Making soup

I recently came across the work of a man named Gerry Straub, a former Hollywood producer who, following a conversion experience in Rome, has devoted his time and his treasure to put the power of film at the service of the poor.”

Having exhausted his personal savings, he writes this about how he finances his film projects:

“In an odd way, I learned how to finance my films at the St. Francis Inn. There’s a friar there named Brother Xavier. He is a simple man, of Hispanic background, and all the street people love him. One day, he was cooking dinner. A volunteer entered the kitchen and asked, “What are you making, Brother Xavier?”

Brother Xavier answered, “Potato soup.”

The volunteer looked around the small, cramped kitchen and didn’t see any potatoes. And so he asked, “Where are the potatoes, Brother?”

Brother Xavier answered,“We have no potatoes.”

The volunteer asked, “Then how are you making potato soup?”

Brother Xavier said, “The Lord will supply.”

Well, you can imagine the volunteer rolling his eyes and thinking…what a sweet, pious thought…but the people are lining up in the yard and we need to serve them in an hour.

A few minutes later, there is a knock at the side door.

It was an off duty Philly cop. He had been at the farmers market and spotted 50 pound bags of potatoes on sale. He knew he passing the Inn and so he bought two bags and threw them in his trunk.

I make my films the way Brother Xavier makes potato soup…by trusting God will supply what I need.”


  1. Encouraging.

    Start ups and new work are all about making potato soup without potatoes :^).

    I’m finding that God has made things easier for people that want to give a voice to poor people and to the people that serve them.

    Websites and blogs and podcasts and online video and photography, etc. are all pretty cheap and easy right now. Even film making is a lot cheaper and easier than ever before. The Margins is a good example of how to do more with less. I’m guessing you haven’t spent much money on your blog.

    My friend and I just put up a website for our new justice oriented organization. Took us four days and less than a hundred dollars from initial idea to completion. All due to gifted open source software designers and an open source God out well beyond the ‘cutting edge.’

    Given the tools at hand, I think motivation is probably a bigger obstacle than money.

    That’s where the preachers come in :^)

  2. Tom,

    I definitely thought of you when I read about this guy and his work. Compelling mission, for sure!

  3. Pingback: Everyday Liturgy

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