Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"There are very few for so much work! Our Lord will have to labor with you."
- St. Vincent de Paul

“Hay tan pocos para tanto trabajo!  Nuestro Señor tendrá que trabajar contigo.”
-San Vicente de Paul

When the volume of work overwhelms me and I am discouraged because of shortages of staff,
remind me Lord, that it only takes a small piece of yeast to leaven dough and you never ask more of me than I can give.
Be with me to carry the load, my ever present Lord!

Cuando el volumen de trabajo me abruma y me siento abatido por la falta de ayuda,
Recuérdame, Señor, que toma solamente un poco de levadura para fermentar la masa, y que tu nuca me pedirías más de lo que yo pueda dar.
Quédate conmigo para llevar la carga, ¡mi Señor siempre presente!

Vincentian Services Department
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles

ABC7 News – Special Olympics at SVdPLA Video

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Special Olympians to SVdPLA

Willkommen! 97 Special Olympic athletes from Team Germany arrived at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Los Angeles thrift store July 22, 2015 for a welcome celebration of free food, dancing, and fun. The German and American flags were held high by volunteers as the athletes came out of their bus and walked between rows of applauding fans to their tables.
After getting dinner from the Habit food truck, the athletes sat with coaches and volunteers for hamburgers and conversation. Andi, an athlete on the German cyclist team, said, “I have never been to America. I like it. It is fun.”
After taking the final bite of his burger, Andi joined many of the other athletes who were already dancing. The live DJ set a happy and energetic tone for the night. Kristoff, one of the German athletes on the dance floor, stopped dancing to whisper, “I love American music,” with a smile that never left his face. The St. Vincent de Paul Society happily welcomed Team Germany to Lincoln Heights and will be cheering them on at the Special Olympics.  
As one of the banners stated, “If you tire running with your legs, run with your heart.”

By Jessica Legaspi

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Eagle Scout Supports Vincentians

Saul and his parents

Saul Velasquez, son of Saul Velasquez and St. Elizabeth of Hungary SVdPLA Conference member Martha Solano, recently advanced to the rank of Eagle Scout, an honor achieved by only 4% of all Boy Scouts.  For his Eagle Project Saul chose to refurbish the St. Elizabeth Conference's food pantry and did an excellent job organizing and executing the project. Congratulations Saul and family!

New Bishops in Los Angeles

Bishops-elect Robert Barron, Joseph V. Brennan and David G. O'Connell embrace new roles 

BREAKING: Pope Francis appoints three auxiliary bishops to LA:

Pope Francis has named Father Robert Barron, Msgr. Joseph V. Brennan and Msgr. David G. O’Connell as auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  The three bishops will join Archbishop José H. Gomez, other auxiliary bishops, priests and deacons in serving the largest archdiocese in the United States.

Msgr. Brennan and Msgr. O’Connell are priests already serving in the archdiocese, while Father Barron is rector of Mundelein Seminary in the Archdiocese of Chicago and founder of Word on Fire, a global media ministry.

Msgr. Brennan has been serving the archdiocese as vicar general and moderator of the curia since 2012, while Msgr. O’Connell just began serving as pastor of St. Frances X. Cabrini Church in South L.A.  “It was a complete surprise,” Father Barron said in an interview with The Tidings. While the priest is a sought after speaker and offers Catholic commentary regularly on television, he said his main responsibility will be to serve as auxiliary bishop.  “I have to be present to the people of the archdiocese,” he said.

The appointment came as a surprise to Msgr. Brennan as well.  “It was like a punch in the stomach,” he said. “I had an immediate gut reaction that my life was going to be very different. We make our plans, but God has other ideas.”

Msgr. Brennan, who identifies mostly as a pastor, has brought that pastoral sense to his role as vicar general.  “It’s a laying down of your life on a daily basis,” he said. “I think this episcopacy will be the same.”  Msgr. Brennan said he, like Pope Francis, makes it a point to bring joy into his ministry. “I try to bring a real sense of gratitude for the day,” he said. “Even in the midst of difficult decisions and the problems and situations that need to be dealt with, without being flippant, I try to be joyful. I try to bring some humor to it.”

Msgr. O’Connell, who has been serving in parishes in South L.A. for more than 25 years, has ministered to communities that have suffered through gang violence and drugs. “I do believe what’s really important is for us to be out in the neighborhoods, to be out with the people,” he said, explaining that his parishes always did Posadas and Stations of the Cross in the neighborhoods, not on church grounds. “That’s how we can change South L.A. is to be out there and work with the people in the neighborhoods,” he said.  “I’ve always loved them.  I’ve always loved being in these parishes.”  Msgr. O’Connell, who serves on the Archdiocesan Finance Council, works with community leaders and law enforcement on gang intervention efforts.

While a date hasn’t been set, Msgr. Brennan, Msgr. O’Connell and Father Barron are expected to be ordained bishops this fall. A press conference announcing their appointment is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 21 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The press conference will be livestreamed here: http://archla.org/live.

July 21, 2015 - J.D. Long-García

NASA Engineer Instills Curiosity At SVdPLA's Circle V Ranch Camp

Amen Johnson, 9, left, jumps high to launch a "stomp rocket" with air pressure while Jessie Hernandez, 10, steadies the experiment during a special program led by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Circle V Ranch Camp near Lake Cachuma.

Tom Nolan, operations engineer for NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory launches a watermelon into the pool during a special program led by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Circle V Ranch Camp near Lake Cachuma.

