Homeless Ministry Restored in Texas

Several years ago, Fr. Mike Amesse, OMI, developed an extensive service to those living on the streets of downtown Brownsville, Texas. The ministry was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since Lent of 2023, the Missionary Oblates and their parishioners at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Brownsville have resurrected this outreach with the name “Cristo en la Calle” (Christ in the Street).

The visits consist in offering sandwiches, fruit and water, prayer and friendship. If volunteers encounter refugees on the way, they orient them to the parish respite center in the gym. However, the main focus and priority are those who live long-term on the sidewalks and in alleys, having substance abuse issues, mental illness or no income or family.

The ministry begins at 8:30 p.m. with a prayer and then volunteers walk with red wagons loaded with sandwiches prepared by rotating groups.

One elderly lady named Angelina recently told the volunteers: “I feel I do not exist, but when you come it makes me feel I exist.”