Real Help

February 23, 2018

Dear Friends,


I love new days. Which means every day, of course. Each new day brings such promise. Each new day says, “Get up and get going. There are children to love.”


The number of homicides in Columbus rose last year. As the number went up, so did the well-meaning voices about how to stop it. You have heard it all before and will probably hear it again: more jobs, more education, higher pay.


But we know those aren’t the causes of homicide. After all, the very first homicide was committed by a brother upon his brother: Cain killed Abel. There were plenty of jobs (after all, there were only 4 people on the earth that we know of), education was free and totally accessible (their parents were taught by God Himself!) and one could be as rich as one chose to be: the whole world was theirs. What made Cain kill Abel? Pride. Envy. Sin.


How do we reduce the number of homicides, the violence, the drug use, the prostitution, the stealing, the lack of love for fellow human beings? With intense prayer and exhaustive work. I don’t see any other way.


Here is our plan. Please be a part of it.  


1. Before you get out of bed each morning, say a prayer for the children of the inner city. Ask God to teach them that His way of life is the best way of life.


2.At 3:00 p.m. every day, stop and ask God to guide them: away from drugs, pornography and violence and towards what is good.


3. Before you fall asleep, ask God to fill our children’s hearts and souls with His intense love so that they sleep in His grace.


4. Ask your pastor to add these prayer petitions to the Mass or service every Sunday:


1. For our brothers and sisters who live just a few miles away from us but who live with dangers of all kinds, we pray to the Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer.


2. For the children who live in neighborhoods where gunshots, drugs and crime are commonplace, that their neighbors and neighborhoods become safe havens, we pray to the Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer.


3. For everyone in the grips of drug addiction, we pray to the Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer.


4. For those who have illegal guns, take and sell illegal drugs, commit crimes against people and property, that they will destroy their guns and drugs, and commit acts of kindness instead of acts of evil, we pray to the Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer.


5. Pray before the Blessed Sacrament or in your church when it is quiet. Picture yourself: just you and Jesus Christ. Pour out your heart for the children. Miracles will happen. Do it every week.


6. Soon we will be walking the streets on Columbus’ west side, praying, greeting people, passing out holy cards, flyers, prayer books, Bibles. Asking people how we can help them.


7. We will make posters with Scripture quotes or inspirational quotes and ask store owners to put one in their storefront window. We will make them into yard signs to ask residents if we can put them in their front lawn. These are not gimmicks. These are powerful ways to bring good and truth and beauty to a very depressed neighborhood.


8. We will take the Run The Race children to the Run The Race Farm much more often this year. Being out in nature is so good for the soul. Joe and Maura Baldwin are developing farm, animal and woodworking programs for our children.


9. On the other hand, besides being at The Center, we will be going into the inner city every week with our new Mobile Run The Race Center. We are outfitting our Ram ProMaster Cargo Van so we can carry sports equipment, art supplies, books, food, Bibles and more. Then we will take it to different parks, parking lots, etc. on the west side and enjoy 2 or 3 hours with the children in that area. (Using the van this way means we won’t be able to pick up and deliver furniture anymore but thankfully there are other ministries who do that.)


10. Our Racerz Bike Shop will open soon. This is not just an opportunity for our older Racers to run a business, this is an opportunity to teach ethics, values and morals, in and out of the bike shop.


11. Jeanne Dooley and others have offered to help with Girls’ Days and Boys’ Days: special concentrations on the Theology of the Body (with fun and food included). Those monthly gatherings will be starting in the spring.


12. We hope to start a weekly Scripture study for adults in the neighborhood. We are still working out best days, times, etc. Our Scripture studies for the children and young people will also get their own days and times (in the past, these lessons have been incorporated into the dinner time at The Center).


13. We have and will continue to tell young people who smoke weed, get into fights, watch, record and post fights that they can’t come to The Center anymore. Maybe you didn’t expect to read that but we have learned that when separated from The Center for an extended period of time, most of the Racers come back - they miss the love, attention, care, advice and help - and want to change.


There will be one main theme we will teach in various forms. The Theme of Life that will bring the Racers the hope and strength they need. It is this: Among the inexhaustible lessons of Jesus’ Crucifixion is this one: be vulnerable. Look at Jesus on the Cross. He was so vulnerable. We want to be open to the suffering that will come our way when we love. And when that happens, we can ask ourselves: are we going to whine about it? Be resentful and bitter? Blame others? Or do we say, “I can handle it” like Jesus Christ did.


If we can do that, we will transcend the suffering. Can that be true? It is true for Jesus Christ. He overcame. He rose from the dead. He lives. And don’t we admire people who overcome tragedy? Who rise above it? We admire courage. We did not have to learn to admire people like that. That admiration comes from deep inside us, built into us. We don’t admire evil. We admire what is good and true and beautiful. So our admiration proves that it is a good thing to overcome suffering. That will be the lesson we will teach over and over again until we - and the children - really believe it, do it and even love it. Then their lives, and our lives, will change for the better.


Love and prayers,



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