Longing to be with the Poor


Ok, so here is the situation. Most people on here know that I want to be a priest. However, I want to grow closer to the poor, in preparation for seminary, which God-willing I will be entering immediately after high school. The problem is, there are virtually no poor people where I live. Does anyone have any ideas?


Talk with your spiritual director (I assume you have a spiritual director) or talk w/ your priest.You may be able to volunteer during your vacation time- there are many Catholic groups that work with the poor in the U.S. Mexico etc… Or do a little research on your own and make some inquiries.


Volunteer. You can do a Google on your city and find ideas. Also, there are:





That’s an example of just one. Teach someone how to read. proliteracy.org/find-a-program

There are positions to work with immigrants/refugees. Surely there are poor. You could teach someone English as a Second Language.


There are soup kitchens, orphanages.

Sky’s the limit.

There are long-term, short term, local, international places. It’s your choice.


You would be amazed at where the poor hang out. You can find them in many homes of shut-ins, possibly available through your friendly neighbourhood priest. They also frequent old aged homes; hospices and humanitarian edifices of other kinds.
Poverty is not just monetary; it is often found in the lonely and sick everywhere.
May God bless your endeavours as you look to the priesthood. The church is the church of the poor.


There’s also…St. Vincent de Paul…


What about your local Catholic Social Services or Goodwill Easter Seals?


Also, why not consider learning some languages, like Spanish? sign? Braille?


Ok, this is a slightly different topic. My parents are letting me get a job, and they don’t care where I work. Do you have any ideas of where I could get a job that is Catholic related?


Well, there’s Catholic Social Services, but you’d probably need a degree for most things there.


Hmmm, Catholic related… Are you wanting a job like this to prepare for the priesthood, or to feel more comfortable in your surroundings? Or some other reason?

Wherever you go, whatever you are doing, you are to be a light and witness to the Truth…as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta used to say, “a carrier of God’s love.” Whatever job you take, God will give you the grace to serve and love Him through service of His children – whether that be while flipping burgers, scrubbing toilets, answering telephones, or bagging groceries.

So perhaps instead of looking for a Catholic-related job, you could just strive to be a Catholic in whatever job you get. Just my two cents…

God bless you!



Nursing home as an Activities Aide. You will find many both financially and Spiritually poor.


I’ve volunteered with the poor, both in the US and Mexico. I got my placement in Mexico through that Catholic resource I listed. I volunteered for 9 months at a Catholic orphanage here that was established by an American priest (God rest his soul).

I’ve since been working with other places, INEA (Instituto Nacional para la Educación de los Adultos) …like what Literacy Volunteers used to be in the US, teaching people to read and write.

I volunteered for I guess 5 years as a basic literacy tutor in the US, as well. I worked I guess another 5 years or so as a volunteer with Goodwill Easter Seals tutoring English as a Second Language.

I have also since volunteered with IEEA here (Instituto Estatal para la Educación de los Adultos) and with a blind association, locally.

I once volunteered as a Spanish interpreter with immigrants for a few months and tutored there, as well.

I have helped out, briefly, other places. Once, a friend here came down with typhoid, went back to the US for treatment. I helped take over his volunteer classes.

I also helped out for a short time with a project with Rotary International here in Mexico.

Through my volunteer work, I was actually later to get some part-time employment…through the experience and skills I developed there, I mean.


Some placements will give you room and board and possibly a small stipend. A few will give educational benefits…college. I think AmeriCorps/Vista is one of those.


There are a TON of ways to work with the poor! Well, there’s “Habitat for Humanity” where you can help build somebody a house! You can tutor somebody who’s illiterate or to help him/her get a GED, teach some foreigner English.

You could help teach someone to manage his finances. There are boys’ clubs which give kids big brother-type arrangements.

I knew somebody who did “Habitat for Humanity” with AmeriCorps.


Just because you may not see poverty around you doesn’t mean it’s not there. Ask around your parish or diocese.



This. Don’t go looking for a job in a Catholic-related workplace or field. Instead just get a job where you’ll be around ordinary folk working the nine to fizzle. Some of the people who have been the most supportive of my vocation are former workmates from my “past-life” who aren’t religious, let alone Catholic.


I live in a wealthy city in Canada where there are zero people sleeping on the streets. There are some homeless people, but they couchsurf until they can find a place. There just isn’t monatery poverty here. So when I first noticed the same desire in my heart that you have now, I was in a bit of a pickle! Then I realized, I am not going to find that kind of poverty close to home, but Jesus said there will always be poor people. So where are they? In my hometown, they are the elderly. In my country seniors are sent off to nursing homes to die. I used to work in one and it is so sad to see how most of them leave the nursing home twice a year tops and only if they’re lucky. They are so lonely and so sad and they miss their families but our society is too backwards and cold to care. They are the poor.


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