The Catholic University of America

Emmjolee Mendoza Waters, associate director, Campus Ministry, was quoted in a National Catholic Register story about mercy and helping those who are homeless. See below.

Will a Call to Mercy Wake Hearts to the Homeless?

From: National Catholic Register
Date: May 11, 2015
Author: Peter Jesserer Smith

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For the Catholic individuals and groups who serve the homeless in the nation’s capital, the essential thing is following the advice of Pope Francis and connecting with those in need of alms on a personal level first.

“It’s about relationships and getting to know people,” said Emmjolee Waters, associate director of campus ministry and community service at The Catholic University of America.

Every Friday and Sunday afternoon, CUA students go downtown to share hot meals with the homeless men and women on the streets and in parks. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, they serve breakfasts. But Waters said the students always do one thing first before sharing food with the homeless: greet them kindly.

Food, while an essential need, becomes a medium to talk with people and helps them relate as fellow “brothers and sisters in Christ.” The “changing moment” happens when a person introduces oneself to a homeless person, asks his name and offers a kind word.

“That’s where you see the dignity of other people, when you build that relationship with other people,” she said.

“There’s always going to be differences between people, but the differences start to diminish, and you see so many more similarities between the person on the street and the person who is a college student.”

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