Shop With Thy Neighbor.


Novato, CA

A group of brave RAOC souls ventured out to Target at the crack of dawn this past weekend to accompany disadvantaged kids on a shopping spree, thanks to a great partnership with the Salvation Army. Each child received $100 to shop, as well as an adult companion to help them get the right clothes and supplies they need for the coming school year. The members reported back how much they connected with these kids and how this was an amazing event. Clearly the old adage is true: 'tis better to shop than to receive. God Bless all involved.

Offering Prayers, Collecting Trash.

holy hike.jpg


RAOC members joined the ecumenical Holy Hikes to help clean up Marin Audubon Society's Tiscornia marsh land near Pickleweed Park, San Rafael. Holy Hikes leads outdoor liturgical hikes, which include celebrating mass in the beauty of the outdoors. San Francisco Baykeeper hosted this clean-up, which collected a substantial amount of trash along the shoreline, where several endangered species make their home. Peaceful prayer and environmental protection, all in one beautiful Act. Pope Francis would be proud.


We Walk, Foster Kids Advance.

foster walk 2018.jpg


RAOC members joined the Marin Foster Care Association on a fun, family-friendly one-mile walk along Shoreline Trail in San Rafael to raise money and awareness for the MFCA. The money goes toward opportunity fund scholarships to provide foster kids with lessons, camps and tutors, and is also used for state advocacy efforts, resource center services, a teen program, counseling for caregivers and parent peer-mentoring programs. Thanks to one short stroll on a beautiful afternoon, many lives will have a chance to get ahead. God is good.


Back To The Bags.

kylie's bags 2.jpeg


The Saint Brendan Chapter of RAOC spent the first part of this month’s meeting going back to the bags. That’s Kylie’s Bags—a teen’s idea to make goody bags of toiletries, socks and snacks for the homeless. Members spent the next few days handing out the bags with greetings of “God Bless You.” We got more than one “God Bless You” back in return. Consistent with all of life, we receive so much more than we give.

Mother's Day Meals, Complete With Cake.

SI Meals May.jpg


RAOC headed to Saint Ignatius Shelter Meals to prepare meals for the SF homeless this past weekend. Potatoes were peeled and mashed, veggies diced and sauteed, and a 100 pounds of meatballs were rolled. But most special of all, the expert cake-making talents of one member were put to good use decorating a fridge full of Mother’s Day cakes for those moms in less fortunate situations. Mother Mary, bless and keep all moms, especially those most in need.

A Teenager Acts Out.

kylies bags.jpg


Kylie is the 13-year-old daughter of one of the members of the Saint Brendan Chapter of Random Acts of Catholics. One morning, she gave her mother several bags she had filled with toiletries, protein bars and lip balm and asked her mom to give them to any homeless people she passed on her way to work in San Francisco. Mom did and then brought the idea to RAOC. We set up a makeshift assembly line and filled bags and handed them out to less fortunate folks. The very first recipient taking the very first bag said—before we could utter a word—“God Bless you.” The Kylie’s Bags tradition has begun and we definitely plan on taking up this Act regularly. Guess teenagers today just aren’t what they used to be.


RAOC Goes 40 For 40.

lent drive 2.jpg


The OLMC chapter of RAOC cleaned house with a Lenten Drive. The idea was that each day of the 40 days of Lent members would remove one item they didn’t need—from their closet, their pantry, their garage, their cupboard—and put it aside. At the end of Lent, we brought all the items to our meeting, sorted them, and gave them to various orgs and charities. Canned goods went to our St Vincent de Paul pantry, clothes to Bloom and Goodwill, and household items to the St Vincent de Paul chapter in Sonoma to help the fire victims. Several members hit 40 items in 40 days, and both their garages and the recipients are better for it. 


"Truly Living The Gospel."

Gurap Mission School, near Kolkata India, 2018


Our intrepid RAOC members have returned from visiting the tribal people known as Santals at the Gurap Mission School outside of Kolkata. The overloading of the senses, the poverty nor the fear of becoming ill could mask the pure beauty, joy and holiness of their heart-melting experience. The children and Jesuit community welcomed them with whole hearts and open arms. Our members were in awe saying, "they are truly living the Gospel." Enjoy just a taste of life in another world with this video. God Bless all who donated to help these children have a chance in life.

