Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Friday, May 6, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Nation and World
Jesuit-run soup kitchen mirrors growing economic gap in Buenos Aires
Catholic News Service

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — On a rainy morning, not far from the upscale shopping strip of Santa Fe Avenue with its abundant window displays and name-brand stores, the blue door of the Works of San Jose opened for the second seating of its daily breakfast.

In the dining room some 80 homeless and working poor, mostly men, had finished their breakfast and, reluctant to venture out into the rain, were milling about in the entry and hallways of the building belonging to the Jesuit Fathers. Eighty more were getting ready to sit down for the second seating.

Though the Argentine government likes to tout a decrease in the poverty level in this resources-rich country, community workers say the opposite is true. The gap between the haves and have-nots are increasing, they say, and while some segments of society enjoy economic wealth, others from the lower and middle classes are finding themselves left out of the government's self-proclaimed prosperity.

In Buenos Aires alone there are at least 20,000 homeless people. Some are homeless due to drug abuse, but more people from interior provinces have come to the nation's capital in search of work, only to find themselves facing unemployment and life in the streets.

"With the economic crisis of the country, people began coming (to Buenos Aires) from the provinces and have become garbage scavengers," said Jesuit Father Salvador Veron, spiritual coordinator for the Works of San Jose. "We are seeing an increase in street people due to a combination of lack of work and also a disintegration of the family due to the influence of drugs and alcohol."

Sometimes, if he is unable to find work, the male breadwinner of a family feels ashamed because he cannot support his family, so he leaves them, he added.

Though the numbers in the government's national poverty index point to less poverty in the streets, those numbers can, and are, manipulated to show any desired reality, the priest said.

He noted that 10 years ago the Jesuits helped run two soup kitchens; now they maintain four throughout the Buenos Aires area.

Begun as a volunteer project by parents of the El Salvador Jesuit School, today the project also includes a hostel at another location and includes some 70 volunteers who help out in the soup kitchen. The project also offers literacy programs and vocational training workshops, including electricity, baking and handicrafts, partially funded by the city of Buenos Aires. The project also includes a used clothes depository and counseling with social workers.

"Whoever rings the bell is welcome," said Araceli Baenninger, a volunteer for 16 years and now general coordinator at the center. "We only ask that when they come to the dining room there be no drugs, alcohol or fighting. We ask that this place be different than the streets, the codes here are different. This place needs to be a place of meeting, a family place."

In recent years volunteers have seen a change in the people who come to the center, said Baenninger, and staffers now feed more women and many more young people.

"We really see more people in a situation of unemployment, and more youth involved in drugs and alcohol," said Baenninger.

Hernan Della Giustila, 38, came to Buenos Aires two years ago from the province of Entre Rios, hoping to be able to find work. He was only able to find sporadic day work, and though he usually is able to scrape by every month with enough money to rent a small apartment, there is not much left over for his other expenses, such as food, he said. He blames workers who come to Argentina from neighboring countries for driving down the salaries in his job market, because they are willing to do more work for less money than Argentine workers.

"I made a decision I thought was right, but instead it turned out badly," he said.

In Argentina, street people do not go hungry, because hotels and chain restaurants leave out their leftovers for them to scavenge. But the Works of San Jose provides them not only with food but a bit of dignity by giving them an opportunity for showers and shaves, noted volunteer Cristina Creydt, 69.

"There is a lot of dignity given to people here. They just don't give them food," she said. "I have received a lot more here than I have given."

For the most part the Works of San Jose has functioned solely through private donations, and each meal depends on what has been donated.

Baenninger recalled how a young woman drug user who used to come to the center returned recently to greet her. After years of being on the street, she had gone through rehabilitation and had finally been able to gain back custody of her two children; she was working as a saleswoman in a shoe shop.

A case like that is one in a million, Baenninger acknowledged, but makes the work of the center worthwhile.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved