On the West Coast of the United States, Fraternite Notre Dame has been working in San Francisco, California, in the Tenderloin area, since 2008.
At the 'Mary of Nazareth' Soup Kitchen, Our Sisters serve a good, hot meal to 300 persons per day, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm:
"The number of poor people increased at the Soup kitchen, we now feed more than 300 of them every day; we welcome more and more new ones and they are younger and younger.
Here is what some of them told us:
"You cook so well, I'll come back tomorrow!"
"Your smile gives me joy to endure the day."
"I do not come only for the food, but also for your kindness."
"You do quite significant work in this neighborhood, you bring us a lot!"
"Continue your good work!"
" You know Sister, you help us a lot, maybe you don't see it, but you change us little by little."
Many of them say that the soup kitchen helps them to quit alcohol and drugs; they say that in our place, they find something different."
On Tuesday, from 3 to 6 pm, they serve in the street a full, hot meal to 200-250 homeless persons and on Wednesday night, in another area, they serve about 50 persons. They live in the streets, under the bridges:
"You cannot imagine how much we long for this meal every week!"
"These are blessings from God!"
The other day, a poor told me: "Thank you Mom! Excuse me, I call you "mom" because we take you as a Mother, it is not a lack of respect." And as he was leaving, he looked up towards Heaven and said: "Mom, we see each other again in Heaven!"
They also go and bring full meals to senior citizens, and on a different day, they do the same to 25 AIDS patients living in their homes, near the Soup Kitchen.
"We distribute meals, every Monday afternoon, to about 25 Aids patients. One of them passed away. For them to bear with their disease, they need someone who listens to them and understands them. And sometimes, a mere smile encourages them, particularly as they are sick and receive no visit, they tell us how much they appreciate that.
The other day, one of the patients confided in us and after, he said: "God sent you at the right time because I did not feel good inside, but now that I've spoken to you, I feel relieved."
Very soon, they will be able to start a pantry program for the families.
The Pilgrim Virgin continues visiting families and bringing graces wherever She goes.
"In one family, the husband was without a job, and while the statue of the Pilgrim Virgin was still in their home, he just got hired."
"Ana says that the Virgin intervenes very quickly: she had just lost her job and her family was in such financial difficulties that they were at the point of losing their house.
Three days after the coming of the Most Holy Virgin, they received a letter from the bank saying that they would have a solution in order to keep their house, and she just received an email from her supervisor, saying that in three weeks, she would start working again!"