“O God, you are my strength.”

Psalm 18.

Fifteen hundred families came via many bus lines or on foot from the hills and dumps of Tijuana, Mexico to attend an early morning Mass in very cold weather. Humble men and women stood in line for hours to receive a bag of beans, rice, oatmeal, sugar, tuna, canned milk, fruit, and instant coffee. A breakfast of cocoa and hot cinnamon buns was served to those waiting in the long line to receive the gifts.

The patio was decorated for Christmas and a live manger scene was created by bringing two or three animals from the City of Mercy Mental Hospital in Rosarita Beach. The people glorified God and the Holy Family by their thankfulness and joy as they gratefully received their food, blankets, and a toy.

THANK YOU for Hearing the Cry of the Poor!

You made Christmas a time of JOY for our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in the dumps of Tijuana.  Your generosity provided 1500 bags of special food and a new blanket for 1500 families and “many more”, say the Sisters!  The people were delighted to receive fresh oranges and apples in their bag of food.

In December, we sent $62,000 for the Christmas distribution.  We received $52,801 from our special Christmas appeal letter and other donors.  That includes $25,375 from All Hallows Church Advent collection and the special letters. This money purchased food and other items (chickens and shoes were donated).  Thank you everyone!

Handmade quilts from the All Hallows Parish Ladies Quilting group were given to families with special needs and to moms with new babies.  These lovely and colorful quilts are treasured by those who receive them.

The people were thrilled and grateful to receive the food, the other gifts, and a BLANKET!  The people enjoy the fellowship and comfort the Casa offers. Women most often express their joy with tears.  Most of us have NO IDEA what it is like to live the way these people must live. They were sincerely grateful for the simple gifts, happy to share with others, and to enjoy this feative Happy Day at the Casa with their Friends and the Sisters.  To the men, women, and children who come to the Casa, it is “home” and represents a refuge, security, and love.

How You Can Help Now

The Sisters will be delivering more blankets, food, and some tarps (donated by a generous family) and toys to several outlying colonias they help on a regular basis.  The nights these last few weeks have been extremely cold.

  • Now is a good time to give those camping tarps, extra blankets, woolen hats, socks, and mittens you may no longer find useful

The need for basics at the Casa is never ending.  The Franciscan Sisters have been serving the destitute in Tijuana since 1957 through their soup kitchen, bodega, roperia, medical clinic, and social service office.  They reach thousands each week through their apostolate of LOVE — serving JESUS in the poor.

MAY YOUR NEW YEAR BE FILLED WITH PEACE AND JOY

Can you help?  Your donation goes farther, because we have no overhead except minimal PayPal and credit card charges.  

DECEMBER 2018 REPORT

  • 26,880 hot meals were served in our Dining Room, along with many handouts of food daily
  • 1,070 people were seen in our Clinic, including specialist consultations and prescriptions filled
  • 1,236 bags of groceries were given
  • Many families received clothes and house supplies
  • 380 people personally attended in Social Service Office
  • Different groups came to do haircuts
  • 24 Scholarship ads are supporting students to break the cycle of poverty.  Can you help us to do even more?
  • Catechism children received sacraments on Our Lady of Guadalupe Day — 6 Baptisms, 25 First Communions, and 11 Confirmations

Jesus is the Face of the Poor

“She cried so much for the gratitude she felt to God.”

“Mrs. Maria L., 29 years old, came to the Casa some days ago and was very nervous and in anguish. She could hardly explain what was happening to her. She is married to Juan who works as a mechanic and earns 1800 pesos ($100) a week. They have an 11-year-old son in the 6th grade and a daughter in the 2nd grade. The daughter suffers from epilepsy, and they have no medical insurance. She was receiving treatment in a mental health hospital in Tijuana. On their last visit, they were told that because of some hospital changes, it was decided to stop treatment to children with certain disabilities.” Continue reading

“The man who truly loves God also loves his neighbor.”

St. Anthony Claret, Bishop

From grateful children who received school supplies:

“Thank you for your support all these years. May God bless you and your family because your kindness with the school supplies helps us.  I thank the Lord because I’m healthy and I feel happy due to all the blessings I receive.”  Alex G.

“My name is Juan Carlos. I am 11 years old and in the 6th grade. Math is my favorite class and soccer my favorite hobby. When I grow up, I want to be a lawyer, but I know that I have to study really hard in order to become one. That’s why I thank God and you so much for all the support that you’re giving us. May God bless you and your family for your kindness.”   Continue reading

“We fulfill the demands of justice of providing for the poor.”

