Daily Offering Even non-coffee drinkers seem to relish the aroma of fresh ground, fresh brewed coffee. Its essence evokes feelings of warmth and comfort, especially on cold damp days. For those of us who drink coffee, that first sip of the day fortifies us for the challenges ahead.
Imagine now if that same coffee that steels us for the tasks ahead can also help provide for the most basic needs of the poor living in the Third World. Our morning beverage can provide for life sustaining food for children and the elderly, job training programs that enable the needy to become self-sufficient or even provide access to medical and spiritual care.
Coffee, or as its aficionados refer to it, the nectar of the gods, can be the means to participation in the Corporal Works of Mercy promulgated by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Even Tea Drinkers may join in without violating their palate. That is if the coffee is Saint Basil Fair Trade Coffee.
The Ground Floor Saint Basil Coffee was started by Jim and Mary Margaret Boyles and their children in 2004 at the urging of Fr. Vincent Thompson, a Basilian Missionary working with the poor in Bogota, Columbia. Fr. Thompson urged Jim to use his Gift of Creativity to aid the missions. After much prayer and research the idea of selling Fair Trade Coffee to raise funds percolated to the top. Since 2006, the all-volunteer company has provided nearly $400,000 to the missions around the world.
Brewing Hope Coffee lovers know the ecstasy of a bottomless cup of coffee. A nod of the head and a raised cup produces another round of joy. The crew at Saint Basil Coffee does their best to mimic that alert waiter by answering the needs of others. Just this year as of September 19, 2013, they have distributed $36,500 to the missions from the sale of their coffee and from donations by generous benefactors. That’s $36,500 from total sales of $61,350. In February, Saint Basil Coffee sent money to The Congregation of Saint Basil (The Basilians) to fund a Saint Vincent de Paul program in Cali, Colombia and to Medellin, Colombia to purchase much needed equipment for a carpenter job training program for youths.
In May, funds were sent to the Basilians for Fr. Oscar Soto in Bogotá, Colombia for his project to feed children and the elderly.
In June, Saint Basil Coffee sent money to The Congregation of the Holy Spirit to purchase a 4WD vehicle for Saint Joseph’s Nyamirama Parish in Kabale, Uganda. The parish is very remote and roads are nearly non-existing and a 4WD vehicle is necessary to provide pastoral services and transport the sick to medical facilities.
Money was also sent to a school for girls in Arusha, Tanzania operated by the Sisters of Our Lady of Kilimanjaro. The funds are to be used to purchase a mill to hull and ground maize for food at the school and to provide some income from a nearby village.
For every pound of coffee we sell we can distribute about $5.00
Please Put on Another Pot
Besides the Boyles family, others are stirring the savory blend of coffee and faith into action. The aroma of love has spread to St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Houston, Texas where volunteers sell the coffee once a month after Mass. Sales average about 70 pounds which yields an income of about $500 on gross sales of $980. Like the vineyard owner in the gospel, Saint Basil Coffee hopes to recruit more workers. If 10 churches more would do as St. Anne’s does, that would yield $5000 in real benefits to the needy. Or if 100 churches would just purchase 10 pounds of coffee per month to use as they see fit, the same $5000 gift would materialize.
A Nourishing Substance Many churches may not be able to use 10 pounds of coffee a month at their parish but there are opportunities for growth. My mother use to spread coffee grounds in her garden to fertilize the plants. Parishes could purchase a supply a Saint Basil Coffee and donate it to a local Senior Care home, maybe even a retirement home for Priests and Religious. If a Parish is offering a Bible Study on Social Justice, serving Saint Basil Coffee with the Donuts is a perfect blend. Offering the coffee for sale during Advent provides the perfect stocking stuffer for that coffee aficionado on your list.
Grown from Organic Arabica Beans
Sharing a Cup! Blessed John Paul the Great called on all Christians to be missionaries in his World Youth Day talk of 2001. Our current pontiff, Pope Francis, has urged us to not forget the poor. Saint Basil coffee provides a means to do that without traveling far from home. The Fair Trade coffee helps small coffee growers and the profits benefit others who need help the most For those concerned with the environment and social justice the coffee is produced from Organic Arabica coffee beans and purchased through a Certified Fair Trade agreement. This causes the prices to be higher than mass produced coffee, but the product is of the highest quality and the profits go to helping the needy.
Not the Last Drop
Nearly everyone knows a coffee lover, it could be your spouse, brother, sister, BFF, boss or significant other’s parents. Show your appreciation for them and make a contribution to a truly worthy cause at the same time. Offer up a cup of Saint Basil Coffee, or better yet one of those 100 cup urns that’s in the church’s pantry.
Saint Basil Coffee can be purchased on the Internet at
www.saintbasilcoffee.com or by calling 713-880-9090.