Voice of a Volunteer: Sister Cecilia Palange
We are celebrating the many years of volunteer service donated by Sister Cecilia Palange. Her dedication to bringing food for the soul to the noon day meal every Friday for 23 years will be very much missed as she moves on to her next phase in life.
“I started as a “bus girl” on the tables,” Sister Cecilia recalls. Busing tables is an important job here at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, because on our 20 or so tables, as many as 1200 guests eat their mid-day meal in less than two hours.
“After several years, though,” she remembers,” there were too many volunteers so I set up my ‘soul food table’ in the corner.” At Sister Cecilia’s table, guests have had access to literature and “positive stuff to read”, such as Our Daily Bread publications and cards with motivational quotes on them. The real gift though has been her consistent availability for spiritually uplifting conversation.
For Sister Cecilia, being in the presence of guests at the soup kitchen has been a gift. “I remember one guest saying he had a toothache. Oh, it was terribly painful. But then he said, ‘A hurting heart hurts more’. That really stuck with me.” She goes on to recall a time she offered a card to a guest and suggested he put it on his wall. “I don’t have a wall,” he said. “I live under a bridge.”
I’m sure many of our guests and volunteers have fond memories of Sister Cecilia and wish her all the best in her journey bringing positivity to people’s souls.