Our main ‘Love in Action’ project at present is working with and supporting the Joshua Casteel House, a ministry of love and caring in very practical ways to neighboring people in Alliance, Ohio. This Catholic Worker House was originally founded by Bishop John Michael Botean and a small group of committed men and women in 2012 and was officially dedicated as the Joshua Casteel House in 2013 . As a foundation we are attempting to support this ministry in as many ways as we can from afar.
Like many other Catholic Worker Houses, they operate out of a small house in a residential neighborhood making themselves available to all those who come to them. At present the main ministry is offering food and fellowship to those who come at designated times, usually once or twice a week. Their structure is by design very organic, like a family, and they encourage the people who come to view it that way, to help out with meals, the caretaking of the house, and to encourage each other, just as any healthy family does. I have seen the ministry in action and it is truly inspiring to see the cooperation, caring relationships between those who run the house and those who come, and the joy experienced by all of them as they help each other in whatever is taking place on any given day, whether it be cooking, setting up for an event, cleaning up, or just sharing about their week, their children, or their jobs…in a phrase “sharing their lives with each other”.
As is usually the case with Catholic Worker Houses, it is all done on a very modest budget depending on donations of food, labor, and monies from those who have something to give. There is a real sense of not only trust in God to provide but trust in each other and gratefulness for what is provided. One cannot visit the house and talk with the volunteers or those who come without walking away feeling humbled and inspired (and maybe even convicted) by the obvious focus on what truly matters in life.
We will be regularly updating and featuring what is happening at the JC House as well as providing information on how we/you can help to meet some of the needs of the ministry, letting you know exactly what those needs are and how you can help.
Current projects and needs:
Because of a shortage of room to store food volunteers have been painting the basement and sturdier shelves will be added next. A grant is being applied for to purchase a new freezer.
They are also hoping to create a clothing storage room with hopes for additional donations of clothing. The clothing goes out as quickly as it comes in so it is evident that they have hit upon a real need.
Opportunities to give:
- If you would like to donate for the new freezer, food, clothing, or materials to create the clothing room please specify with your donation where you would like the monies to be allocated.
- If you would like to become a regular family member donor see instructions below.
We are also offering the opportunity to those of you who would like to take a more active role in the JC House to ‘join the family; with the commitment of consistent monthly support. With every commitment, regardless of the amount, we will send you a frameable print of the JC House, created by Sarah Fuller, giving you a reminder not only of Joshua but the works of mercy that continue on in his name. I have one sitting next to Joshua’s picture on a table in my bedroom. Each time I look at it I am reminded of who he was, the compassion he showed to others, and how he reached out to classmates while who were overlooked, bullied, or less fortunate than himself wanting them to know that their lives had real value. This ministry is a perfect representation of who Joshua was and what mattered to him, family and sharing the love of Christ with others. I feel such gratitude each time I look at the print of that very small but also very important house with his name on it, to think that his life and message continues on, changing lives in the process. Below you will find a tab taking you to the donation page that will allow you to join our family at the Joshua Casteel House. And we thank you in advance for your love and generosity in helping to keep the Joshua Casteel House a haven of love and help for so many in need.