Campers launch "straw rockets" during a special program led by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Circle V Ranch Camp near Lake Cachuma.

During the 25-minute session, kids asked a slew of questions. Can the robot’s lenses get scratched? How do robots mine? Can they climb the Empire State Building?

A group of campers in a classroom are learning about Spirit, Curiosity and Opportunity, three of the robots sent to Mars.

Before a crowd of campers sitting poolside, Tom Nolan hoists a pineapple above his head.
“It’s pretty heavy,” Nolan said.  
The kids, ranging between 7 and 13 years old, gawk at the fruit.
“Some things that are heavy will sink, and some things that are heavy will float,” Nolan tells them.
He passes it around the pool as the kids inspect it, judging the weight.
“Scientists ask questions right? I’m curious. I gots to know,” Nolan shouts before heaving it into the shallow end and splashing a row of campers. “Let’s find out.”
The pineapple drops a foot into the water before bobbing on the surface.
It floats.
“Isn’t science fun?” Nolan asks the kids. “We get to ask questions. If you are at all curious, you’re a scientist.”
The experiment in buoyancy was just one of eight learning stations NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Operations Engineer Tom Nolan set up for 175 kids Thursday at Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center in Los Padres National Forest.
Nolan, who spent his summers at Circle V Ranch 50 years ago, came to the camp with eight of his colleagues to help celebrate the center’s 70th anniversary, and to inject a sense of curiosity into the campers in the same place he was first turned onto science.
“It all started with going to summer camp where I learned about nature. Going out and hiking, doing arts and crafts and being at camp was so important to me and it’s a huge part of who I am. Then my mom taught me to always look around and be aware of my surroundings … My life has been full of curiosity. That led me to be a scientist,” Nolan said.
Kids darted around the 30-acre campground building paper rockets, simulating the solar system with camp mates, and learning about robots like those sent to Mars.
Nine-year old Francisco Veliz rolled a piece of paper tight around a short PVC pipe to construct a paper stomp rocket that would soar across a field.
“Not too much tape. Remember, the more weight you put on it the less it’s going to fly,” said Bob Anderson, a NASA JPL group supervisor who assisted with the Mars Exploration Rovers.
Veliz lifts up his rocket, sans fins.
“I’m done,” he said.
“You aren’t finished yet. You ever seen an arrow fly without fins?” Anderson asked.
“Yeah,” Veliz said, his hat tipped sideways.
“We’ve got to work on you,” Anderson said.
After pasting some fins to his rocket, Veliz was first in line to shoot it off. He jumped into a corral filled with empty cola bottles attached to rubber hoses and PVC pipes. Veliz slips his rocket to the end of the pipe. When he stomps on the bottle, the rocket should soar into the air.
“I got mine pretty far. You’ve got to reach the hill to beat me,” Anderson said, pointing to a slope about 50 yards away.
Veliz stomps on the bottle, misfiring. Anderson blows into the pipe, pushing more air into the bottle.
He stomps five more times. Nothing.
“We’ve got to get some more oomph in these knees,” Anderson said.
Veliz stomps again as a counselor holds onto the pipe, guiding the trajectory. This time it soars 30 feet down field.
“Now you’re getting the hang of it,” Anderson said as Veliz dashes to retrieve his rocket.  
Across camp, a group of kids in a classroom are learning about Spirit, Curiosity and Opportunity, three of the robots sent to Mars.
When their images flash across the screen, a few kids yell out “WALL-E.”
“That’s close. WALL-E was modeled after it. Disney came to JPL and said, ‘show us what robots look like,’” Christine Fuller, a robotics mechanical engineer at NASA JPL, told the kids.
During the 25-minute session, kids asked a slew of questions.
Can the robot’s lenses get scratched?
How do robots mine?
Can they climb the Empire State Building?
“There’s no question, they’re going to solve the questions we don’t even know we have yet. They’re going to be the explorers and discoverers,” Linda Chilton, of University of Southern California’s Wrigley Institute said.
That sense of curiosity, however, diminishes over time.
On a recent trip to the park, Nolan’s grandson wandered around pointing out butterflies, rolly pollies, helicopters, trees and owls.
“I’m thinking ‘swings,’” Nolan said. “But my 3-year old grandson is the perfect scientist because he’s curious and observant about what’s around him. Along the way, he has an adventure, and I’d miss that if I weren’t with him,” Nolan said. “That’s’ what I hope to teach these kids. If I teach them to be curious, I’ve got them for life.”
Its part of the reason introducing hands-on science experiments at an early age is important, Nolan said.
When kids get to school, they are usually taught to sit in a desk, read from a textbook and learn how to pass a test, he continued.
“My grandson will be crushed when he starts school,” Nolan said. “There’s an emphasis (on STEM), but we’re not teaching the passion for it. Just the facts. They want the answer in the back of the book to get an “A” on the test -- I don’t want the “A.” I want the “C” student who struggles really hard and drives at it and just has dogged determination. The one that never gives up.”
If instilled with a sense of curiosity, the next generation of scientists could cure cancer, Nolan said. 
"When I'm an old man in my rocking chair, I'm going to be the one cheering these kids on saying, 'go, baby go,'" Nolan said. "I'm proud of what our generation has done, but this generation? What are they going to do?"
Harold Pierce covers the Santa Ynez Valley as a reporter for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @RoldyPierce 

Share it in Social Media