Several years ago, Deacon Jim Knipper of the Diocese of Trenton had a great idea: collect homilies and reflections from a variety of well-known Christian preachers, put them together in a book, and sell the book to raise funds for local charities.

That idea became “Homilists for the Homeless,” from award-winning Clear Faith Publishing, and I am privileged to be included among that group. It includes writers and clergy from a variety of Christian faiths, bound together with a mission to help those in need. Over the years, these books have raised more than $100,000 for a dozen charities.

This newest collection is entitled “A Stranger and You Welcomed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle B.” The charities that will benefit from sales of the books include:

  • Welcoming the Stranger, an educational non-profit that offers free classes in English as a Second Language, computer skills and US. citizenship exam prep for adult immigrants and refugees in the Philadelphia area
  • Kino Border Initiative, promoting US-Mexico border and immigration policies that affirm the dignity of the human person and a spirit of bi-national solidarity
  • Freedom University, an award-winning human rights organization and modern-day freedom school for undocumented students banned from equal access to public universities in Georgia
  • Al Otro Lado, a bi-national social justice legal services organization serving indigent deportees, migrants and refugees in Tijuana, Mexico.

The books are available at Amazon ($22 paperback, $9.99 Kindle). Visit this link and do some good for our brothers and sisters. As editor and publisher Jim Knipper writes in the foreword:

“May each homily open your heart, mind and soul to the very presence of Christ in our lives. May ever reflection encourage you to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and welcome the strangers who come into your life.  May the love of Christ, which dwells within each of us, thereby be encouraged, called forth and shared with a world that cries for healing, forgiveness and care for one another, especially for the least of our brothers and sisters.”

This would be a great gift for a priest, deacon or catechist on your Christmas list — or anyone, really, who wants to be well-fed by thoughtful, challenging reflections on the Word.