|A Review of
Thrift Store Saints:
Reviewed by Michelle Van Loon.
An eighth-grade math teacher living in Kalamazoo, MI tried stopping by her local St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop in 1995 on a couple of occasions in order to buy a gift for her daughter’s First Communion, but the store’s lights were off and its doors locked each time she attempted to visit. When Jane Knuth finally finds the store open, she grumbles to one of the staffers about her repeated encounters with the shop’s “Closed” sign. Eighty-two year old Dorothy explains that the store’s business hours are limited by the availability of its elderly volunteer staff, and invites Knuth to consider becoming part of the solution by becoming part of the store’s team.
Knuth had been a regular churchgoer, but as she embraced both the ministry of the Vincentians* and the community she found in her Kalamazoo St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop, her faith came alive in ways she never could have dreamed when she first walked into the store fifteen years ago. Thrift Store Saints offers readers 19 short chapters detailing her involvement with the Vincentians rich ministry to “the least of these” in a forgotten corner of Kalamazoo.