For Sister Connie Bach, food ministry is more than a way to serve — it’s an avenue for loving others. Twice a week, with a group of fellow sisters and volunteers, Sister Connie visits families in low-income areas, delivering meals and forming meaningful relationships with those they encounter.
“Sometimes when we knock on their door, they’ll say, ‘You know what? I’m doing okay for today. Why don’t you give the food to somebody that needs it more?’ They really watch out for each other. They share community just like the apostles did in the early Church.”
Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ
Sister Connie Bach: Well, my name is Sister Connie Bach. I’m a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ, and I direct volunteer groups to fulfill our mission to serve the poor and marginalized in the areas where we live.
So just go do what I do?
Sister Connie: Do my thing?
Producer: Do your thing.
Sister Connie: All right.
(Speaking to volunteers) Okay, ladies and gentlemen, how are we doing? Oh, we just finished? How wonderful.
I think another risk, if I dare go out on a line, is people saying, “You’re wasting your time.” People saying that the poor are undeserving. They need to get a job. They need to do this, they need to do that. Or not do this, or not do that.
Sister, packing lunches: That’s okay. While I’m waiting to do my job, I can help you with yours.
Sister Connie: In Plymouth, which is seven miles near the motherhouse here, there’s a very large population of people living in dilapidated motels.
(Sisters and volunteers load up carts of packed meals)
Sister Connie: Sister Rosemary, I’m going to put this here.
Volunteer: Hello, Sister Rosemary.
Sister Connie: Some of the folks need help with their rent, so I will go to the lobby and help them get that settled with the owners.
Producer: So what time do you usually go over the motel?
Sister Connie: We leave here at 3:45, and we get there about 4:00.
Volunteer, unloading food carts from car: There it comes. It’s working.
Sister Connie: Some of the sacrifices in becoming a sister is certainly giving up having a family. And yet, at the same time, with our vow of poverty — that makes us available to be able to do the kinds of things that I do with the food ministry. A lot of the people that I serve are — there’s two parents and they’re both working, making $15 an hour, and the lowest apartments in town are maybe $1,300? They just can’t make that, and they’re really trying to support their children and doing all they can — some working two jobs.
(Speaking to resident) Mama Moe!
“Mama Moe”: Hi.
Sister Connie: How are you doing, Moe? Good to see you.
“Mama Moe”: I love you.
Sister Connie, speaking to child: How are you? Do I get a hug today? All right. How are you?
Child: I was saving you one.
Sister Connie: You were saving one just for me? All right. That’s awesome.
(Speaking to another resident) How’s your son?
Resident: He’s doing fine. Going to call him after I get done with this.
Sister Connie: No rejection, huh?
Resident: Not yet.
Sister Connie: Everything’s okay?
Resident: So far, so good.
Sister Connie: Wonderful.
Volunteer: Sister Connie’s, groceries!
Sister Connie, knocking on residents’ doors: Sister Connie’s groceries!
Sometimes when we knock on their door, they’ll say, “You know what? I’m doing okay for today. Why don’t you give the food to somebody that needs it more?” They really watch out for each other. They share community just like the apostles did in the early Church. That’s part of our faith too, is putting faith into action.
When we first started here, they would barely crack their door. Now they hear us coming and…
We may be judged by the people we serve or how we serve, but we go out and do what we know is right and what the Gospel challenges us to do.
Child: That’s heart on the shirt, Sister Connie?
Sister Connie: Yep, it’s a heart with hands for service.
Child, holding hands in the shape of a heart: Like this?
Sister Connie: Yes, just like that.