6/9/2019

THE SAINTS COME MARCHIN’ IN—TO CLARKSDALE!

At the end of May, CAHFH had an unexpected opportunity to host a small group from St. Benedict’s Academy, Newark NJ. The 9 students and their 2 teachers, Mike Scanlan and Dennis Lansang, were on an extended “field trip” through the South, studying Civil Rights history and visiting significant historical sites related to that history. Since this was a last-minute arrangement, they didn’t have an opportunity to do any actual Habitat work but they stayed at the dorm for four days while they toured Clarksdale, volunteered at the Care Station and learned about the Habitat-related history of Coahoma County, as well as the Emmett Till story. Aallyah Wright of Clarksdale has written a wonderful article about their stay, which is accessible from the on-line publication Mississippi Today. We always appreciate these opportunities to share in the larger vision of truth-telling and reconciliation at the heart of the larger Habitat mission, and we are hoping that we will sometime get to host a St. Benedict group for the entire Habitat experience, including working with homeowners.

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St. Dennis Group

Last week, we welcomed a group from St. Dennis Catholic Church in Lockport, IL. This is one of our long-time volunteer allies, with Sister Joanne having come down here since 1992 and others having made multiple visits to work in the Delta! Being recently retired, Sister Joanne has passed the leadership of the trip into the capable hands of Matt Furjanic, who more than proved up to the task of continuing St. Dennis’s fine tradition of collaborating with CAHFH. While they were here, under (as usual) the excellent supervision of Ben Williams, they finished up the remaining work at the Bolivar house (now for sale), finished drywalling the Edwards St. house, and installed a screen door and new outside lights for the dorm. In addition, on their afternoon off, they experienced the solemn and tragic story presented at the Emmett Till Interpretive by the incomparable Patrick Weems, toured the BB King Museum, and ate dinner and whooped it up with Otha (Mike) Campbell and family at Betty’s Place in Indianola. And on Thursday night, we all enjoyed another marvelous potluck at Kings Temple with homeowners, volunteers, board members, and others all participating in the kind of fellowship that characterizes the best of the Habitat experience. We are very excited that they have already reserved the second week in June, 2020 for a return trip!