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The church ladies and the loaves and fishes


Fri, Aug 31st, 2007
Posted in Commentary

RUSHFORD - Shakespeare said "Some are born to greatness; others have greatness thrust upon them." Betty Culhane belongs to the second group. The recent flood in Rushford resulted in displaced people, who were also, sooner than later, hungry. As the only church in town not to be flooded, St. Joseph's was asked to provide first shelter, and then food.

Father Pete said, "Of course," and opened the doors. They've been open ever since, serving an average of 2,500 meals a day (depending upon whom you talk to). As of today (Monday, Sept. 3), that's sixteen days of serving meals almost entirely made up of donated food coming from a variety of sources.

Many, many people have provided volunteer labor and donations of all kinds of food. But every ship needs a captain, and, maybe because she lives next door, Betty, a retired teacher, seems to have been thrust into that position. Not that she minds. "It's something we can do," she told me Wednesday morning.

Betty will probably kill me for even mentioning her-she is the opposite of an attention-seeker. But maybe she'll forgive me if I say she has lots of help. Her friend, Delayne, another retired teacher, is at Montini Hall early each morning with Betty, planning the menus for the day. Then they stay for the rest of the long day.

"How early do you get here?" I asked Betty.

"Well, we have to decide what we're going to eat for the day," she said, as if this should be obvious, even to me.

They can't plan far in advance because they never know what ingredients will be donated. And donations are dropped off all the time, often during a meal. Which is how Sunday night, we ended up serving barbecues, with a side of hot dish, with a side of hot dog.

"Was this food made by church ladies?" a man asked me before I scooped turkey noodle hot dish onto his plate.

"Uh...yeah."

"Good. Give me a lot."

Smart man. Other "church ladies" serving at Montini these days include Sandy and Diane (my favorite Franciscans), Suzanne, Elaine, and so many others that I hope they'll forgive me for not mentioning everyone. And they are church ladies from all churches, not just Catholic.

And let's not forget about the "church men," church administrator David U'Ren, who often seems to be on the phone searching for donations, and Father Pete who moves from table to table, talking with people for hours each day. A few brave men have even served as volunteers in the ki .....
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The perfect storm

Fri, Aug 31st, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Not many of us would consider the recent rains that brought such devastating flooding to our region, the perfect storm. Most would consider the perfect storm as one that would have brought its 10+ inches of rain, with us making note of only how the ..... 
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Loans to Rushford businesses may not be enough

Fri, Aug 24th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

When asked early last week whether the recent rainfall was a 50 year or 100 year event, Fillmore County Engineer John Grindeland shrugged his shoulders.

"Who can conceive of 17 inches of rain?" Grindeland asked rhetorically.

Call i ..... 
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We all must do our small part to rebuild Rushford

Fri, Aug 24th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Friday, August 18, was a pretty typical day in Rushford. At least for me. I dragged myself out of bed to go walk the high school track. The R-P football team was practicing next door on the practice field by 7:30 a.m. I like watching their practices ..... 
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The bogeyman is gone

Fri, Aug 17th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Karl Rove will be departing the White House at the end of August, leaving Washington, our government and the party of Lincoln in tatters. The brains behind George Bush, Rove's take-no-prisoners political tactics set the tone for this presidency, an ..... 
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Enough is enough

Fri, Aug 10th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Had enough? Tired of the war? Tired of the government seemingly helpless (or is it hapless?) to deal with the problems directly in front of them? Tired of paying taxes and not getting the bang for your buck you had expected? Tired of the "rich" gett ..... 
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Eisenhower showed us how to get the job done

Fri, Aug 10th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

As a young boy I remember exploring the tall sand hills about a mile from where I grew up in Austin. At the time I was too little to know what they were to be used for.

A few weeks ago, I drove over that same hilly ground I first visited in ..... 
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Bush the Blacksmith

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2007
Posted in Commentary

As a philosopher, President Bush would make a good blacksmith.

The House and Senate are debating extending one of the most successful healthcare programs, the State Children's Health Insurance Program or SCHIP. Bush says he is opposed to the ..... 
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Bush talks to an Old Testament God

Sat, Jul 28th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

After the 2004 election, I was mystified over the "moral values" thing. The notion that George Bush's lying about WMD and the killing of so many innocent people in Iraq could be parlayed into good election karma never occurred to me.

And th ..... 
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