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PRAYERS FOR CHILDREN

August 5, 2014

children-peace-signAugust 15, 2014 – Recent world events have caused suffering, death and fear: the downing of the Malaysian airline, the Hamas and Israeli war, refugee crises, turmoil leaving children and youth at risk. Many of these children have never experienced peace in their lives. They have no family security, no education, no chance to develop their potential, no hope. Let us again join in shared humanity and global concern and continue in prayer, positive thought and blessing for all children and youth. Let us also include in our concern – the people who govern our countries, cities, towns.  We need a window of hope, a rebirth of sanity, a renewed sense of value and respect for each other. May those governing do so in truth, justice, respect, and care for all people, especially the children of the world – our future.

 

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GOTBfamilyGet on the Bus – Folsom Prison July 26 & 27, 2014

Holy Family sponsored a bus to Folsom Prison carrying children to visit their imprisoned fathers on Friday, July 25th as part of the “Get on the Bus” program. It stopped in Redlands, San Bernardino, South Pasadena, Bakersfield, and Fresno and ended up at Folsom, north of Sacramento, early Saturday morning.

Holy Family Parish provided a meal and entertainment for the families Friday evening before they began their arduous journey to Folsom. Volunteers helping with setting up of the parish hall arrived at 6 pm. Little by little more volunteers arrived. Theresa Shaw prepared a wonderful pasta meal for the families. The bus was scheduled to arrive by 9:00 pm.

Jennifer Harnsberger set up a photo both where the families could have a picture taken to give to their dads. A background insert of central California as well as the Get on the Bus (GOTB) logo framed the pictures. The Girl Scouts had a table ready to assist the children riding the bus with the making of Father’s Day cards.

A volunteer was “assigned” to each family as a “greeter” to make sure they felt welcomed, fed and oriented to the evening’s festivities.  The “family greeters” were ready to meet the families as they descended from the bus, direct them to the travel bags (handed out by additional volunteers), and give the families their purple GOTB t-shirts and name-tags.  The tables were set and all was ready.

One family drove themselves directly to Holy Family,  the others were  to arrive by bus from Redlands.   Everyone waited for the bus with the rest of the families to arrive at 9 p.m. The arrival time for the bus came and went. The bus finally arrived at 10:15 p.m.!  The hungry families ate and enjoyed  Holy Family’s hospitality.  Just before 11:15 p.m., Cambria led the group in a blessing prayer and they were off.  As the Get on the Bus Coordinators, we (Candy and Jay Krueger) accompanied the families on the bus.

The bus was two hours behind schedule by the time it finally left South Pasadena. It took an hour to travel from Gorman to Labec due to road construction.  More families were picked up in Bakersfield and Fresno. We were scheduled to arrive at a church (for breakfast before going to the near-by prison) just a few minutes before 7 a.m. Saturday morning. Somehow, despite the delays, we arrived only one minute late! A great, hot breakfast was supplied by the Knights of Columbus of Folsom. We put on our purple Get on the Bus t-shirts, brushed our teeth and hair, washed our faces and were on our way!

There are two prisons in Folsom. The “new” prison (where one family was let off) and the “old”  prison where the remainder of our families departed.  The “old” prison was the one  that we, as well as 2015 Bus Coordinator, Jacquiline Wagner, visited.

The prisons are “cashless”.  If you want to purchase food or drinks inside, you need to put a deposit  on a card and then add the amount you wanted, much like a Metro Pass. Once inside, the families “found” their dads. There was a large interior room with a play area. This was where dads; had tea with their daughters, had their braided, played Uno or visited the “face- painting” station.

An interesting thing about the “Father’s Day” bus is that you were able to see the entire family united as it is the mothers who typically bring their children to see their fathers.  However, on the “Mother’s Day bus” it is caregivers (typically Grandmothers or Aunts) who bring the children to visit the moms, not the fathers of the children.

Volunteers helped by passing out drinks, snacks, and pizza.  By about 1 p.m. the families were starting to fade.  It had been a long night and you could see the need for sleep on the children’s faces. By 2 p.m. all of the goodbyes were said, a few tears were shed, there were long hugs and promises to “keep-in-touch.”  The visitors were separated from their dads/husbands.  We watched as the “dads” who were visited slowly went from being “happy fathers” back to the hard, bitter reality of prison life.

