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Foot Care Program at Downtown Chapel Brings Dignity and Relief for People Sleeping Outside

December 16, 2010

Ave Maria Press author Fr. Ronald Raab, C.S.C., is the pastor of the Downtown Chapel in Portland, Oregon. The parish's foot care clinic is featured in an article posted by Street Roots.

Kasandra Coslen writes:

"The custom of washing another’s feet was embedded in the cultures of ancient civilizations as an act of hospitality and necessary cleanliness. For obvious reasons, the health of one’s feet can judge the well-being of the body.

For those who live outside, disease and fungus are a constant threat in the Northwest winter. Calluses erupt from always walking and wearing shoes. Sores develop and nails may become ingrown.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples before the Last Supper, as an act of humility and gesture of service. Every Wednesday morning from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., volunteers emulate this act by caring for the feet of those in need in the basement of Portland’s Downtown Chapel."

Fr. Raab, author of The Unsheltered Heart: An At-Home Advent Retreat commented, "In the midst of dirty water and bleached-white towels, the nurses and volunteers listen to the stories of strangers and friends and view their faces with care and understanding."

About Ronald Patrick Raab, C.S.C.

Ronald P. Raab, C.S.C., ministers among the vulnerable and marginalized of society and the Church. From his experiences in living the Gospel among the poor, he speaks and writes about prayer and service and knowing the love of God through our common poverty. He hosts On the Margins, a weekly radio scripture commentary on KBVM 88.3 FM, Catholic Broadcasting Northwest. He is active as a retreat director, workshop presenter, blogger, and award-winning author. He contributes regularly to several liturgy magazines, including Ministry & Liturgy and Celebrate! Raab serves as associate pastor at the St. André Bessette Chapel in Portland, Oregon. Visit Raab online at

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