it’s an example of how people can be good to each other… a timely example given the divisions in our country and the willingness of some to try to make us believe our differences are dangerous.
It reminded me to be grateful for where I live and for the people of this binational community. And how important it is to tell our story, lest it be told for us or against us.
Amy and I are going to spend Thanksgiving in El Paso with family who will be coming in from all over. We’re hoping to get in some great hikes in the Franklins, maybe see a couple of movies. Eat a lot of great food.
We hope that you and yours have a safe, restful and fulfilling Thanksgiving. I am grateful for you and for everyone I’ve had the chance to work with this year, for everyone who has volunteered for or supported our work, for everyone doing all that they can for this great country at its moment of truth.
And you gotta love the sweet ewe, too! She’s hanging out with Rose, 19, at the VT commune …years ago😢! Here, Rose became a vegetarian because she loved caring for the farm animals, like the beauty below:
in Vermont♥️♥️, many years ago…