Reading the Word of God, a sermon in the open air, dancing in the almost summer rain, drawing pictures in teams, talks and tasty food – all of this is called the “Picnic with the homeless.”
For the third year in a row the Marian Sisters of the Miraculous Medal, the Fathers of the Mission of St. Vincent de Paul, volunteers and representatives of Caritas-Spes have been holding the “Picnic with the homeless” in Kyiv at the end of May. This event is aimed at people who have found themselves in tough life circumstances: lonely unconnected people, financially disadvantaged people and those devoid of their homes.
109 people showed up for the invitation this time. Arrangements took place over several days: cookies and pizzaletas were baked, sandwiches, tasty pilaf and a salad were made. Volunteers prepared an interesting entertainment program so that every guest in the picnic would forget all about his or her daily troubles and feel like being in a family, so that they could feel like full-fledged members of the society. The atmosphere was very warm, joyful and cheerful: organizers wanted everyone to feel warmth and gratitude for their coming and letting others care for them. The weather made some adjustments to the program, not letting organizers do everything that had been planned. However, the main thing was that those who took part in the picnic received a sparkle of warmth and hope. And the title “Picnic with the homeless” underlines that all its participants shared bread and joy as equals.
In the Year of God’s Mercy, we have an opportunity to make deeds out of words and to serve God’s children in need, to perform God’s love and works of mercy even now, following the example of St. Vincent de Paul. Henri Bremond wrote: “Vincent de Paul did not become a saint because he was charitable, but he was charitable because he was a saint.” And one’s holiness is a complete and total self-dedication to Christ and the Church.