Saludos Mi Familia de San Vicente de Pablo,
There are no screens on the windows of the Oakland Catholic Worker (I’m fine mom, there are bars). So occasionally, I will find a bug in my room.
Yesterday, as I opened my bedroom door, a bird-sized moth flew from the orange wall and viciously attacked me. Naturally, I started screaming and flailing about despite it being 11pm.
Using the only weapon I had (flip-flops), I swiped but missed — leading the cat-sized moth to pounce. I crashed into the standing fan, which clanged into the dresser. I ran out of my room, looking for help from anyone awake. Who wouldn’t be up after all this commotion?
Praise be to God, Rosa (name changed for privacy) was leaving the bathroom.
“Ayuda! Help!” I yell-whispered, pointing to my room.
Her face crossed into concern.
“Hay una mariposa, pero fea en mi cuarto! There’s a butterfly but ugly in my room!” (I’ve since learned the word for moth is “palomilla.”)
With her bare hand, she courageously attempted to shoo the velociraptor-sized moth out the window. I tried to help but continued running in and out of my room, ducking when it came close.
We belly laughed as she grabbed my towel and began smacking it.
Eventually, her bravery won; it flew from the window. And by the time you read this, we’ll know if Rosa and her child won their asylum case or not.
And that’s what it’s like to live in this house.
You get to be so human with other humans — gently thumping into frustration and love with one another. Then the reality of injustice sucker punches you in the teeth.
She accompanied me with that moth, and I’ll accompany her to court. I hope to be just as helpful, but SVdP family, we know the brutal truth — I won’t be.
The last time she visited her lawyer, they didn’t know her last name.
Please keep them in your prayers.
Tinamarie Stolz is a Campus Minister at St. Joseph’s University and a parishioner at St. Vincent De Paul in Germantown. She is spending the summer at the Oakland Catholic Worker in Oakland, California. Check back for more updates.