Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo By Michael Alexander
University of Georgia students participate in a March beautification project on the grounds of Oasis Católico Santa Rafaela, inside the Pinewood Estates North mobile home community, Athens. Some of the students are members of Project Hope, a student organization that works to help the trailer community.

Observing the hands of Christ at work

By TRAMELL ALEXANDER, Guest commentary | Published May 15, 2014

My husband has been the photographer at The Georgia Bulletin for many years. I rarely have the opportunity to witness him at work, so when he mentioned that he had a photo assignment at Oasis Católico Santa Rafaela in Athens, I suggested that I accompany him. I said, “Maybe I can carry your camera bag?” Michael jumped at the offer.

I had never been to Oasis before. It is a ministry founded in 2002 by the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and is located in the Pinewood Estates North Mobile Home Park.

Well, I didn’t carry the camera bag. While Michael photographed the University of Georgia (UGA) students who were volunteering at Oasis on Saturday, I mostly visited with Sister Margarita Martin. She is one of three Handmaids sisters who live and work with the people of the Pinewoods community.

The sisters do a little bit of everything.  There’s the tutoring program and coordinating with the local parish to prepare the children for first communion.  They work with the local community food bank on deliveries to Pinewood. They helped implement an egg distribution each week from the UGA poultry program. They even facilitated the UGA vet school coming into the community to vaccinate dogs.

I was reminded on Saturday that people like Sister Margarita are doing the important work of Christ each and every day, one person at a time. What a blessing they are!

I also was impressed that students who could have been doing anything else on a Saturday afternoon decided instead to work at Oasis.

And I was proud that my husband gets to witness this kind of service regularly, throughout the Archdiocese of Atlanta. It was an honor to step into his world for a couple of hours.

Tramell Alexander is the wife of the Georgia Bulletin’s staff photographer, Michael Alexander.

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