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“Many, many thanks for the economic support that you have given to us during the months.  Thanks to this, we can obtain stability in the school environment and with regards to school expenses, and I know that not many others have the opportunity to be able to continue. You have given us great help that motivates us to continue forward. I hope this continues, as I also wish the same and hope to continue with a career.  God bless you with love.”  Mariana Q.  (graduated high school with a 9.3 GPA, equivalent to about a 3.7 or A-) Continue reading

“Invest your wealth according to the command of the Most High. It will yield a profit far greater than gold.”

Sirach 29:11

“Around 8:30 pm in late June, yelling voices at the gate were asking for help. Three young men who had just arrived in Tijuana were saying so fast, ‘WE ARE VERY HUNGRY. PLEASE SOME FOOD.’ We opened the gate, had them sit on a bench, gave them juice, water, and bread.  They kept saying in between crying how hungry they were.  It was heartbreaking. One of them had much fever. We got them food, and they calmed down and explained how they got here and how one of them had been working in Mexicali.  He earned some pesos which someone stole.

“Their clothes were dirty and torn.  They said how bad they felt. They were very cold and looked for warm sweaters.  We found them a place to spend the night. The next day they came and had showers in the new place for showers we now have in the new bathrooms. They know they can come for breakfast and the taquitos lunch. May God bless us all. We thank Him for his Divine Mercy.” Continue reading

“The Righteous Shall Flourish Like the Palm Tree.”

Psalm 91:13

“A man named Louis O, 36, came to Tijuana from another place where he was working as a driver of heavy trucks.  Because of the very bad roads, he left to come here, because he was afraid of the danger to his life.  He could not work with that tension, as he wants to work peacefully and support his family.

It has been one year since he left the family to come here, and he thanks God because he found a job as a mason assistant in Tecate, B.C.  What he earns is not enough to send much economic help to the family for the feeding of his children who are 10 and 8 years old. Continue reading

“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Matthew 26:40-41

“Araceli, age 19, did not get enough oxygen at birth and incurred brain damage which affects her speech and nervous system.  She needs help and medications for a lifetime. Her mother, Gloria, and older sister have always asked for help. When they arrived in Tijuana, they came to the Casa to ask for support with the medicines.  The Sisters arranged for them also to come to the Casa on Thursdays for weekly groceries.  Gloria praises God for having found this place for food and medicines for her daughter.  She strongly remarks that God’s good touches hearts who can help others in need.  When she is offered a job cleaning houses, she does it.” Continue reading

“He has filled the hungry with good things.”

Luke 1:51-52

“Mrs. Maria J. is 67 years old and lives alone in her little house that her son built for them.  He died two years ago. Maria has had breast cancer for 2 years, had surgery but it returned, and she had a second surgery. The medication she needs is very expensive. She cannot afford to buy it since she cannot work, because her medication doesn’t allow her to be in the sun. She has problems with swollen legs and walking is difficult. Casa de Los Pobres is helping to supply her medication. In order to survive, she gets food from the Casa on Bodega Day, and neighbors give her little things that she can sell for a small profit to buy her drinking water, bus fare, and gas for the stove. Maria thanks God for the help she receives from the Casa.” Continue reading

“As God has given to you, so you must give to others.”

Colossians 3:11

Caroline Kelner is orchestrating another fun Food Packaging Event on Saturday, May 12 between 10 am and 3pm at St. Brigid Church parking lot in Pacific Beach.  All are welcome to help assemble 57,600 meals for the poor.  Food is available after 12:00 noon along with raffle tickets, lively Mexican music and friendship. 

Donations are needed to offset the $12,500 cost for the food packaging ingredients.  That’s less than 22 cents per meal!  You may donate and sign up at https://saintbrigidparish.weshareonline.org.  For more information, call Caroline at 858-761-7744 or email her.

How you can help by donating needed items

Sister Armida writes, “We are struggling very much to keep services going.  Prayer is our strength to keep our faith deeper in God who provides for us all.  The Casa asks for:

  • Bedding, towels, both personal and laundry soap
  • Staple food items
  • Bottled water

The need for food is always great.  The women appreciate donations of fabric, thread, and yarn to make items they can sell.  The Sisters always encourage the people to help themselves. Continue reading

“He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.”

“He has filled the hungry with good things.”  Luke 1:52-53

Maria Elizateth, age 34, is a single mother of two daughters, 4 and 5 years old.  She lives on a piece of “land invasion” near Tecate close to Tijuana East.  She works collecting recyclable materials in the dumps for sale to survive.

She came to the Casa to ask for help, because her 4-year-old daughter is developing a mental problem. The daughter was suspended from kindergarten and the mother was asked to look for professional mental health care. Maria came to the Casa with much anguish, because she doesn’t have the means for such care and treatment.  It was recommended that she go to the city of Mexicali (a 2-hour drive), so she can have a more clear diagnosis and treatment because of her age.   Continue reading