Text and photos by Ron O’Clair
District 4 City Councilor Sarai Rivera, the Mustard Seed soup kitchen’s Donna Domiziano and Mayor Joseph Petty stand yesterday at the end of the handicapped ramp leading into the Mustard Seed Catholic Worker House at 93 Piedmont St. where Donna has been in charge for the last three decades feeding and even clothing the needy who came through the doors looking for help. They gave Donna a Key to the City for all her selfless work on behalf of Worcester’s downtrodden.
Donna did not want to stop serving the poor, but the people in charge decided that she had served long enough and deserved a well needed rest, so she is being retired.
Donna still plans to help those in need with an operation out of the trunk of her car when she gets settled in her new apartment, which is being provided through the Catholic Diocese here in Worcester.
I can’t say enough about the Catholic faith here in Worcester that has been seeing to the needs of the homeless and hungry people of Worcester for many years. The Mustard Seed is a testament to the ability of concerned and caring individuals to provide sustenance to all regardless of religious affiliation, race, gender, or economic status. Very rarely have they turned anyone away from these programs and, when they did, there was generally a need to do so in order to prevent injury to staff or patrons from an intoxicated or unruly guest.
Donna holds the “Key to the City of Worcester” made by students at the Worcester Technical High School on Skyline Drive. It was presented to her, with the reading of a proclamation by Mayor Petty in which her service to the community was recognized.
Donna put on a special Lasagna Dinner as a send off for the patrons that she has served all these years.
There were 17 pans of Lasagna made for the occasion served with sausage, peppers, onions, a fresh garden salad, bread, Shasta soda in Grape or Lemon/Lime and an Italian Ice push up for dessert in various tropical flavors like Papaya, Mango, and Pomegranate!
Neither Mayor Petty nor Councilor Rivera could stay to have the dinner with the people, but I sure did! And it was delicious!
Donna will be remembered for years of self-sacrifice. She says she will “Still be scattering the Seed” out of the trunk of her car when she leaves the Mustard Seed June 1, 2015. She told everyone at the dinner that they will all be getting her business card when she gets her new phone number. It will be a way to contact her if someone needs help – help that she can provide with the assistance of many of her contacts that she’s made over the years. Contacts that donate goods and food to help the needy in the Worcester County of our Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
God save the Commonwealth and God bless Donna Domiziano!