On the 18th of October 16 women from Sabeel went to visit the Saint Vincent Hospice in Jerusalem. It is a charitable institution run by the sisters of Saint Vincent de Paul. Their mission is to offer help and service for the poor, homeless, elderly, and physically or mentally impaired. To begin our day we gathered at the small church in the compound where Father Khalil Maroon from the Maronite Catholic Church led Biblical reflections.
He chose as his scripture text Matthew 25:35, “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” This verse reflects exactly the services that St. Vincent offers for the community.
Alice, a sister of St. Vincent de Paul, led us on a tour. She explained the different departments and services. They provide homes for 90 children (40 boys and 50 girls) ages 6-16 who face social and physical difficulties. They house three elders with physical impairments and 40 mentally handicapped people. The 40 mentally handicapped people grew up at St. Vincent de Paul because their families had abandoned them.
The visit ended at the nursery. There they have around 30 children—babies and toddlers—that were sent to them by the Israeli social affairs office for Jerusalem. The Sabeel women left the compound, grateful for the work of St. Vincent de Paul. We saw the face of Jesus in the hungry, naked, and sick. We pray that our hearts will continue to move us to respond to the needs of the less fortunate, and with the desire to work for a life with dignity for all.