Friends of Toledo Together,
I want to share with you an illuminating experience that I had this morning. I went down and had breakfast at the food kitchen of St. Martin de Porres at the corner of Bancroft and Detroit. My reason for being there was to meet with Pastor Bev Bingle who shepherds the small and wonderful flock of Holy Spirit Catholic Community. I made a handful of friends with a couple of the volunteers and a couple of the recipients of the daily breakfast.
The illumination came from watching an 80-year-old bald guy clear tables and run the vacuum cleaner. He looked familiar to me as though we had been friends many years ago but I couldn’t place him. About an hour into my breakfast meeting I realized he was Father Marty Donnelly who was priest at that very parish, St. Martin de Porres, for 10+ years and then priest at Blessed Sacrament for almost the same amount of time before he retired. Some of you may remember his brother was Bishop here in Toledo 15 or 20 years ago. Here is this old man who had great stature in the church for over 50 years and now he’s serving the poorest of the poor by cleaning tables and vacuuming crumbs off the floor.
As all these pieces began to fit together, my eyes welled up with tears knowing that I was in the presence of true kingdom greatness. We spoke for about five minutes before I left and of course, he ended up encouraging me.
I have the greatest job in the city to meet with these hidden saints every day, these people who are truly like Jesus. I’m sure next week I’ll have an equally illuminating experience to share.
Thanks for your support of Toledo Together.
P.S. Although it’s a little less dramatic than I had hoped, I’ve begun the official launch of Toledo Together. I had an interview on Yes FM radio, Lamar Advertising has given Toledo Together eight billboards peppered throughout the city and I have an interview coming up this Saturday morning with WTOL.