This year is the 50th anniversary of the Mustard Seed! Even as we keep on doing what we're doing, we have some special events to mark the anniversary.

Earlier this month we had a get together for many of our current volunteers, some of whom have been helping for decades, but have never met each other! Longtime volunteer and guest Jennie Bastien was one of the keynote speakers, and her speech is reproduced at the end of this email.

The next 50th anniversary event will be a block party for the neighborhood at the Mustard Seed July 30. Thanks to all who made last year's block party a great event. If anyone is interested in helping with this one, we'll have more details in the next newsletter.

  • We have a few weekdays each month where we're looking for a group to provide a meal. For more information, contact us at or call Paula at 508-243-0735.
  • If you know anyone interested in volunteering a day or two this summer, have them sign up at this link.
  • Holy Mass will be celebrated in the chapel upstairs at the Mustard Seed 7pm Friday, June 3.The celebrant will be Fr. Paul O'Connell. Please join us as the spirit moves.
  • Mondays and Fridays we pray the night prayer (compline) together at 6:45pm, right after cleaning up for the night. All are invited to join us.
  • If you would like to learn to use Narcan to reverse an opioid overdose, there will be a class via Zoom for Mustard Seed volunteers Monday, June 6, at 3pm. Please RSVP to Mike: 508-499-9638.

Jennie Bastien's Story

I started coming to the Mustard Seed when I was between the ages of 9 and 15. I started coming with Michael Boover's aunt who lived at Great Brook Valley with her kids where I grew up. My earliest memory of having food insecurity was when I was very young. My mom and dad worked hard to provide for me and my two siblings and make sure we had a meal at night but we often ate ketchup and mustard sandwiches in our childhood. I did not have an awareness of not having enough food or perhaps enough healthy food when I was young.

I started coming to the Mustard Seed as young adult on my own. Lucky was running it at the time. Then I started coming with Teresa and Teresa's sister Mary to help run the food pantry. I was in my early to mid twenties at this time. I was also able to take food from the food pantry. When I was pregnant with my son DJ I went to the Mustard Seed to eat dinner and I have been going there ever since. DJ is now twenty years old.

I have always worried about having enough to eat but I always knew | could go the Mustard Seed for a meal. I have been off and on food stamps my whole life. I wasn't in my current living situation, living with Teresa and her husband, I wouldn't have enough money to pay rent and buy food.

My health has been impacted by my lifelong food insecurity. I have type 2 diabetes for which I take insulin and I also have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. I cannot always afford the foods recommended for a diabetic because it is recommended to eat protein and low carbohydrates but the foods that are high protein like meat are expensive and vegetables and fruits can be also. I am fortunate that Teresa's husband can drive us to Price Rite otherwise I would have to take a bus to the grocery store or walk. My feet have been impacted by my diabetes and so I am not able to walk a long distance. This means that If I cannot get to a grocery store l am limited to buying food in the neighborhood. There aren't as many choices at the corner store and it can cost more. To sum up, food insecurity has been a part of my life for a long time and thankfully so has the Mustard Seed. Thank you for listening to my story.

Bobby and Jennie get ready for the big event.
For more information or to make a donation, visit us at Facebook or

Our mailing address is: The Mustard Seed, PO Box 2592, Worcester MA 01613.

Our street address is:
Mustard Seed Catholic Worker Community
93 Piedmont St
Worcester, MA 01609

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Mustard Seed Catholic Worker Community · 93 Piedmont St · Worcester, MA 01609 · USA

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