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Eclectic Group Gathers to Give Thanks and Eat at Mount Carmel

Nov. 24, 2005 –– Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church parishioner Maria David said she's lucky to have so much, so Thursday she, her husband Gary and two-year-old son Pablo joined other church members to serve Thanksgiving dinner to a variety of folks.
"It's like a big family," David said, adding that since her family is not on St. John, those who gathered at the church hall were good substitutes.
She said she even met tourists from Indiana who stopped by after the church's pastor, the Rev. Charles Crespo, invited them on his swing through Cruz Bay's streets.
Crespo said that for more years than anyone remembers, he and several parishioners took to Cruz Bay's streets to invite those they encounter into the parish hall for a Thanksgiving dinner.
"Turkey, ham, stuffing, macaroni, vegetables, pie, drinks……," he said, ticking off the menu.
He said all the food is donated and prepared by parishioners.
Crespo said that parishioners, homeless people, tourists at loose ends, and anyone else who would like to join the church members for dinner are welcomed.
He said that many people he encountered were on their way to restaurants for dinner so they declined his invitation with thanks, but several tourists took him up on his offer. They joined folks who took a break from work and the town's homeless people for dinner.
Church member Bob Nose said the parishioners served about 150 dinners.
He said he and his wife, Anna, helped out because there are so many people who don't have anyone to share their dinner with on Thanksgiving or wouldn't have any dinner at all.
"And if I didn't do it, I wouldn't get any Thanksgiving dinner," he said, laughing.
He also said it was a chance to catch up with people he doesn't see from one year to the next.
His wife said that serving dinner made her feel good and was lots of fun.
Parish member Dianne Joseph said she's helped out for many years. She said that in addition to serving dinner, she helps make people feel comfortable.
"I really like making a difference," she said.

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