The Generous Poor

Saturdays are usually quiet days at Casa Ursulina. But September 16 didn’t seem like Saturday at all! Our house was a beehive of women making empanadas – those delicious meat pies that are the Chileans’ favorite food for big celebrations . . . above all for  the Independence Day  celebrations in mid September.

Clarina and Cata spent the day making dough for 1400 empanadas!

Already on Friday the women came to put together the filling and set up for the big push on Saturday, when they spent the whole day kneading and cutting the dough, filling and folding the empanadas for baking or deep frying. In all, counting Friday and Saturday, about 50 women – and a few good men – made and sold 1400 empanadas! All proceeds (not counted yet) will go for the support of Casa Ursulina and its programs. We know we’ll be happy with the result.

Our ministry at Casa Ursulina is sometimes described as “service to the poor.” But in truth, it’s “service with the poor!”  The women who come here are incredible . . . so many are so generous, willing to work as much as it takes to keep this ministry going. Most of them are in a constant struggle to make ends meet for themselves and their families.

Clarina’s husband Jaime has been looking for work for two years, finding nothing but odd jobs. Because Clarina makes the best empanadas (she helps support the family by selling them), we asked her to head up our fundraiser. She volunteered with enthusiasm and practically lived here for two days. Jaime came to help man the adobe oven. Pepe and Cata, another struggling couple, were here constantly. That’s just the beginning of a long list of generous workers!

It is good to work with the poor. It lifts the spirit, fires up one’s energy. There are so many good people in this world. They are all around us!