What could bring a suburban grandmother into the heart of urban Memphis every Monday?
“Every Monday, I find true joy as a volunteer in the food pantry at Catholic Charities,” said Diana Lyons. The food pantry is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and provides families with a week of food. It is part of the Fig Tree Emergency Services program of Catholic Charities, which provided food and clothing to more than 20,700 people last year.
“God’s people are helped there every day,” Diana said. “They leave knowing they are loved and respected and that we are there to share God’s goodness and bounty with them.”
Diana is also a member of the Cursillo movement within the Catholic Church in which people commit to spiritual growth, beginning with a three-day retreat and then following up with weekly group meetings. During these weekly meetings, they discuss how they are integrating faith into their lives through piety, study and action.
Through her experience with Cursillo, Diana said she has learned that one of the qualities of piety is being joyful. “Our joy is truly authentic, constant and sure because it comes from deep within. We know how to be both happy and joyful people because we are living temples of the Holy Spirit.”
And that is the kind of joy she experiences by serving in the Catholic Charities food pantry.
“It happens every time. God sends people there who are touching us,” she said. “We are helping them, but they are touching us in different ways. It is nothing but a blessing.”
Diana recalls a bit of advice that one client gave her, something she uses in everyday life. “Be blessed by the best and don’t worry about the rest.”