The bus was loaded, and as the bus temperature was cool  the children snuggled into their seats and most quickly fell asleep.  On the bus, each child was given a teddy bear, books, and a letter from their father. They were also provided with a “stay connected bag” containing stationary, pens, and stamps. This is done to help keep alive the smiles and hugs experienced that day.

At the base of the grapevine, we stopped for dinner at an “In-N-Out” Burger Restaurant.  We experienced great, fast service. Once all had meals were in hand, we headed back “up the hill.”  By 10:15 p.m. we pulled up in front of Holy Family where we did a trash pickup on the bus, unloaded the remainder of the supplies, and said our goodbyes. This was a very special twenty-four hours that will not soon be forgotten.

Without the support of Holy Family Church, this trip would not be possible.  Our community answered the call for help with “blankets to stamps” and everything in between .  In January, parishioners bought tickets to Burgers for Buses, purchased raffle tickets, and “stuffed- the- Bus” with generous contributions. In May, people helped send a bus filled with children to Chowchilla to see their Mothers and, when asked, parishioners offered time and talent to also support this bus to Folsom Prison for a “Fathers’ Day” Visit.

Each family offered us their thanks and gratitude for the warmth and hospitality shown by the Holy Family Community. It was a trip that each of them will remember for a lifetime.

 We thank you for your love, devotion and compassion to this amazing ministry!

Candy & Jay Krueger, Get on the Bus 2014 Coordinators

Holy Family Church, South Pasadena

Uniting Children with their Mothers and Fathers in Prison

Get on the Bus

-Ministry
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Holy Family Get on the Bus would like to thank all of those who made the Friday night send off a success. It was a first time event in the history of GOTB for the bus to Folsom Prison  We are most grateful to those who helped to set-up and clean-up, greet the families, and […]

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Wall of Collaboration and HOPE

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Summer 2014  Holy Family’s Religious Education “EDGE” program (tweens), with Angelina Duell (RE Ministry Asst.) at the helm, partnered with Our Lady of Guadalupe- Rose Hills,  Junior high students to beautify the grounds of OLG playground.  Ken Borgerding (pictured below with mural artist Esther) , a teacher at Guadalupe School and a Holy Family Parishioner, […]

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Diaconate Journey Continues…Are you an ENFP?

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Kruegersblog

May 31, 2014   This week our class was in Dominquez Hills. Our two remaining classes will be a closing all group retreat in Tujunga and our last class in La Puente.  This class was conducted by Fr. Frank Ferrante Myers, C.M.F., and Lillian Wood and was on Myers – Briggs Personality and Human Development. We […]

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June 15 – Prayers for Children

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June 15, 2014 – In shared humanity and global concern, let us bless, pray, and think of all children and youth. We hear the cry of the children, their families and the world community. In one voice we say: “Bring back our girls.” – Nigeria. Return the stolen, the “left behind” children of China, the […]

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Jay and Candy Krueger Diaconate Journey -Year 2

May 3, 2014 we continue our diaconate journey… This week the majority of the class time was covered with a guest speaker,  Tim Staples  from Catholic Answers. Tim is a Catholic Apologist. This is a field of theology, which has the aim to present a rational basis for the Roman Catholic faith and defending it against […]

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Diaconate Journey Continues….Catholic Apologist

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Kruegersblog

May 3, 2014 we continue our diaconate journey… This week the majority of the class time was covered with a guest speaker,  Tim Staples  from Catholic Answers. Tim is a Catholic Apologist. This is a field of theology, which has the aim to present a rational basis for the Roman Catholic faith and defending it against […]

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May 15 Pray for Children!

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 We are a world united in concern for children and youth through blessing, thought, and prayer. In the UN charter: all children have a right to an education that changes their lives and stops the cycle of poverty. More than a million children in 14 countries do not attend school. One half of the world’s […]

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Learn about Local Water, Local History

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Local Water, Local History | Altadena Heritage. Holy Family’s Environmental Ministry invites you to attend!

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