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​Archbishop calls mobile shower trailer blessing one more step on road to goodness in world

September 23, 2019 | posted by Today's Catholic newspaper

Topics: Catholic Charities

Archbishop calls mobile shower trailer blessing one more step on road to goodness in world

Catholic Charities, in partnership with the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Inc. and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently announced the addition of a shower trailer to the mobile relief unit fleet. The shower trailer is comprised of two shower, toilet, and sink stalls and a two unit washer/dryer room to provide humanitarian aid to the homeless and the displaced. It will complement the existing mobile relief unit that provides fresh meals from a kitchen and distributes water, food, and clothing.

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, and Elder Carlos Villareal from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke at the press conference alongside Catholic Charities’ President/CEO, J. Antonio Fernandez at the organization’s headquarters Aug. 19.

During the last fiscal year, the mobile relief unit served 8,053 individuals providing humanitarian aid in and around our community to those in need. Community Outreach staff and volunteers provide fresh meals and distribute basic needs from the mobile relief unit, affectionately named Hope by the community. The mobile relief unit serves the San Antonio community and the 19 counties of the archdiocese and has traveled to Uvalde, Laredo, McAllen, and El Paso to assist those in need.

Catholic Charities’ President/CEO, J. Antonio Fernandez, “As we served our community and traveled around the region with our mobile relief unit, we identified a need to provide shower and laundry access to those who need us most. Our mission is to serve all people with love and adding to our mobile relief fleet allows us the opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters with dignity. We are so grateful to join forces with the archdiocese and our friends with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

In his remarks, the archbishop recalled how, in 2015, the Holy Father Pope Francis ordered that showers would be built near St. Peter’s Square for the use of the homeless, refugees, and poor pilgrims who were barely able to make their way through life. At the time some people regarded it as a novel idea, and others opposed it as an affront to the beauty of the square. However, the Holy Father believed that this act of offering the needy the simple dignity of cleanliness, food, water, and a small measure of security is the proper way to respond to the call of the gospel to care for the least among us.

Offering this gift of being and feeling clean is not simply a humanitarian act, as noble as that is,” said Archbishop Gustavo, thanking the other faith leaders and contributors in attendance. “But even more, it is an act of faith and a living sign of the respect due the human person who is made in God’s image and likeness.”

The archbishop explained how, in Christianity, we point to the words of Jesus in the 25th chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel, wherein those who feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and who visit the sick and those imprisoned are among those invited into the Kingdom of God. Other traditions of faith have similar teachings in their holy writings.

“Through the commissioning of this shower truck, we are together putting into practice what we have been taught and what we preach: to respect the dignity of the human person regardless of their station in life!” Archbishop Gustavo exclaimed. “Those of us who have homes, showers, clothes, and food must remember that all we have comes from God, and that we are called to be generous to the least among us.”