The Interns and Jesuit Volunteers went to Spanish Mass at the Cathedral downtown, where Father Mike lives. Spanish mass was as lively as always, and Fr Mike’s Spanish during mass is coming along great! In the afternoon we went to Northgate Park and played a pick up basketball game. A few guys we just met from the neighborhood joined us for the game, it was a great melding of different skills and people. At night we reflected on the past week, focused on new themes like compassion, and figured out the questtions they most want answered in this next coming week.
In the morning, Interns helped Sister Claire, an IHM Nun who has been in the community for several years. We passed out flyers for an upcoming parish yard-sale and visited a few homes of local parishioners. Claire and Molly started the first day of Camp Camden, a summer camp being run in Northgate park focusing on sports and arts & crafts activities. Maddy worked on the Esperanza Garden mural with previous Intern Tim, expanding the skyline and adding lettering in the clouds. In the evening, the group went to Philly for a concert.
The morning saw another day flyering for Hopeworks, looking for youth in the neighborhood who might be interested in joining the program. In the afternoon, the interns ran the second day of Camp Camden. They had help from three visitors to DSW this week- Ethan and Tyler were visiting from U. of Wisconsin, they came first in April with a retreat group. Also Kelly from Williamsburg VA visited, a friend of Mike’s, and she helped out with kids in the park with the Interns. In the evening, we all went with the Jesuit Volunteers to a free jazz concert on the Camden waterfront.
Camden Clean Campaign! The Campaign is the Mayor’s monthly clean up activity, and each time a different neighborhood will host a clean up. Today it was at Pyne Poynt Park in North Camden, and our group was assigned to cleaning up trash around the community center. The Mayor was also there for the event and the re-opening of the gym at the community center, recently renovated. The Interns got to meet the Mayor, and she thanked them for their work in the city. At night we gathered for mass at the Cathedral downtown. The setting of the beautiful Cathedral at night is quiet and calming, and it was an intimate setting for mass.
Interns visited a new ministry site this morning by going to New Visions, a homeless day shelter run by Lutheran Social Ministries. They interacted with the guests there by talking, playing games, and sharing life stories. Sam joined his kids at Northgate at the Camden Children’s Garden for a field trip. In the afternoon, the girls ran a successful Camp Camden in the park again. The evening event was a dinner guest and speaker, Chris Haw, a local author, theologian, woodworker, and member of Sacred Heart Parish. He moved to Camden 9 years ago with his wife and now has a young son, simon. He is the author of Jesus for President and you can view his woodworking portfolio here.
In the morning our help was needed at the Sandwich Ministry, a ministry of the Cathedral in downtown Camden where Father Mike resides. This ministry has grown greatly in just the past several months. What started as passing out sandwiches to a small trickle of people has turned into feeding 350-500 people daily in a span of two hours in the morning. Check out the pictures below for snapshots of the kids in Camp Camden- it has truly been a positive experience in the kids lives. Knowing a safe and accessible place to play where there will be responsible adults is a luxury, not an assumption, for kids in this neighborhood. Many parents don’t let their kids play outside, and our Interns have given this opportunity.