Speaking With Acts, St. Anthony Style.



St. Anthony taught, "Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak." Seven St. Brendan's RAOC members were able to contribute to St. Anthony's continued speaking, as they served nearly 2,400 meals to Tenderloin residents at St. Anthony's Dining Room. The meals fed poor and homeless individuals and families who have slipped through the safety net. RAOC members worked "on the line," dishing up grub, or delivering meals to the seated elderly and disabled residents. St. Anthony's Dining Room provides a sense of community, respectfulness and most importantly, smiles for all those that visit. We are blessed to speak through this loving Act.


Walk, Do The Walk of Life.



Walk it out! Twenty St. Brendan Parishioners attended Mass and took the public transportation to downtown San Francisco for the West Coast Walk for Life. The 14th annual event took place on a beautiful day with tens of thousands of pro-life walkers taking over Market Street from Civic Center to the Ferry Building. Walk for Life West Coast is a vocal and visual message that people of the West Coast stand for life!


Christmas. The Eternal Gift That Keeps Giving.



Christmas morning. That’s when the final star was taken from the OLMC Giving Tree, and so all 103 students of the Gurap Mission School in Kolkata, India, now have a sponsor in Mill Valley, CA who will generously provide them with room, board and education for the entire year. What started as a daunting task, testing both administrative bureaucracy and individual generosity, is now a reality and will soon be changing the lives and future of both communities. God is so, so, so good.


Gladsome Tidings, 100% Handmade.



A big thank you to all who shared their generous and loving Christmas spirit and God-given creative talent to create beautiful Christmas cards for the OLMC community and Catholic Charities. It was a fun-filled afternoon full of Christmas cheer, and also an afternoon of great productivity! All in all, we had 14 card-makers, and we created 52 cards for those in need in the Catholic Charities community and 22 cards for those in need within the OLMC parish community.  Many beautiful Christmas cards were also created for our families and friends. Consider the Good News and good cheer successfully shared.


Putting On The Armor (& Apron) Of God.

shelter meals Dec2.jpg


Thanks to an incredibly thoughtful and generous gift (by a beloved family member 3,000 miles away) RAOC members have spiffy new aprons and were able to donate new aprons to our friends at Saint Ignatius Shelter Meals. The logo is blended into the palette of the apron because the donor commented “it reflects the humility of the organization—you guys are like the ink. You show up, but don’t stand out.” We had a great turnout and cranked on veggies, fruit salad, mashed potatoes and of course, clean up. The lively work helps a great cause and is good for our souls as well. As Thomas Kempis relays in The Imitation of Christ, “it is good to flee to humble, bodily labor and to exercise yourself in good outward works.” Sums up the whole reason for RAOC nicely.

Kolkata & Mill Valley: Joined In Faith, Hope & Love.

Gurap Giving Tree.jpg


It’s a go! Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish is officially sponsoring a school in Kolkata, India. Our own Father Pat Michaels provided and secured the appropriate approvals and Father Maria Joseph of the Kolkata Jesuit Province coordinated with his Jesuit brothers running the St. Ignatius Gurap Mission School, paving the way for a spiritual partnership spanning 8,000 miles. The kickoff took the form of the OLMC Giving Tree, with each student’s name and age printed on a star. Parishioners selected stars and will be sponsoring those students with room, board and schooling for an entire year for only $35 a month. It was only fitting that this great program began on the first Sunday of Advent, which also happened to be the feast day of Saint Francis Xavier—the first Jesuit missionary, who went directly to, where else? India. 


Serving Care Packages To Those Who Served.

Veterans Care Packages.jpg


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The RAOC group at Our Lady of Mount Carmel contributed to a parish-wide Advent night extravaganza by making 139 hearty care packages for homeless veterans in Marin County—three times as many as we expected to make. The packages included food, toiletries, socks, gift cards, candy and a hand-created Christmas card for each veteran. Many thanks to the scores of volunteers who made this Act of love a huge success. We were all touched to be able to serve our veterans in need.