The Eye of the Needle. Jesuit school fundraising and homelessness.

The Eye of the Needle:  Jesuit school fundraising and homelessness.

My wordpress reader presented me with two posts yesterday, one after the other, which left me with some discomfort.

Fundraising
Fundraising
Gotta find a home.
Gotta find a home.

Different approaches to the poor.

I have a long-standing affiliation with the Jesuits. My own education was in a Jesuit College in Glasgow and I feel a strong attraction to Ignatian Spirituality.  This is why I read Jesuit blogs.

I wonder if my discomfort arises from the Jesuit philosophy behind the Preparatory school for which funds were being raised – to give children from poor families a superb and complete education.  There is, perhaps, a hint of elitism in it all: in the easy access to funds as much as in the selection of those young people who will benefit from the school.     However,  the programme in Brooklyn  does help individuals out of the poverty trap.

I then saw this post on the facebook page of my old school:

Just co-incidently my former College was fund-raising on the same day - for a tour to South Africa.
Just co-incidently my former College was fund-raising on the same day – for a tour to South Africa.

There is no denying a smack of elitism in the above.  Although it is a world I have long ago left behind,  I want to be loyal and understanding of the reasons why such Jesuit schools are the best way the Jesuits  can serve the poor.

Yet the contrast with the simplicity and directness of the Gotta find a home blog,  affects me.  Dennis Cardiff  writes stories in his blog about homeless people   He says,

“I can’t do much for these people except to show them love, compassion, an ear to listen, perhaps a breakfast sandwich and a coffee. I want to do more. To know them is to love them. “

I want to see both these approaches to helping the poor as inspirations and a witness to the Gospels.  Perhaps the Jesuits have elected the more difficult Way.