The Catholic University of America

November 2, 2011

Homeless Food Runs Bolster Student’s Faith Life

  Joseph Jablonski
  Joseph Jablonski distributes meals to homeless people in Washington, D.C.

Name: Joseph Jablonski, Class of 2015

Hometown: Seaford, N.Y.

Major: Philosophy

Service: Homeless Food Runs provide food for the poor of D.C. who live only blocks away from the Capitol and the White House. On the day of a run, our group meets in the Pryzbyla Center and gathers food from the Pryz kitchen. We then take the Metro downtown, usually getting off at Farragut North and walking toward McPherson Square. As the homeless people who know us come up and ask for food, we give it to them.

Where: McPherson Square, Washington, D.C.

Why: As I have grown in my faith here at CUA, I’ve discovered one essential detail to life in Christ. It is not simply a call devoted to a large Church, but a personal call to be a disciple to other people in selfless outreach.

When I’m on a food run and we pass 16th Street, looking down at the White House, I’m reminded that neither the government, nor the Catholic Church, nor any foundation or charity can fully solve the problems of the world on their own. The greatest power we have to stop poverty and to bring hope into the lives of the poor is to personally show love to others. The Church and our country could not do their charity work without the people who constantly give to others.

Some people tend to stigmatize the poor and homeless, and think they are lazy. Alexandra Vereau, a senior who’s our Homeless Food Run leader, once said, “God never told us to judge, but he told us to give.” When we go on a food run, I have faith in God’s work, and I know every person I give to is an opportunity to find Christ on Earth.

Food runs are essential to my inner life. If I get caught up in a life of institutions, governments, or foundations, I lose sight of the greatest power in the universe: the simple, selfless love shown from one person to another person in need.

This year, charitable works — including those performed in long-term service projects — may be logged in Catholic University’s Cardinal Service Commitment, a service campaign marking Catholic University’s 125th anniversary. In thanksgiving for more than a century of God’s blessings at Catholic University, students, alumni, faculty, and staff are striving to perform 125,000 hours of service by next Founders Day, April 10, 2012. For more information and to log hours, visit