A Note from Jackie Fusco, Outreach Director
I am happy to announce that I have been on my new job for 9 months as your Director of Outreach with Church of Saint Mary. My new role has opened my eyes to those in need. It also has shown me how fortunate we are. Our parish is extremely rich with the love of Christ. Our church community is alive because of the Holy Spirit. However my brothers and sisters, our neighbors are stricken by the worst kind of poverty and that is the absence of Jesus Christ. 61st and Peoria area is riddled with murder, rape, theft, gangs and drugs. That is in our neighborhood…. they are our people…. our flock……our spiritual responsibility.
In our faith, we are called to care for the needy and poor. Not to just put a band aid over the boo-boo, but to provide medicine for a cure. Our medicine is the message of Jesus Christ.
In order to understand our neighbors we need to educate ourselves about their needs. Secondarily, we need to pray for our brothers and sisters in crisis. They see things that can’t be unseen. They hear things that can’t be erased. They feel the corrosion of our community the most. Church of Saint Mary and Saint Bernard’s is hosting a Poverty Simulation and I am personally inviting you to come learn and experience this hands on educational program. March 30th Saturday 9:00 am-12:00 noon. You can RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Love you deeply and dearly
What is a Poverty Simulation and Why is it Important?
The “Poverty Simulation” helps us better understand the realities of poverty and those living on a limited budget. That is why we are inviting you to walk a mile in the shoes of those facing poverty by participating in the Church of Saint Mary Poverty Simulation.
During the simulation, participants role-play living one month in the lives of low income families. Some families include single parents, the disabled, some have recently become unemployed, or seniors living on Social Security. Other families are receiving food stamps, housing assistance and others are grandparents raising their grandchildren.
All have the stressful task of providing shelter and basic necessities during four 15 minute “weeks.” You will interact with human service agencies, grocers, pawn shops, bill collectors, job interviewers, police officers and others.
Although play money and props are used, the Poverty Simulation is not a game. This is the everyday reality of thousands of families, right here in Oklahoma. By understanding the frustrations and complexities of poverty, and of those living it day to day, we can help to make a change. This is a simulation that enables us to look at poverty from a variety of angles and then to recognize and discuss the potential for change within our local community and our Diocese, and to create a broader awareness among Catholic community leaders and parishioners.
As one participant commented, “This poverty simulation dramatically demonstrates how much time and energy many families have to give– just to survive day to day. It quickly dispels the myth “that people would do just fine if they would go out and get a job.”
I think you will find the Poverty Simulation provides an intriguing opportunity to understand a very real challenge to our community and the Diocese of Tulsa and our neighbors at 61st and Peoria area. The date is March 30th, Saturday at 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. The poverty simulation will be held at Church of Saint Mary and I look forward to seeing you there!