The Catholic Diocese of Brownsville recently donated more than $12,400 to La Posada Providencia.
This sizable donation was the direct result of Catholic Relief Services’ Operation Rice Bowl. During Lent, Catholic parishioners are asked to make monetary sacrifices and place them in a palm-sized, cardboard container or “rice bowl.” The alms are collected and used to help alleviate hunger, poverty and disease on a global and local scale.
La Posada was chosen by Bishop Daniel E. Flores to be one of the four local recipients of the 2018 Operation Rice Bowl proceeds.
Thank you, Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, for including La Posada Providencia!!!
You always know the day when you see John Olivo at La Posada Providencia. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, he teaches English to the clients of La Posada.
The retired district manager for Kentucky Fried Chicken began volunteering nearly a year ago at the suggestion of Sister Margaret Mertens. Both attend Saint Theresa Catholic Church in San Benito, Texas. Olivo used to volunteer one day a week, but in May he decided to step it up.
“I started coming three times a week after I got back from my trip to Israel,” he said. “It gets me out of the house. I’ll do it as long as I can.”
Olivo is known for his sense of humor and his rapport with the clients. This Army and Vietnam War veteran is also impressively patient with the clients.
“I wasn’t always patient,” Olivo said. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten a lot more patient; and I started going to church more, which helps.”
Working with immigrants has taught Olivo to appreciate everything he takes for granted. He then gave an example.
“Recently I had three fathers with sons. All three (fathers) were totally illiterate in their own language,” he said.
Though Olivo was born and raised in Harlingen, Texas, he himself did not start speaking and writing English until he began kindergarten. As an American, he received an education as well as other opportunities that people in other parts of the world do not receive.
“I’ve learned to be more grateful” he said, “and I’ve learned to be more compassionate.”