Tucked in the backyard of a Manheim Township residence is a well maintained garden that consists of six raised beds containing onions, tomatoes, watermelon,beans, and potato plants. Some of the plants have been in place since the end of April, but a colder than usual spring delayed the planting of the tomatoes, onions and watermelons until just a couple of weeks ago. Despite the delay, all are now beginning to thrive in the rich soil of the beds and in the warm sunlight of the last couple of weeks. It also helps that they are always under the watchful witness of the nearby St. Francis grotto.
Of course, being Lancaster County, gardens like this are found in many backyards. What sets this garden apart is that the produce from this garden will all be given to feed others. The vegetables will be used in the delicious soups served at the Saturday lunches at the Corpus Christi House, located at 41 West Vine Street in Lancaster city. The watermelons will provide a delicious summer treat at these same meals.
The Corpus Christi House is a member community of The Catholic Worker Movement that was founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in 1933 in New York City. The Catholic Worker Movement is grounded in a firm belief in the God-given dignity of every human person. Today 225 Catholic Worker communities remain committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and foresaken. Catholic Workers continue to protest injustice, war, racism, and violence of all forms.
Catholic Worker volunteers in Lancaster County also conduct winter clothing drives, serve free meals at St. Mary’s, including at Easter and Christmas; and staff the Lancaster County Council of Churches’ overflow emergency shelter. More than 100 volunteers from 18 Catholic parishes in Lancaster County support the various projects and more volunteers are always welcome.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome. ~Matthew 25