by Jo Connelly
It was 1983 and I was at Friends Meeting at Beacon Hill, having just settled into worship Sunday morning, when a man with a Quaker-looking beard stood up and gave a message about feeding the hungry and nonviolently fighting for peace with such love that I had to speak to him.
I asked the man: “Your message reminded me so much of the Catholic Worker, do you know where the Boston one is?” He threw his head back and laughed, “Come and see. I live there!” Right then, Paul Hood invited me to the Haley House and to Ailanthus, the peace group I had been searching for.
My life changed dramatically. I became involved with Paul on his Wednesday morning soup kitchen shift at Haley House. I attended weekly vigils at Draper Weapons Lab and Ailanthus meetings.
One morning in the soup kitchen, one of our guests unexpectedly drew a knife and held it to Paul’s stomach. “Are you thirsty?” Paul asked the man. “Can I get you a drink of water?” “Yes,” the man answered and put his knife away. I felt the power of love shining out of Paul. I saw it so many times as we shared the Wednesday morning shift.
Jo, much beloved by Agape, has been relating to Agape with her family since 1983.