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Holy Joe’s Cafe Ministry


Photo Courtesy of Holy Joe’s Ministry

by Jacqueline DeCarlo

Last week, Cheryl-a leader at SERRV (http://serrv.org) which began as a faith-based organization-mused in a blog comment about how “action which grows from spiritual understanding” is part of the Fair Trade movement today.  One effort that comes to mind is the “Holy Joe’s Café” ministry (http://holyjoescafe.blogspot.com/).

Thomas Jastermsky, of the First Congregational Church in Connecticut where the project started, reached out to me at Catholic Relief Services (http://crsfairtrade.org) knowing that CRS’s partner Equal Exchange (http://www.equalexchange.coop/interfaith-program) was involved in Holy Joe’s.

Tom is a big believer not only in God but also of supporting U.S. troops!  Since 2006 Holy’s Joe’s has helped 405 military chaplains provide a Coffee House ministry to troops in 120 locations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Chaplain Peter St. Martin says “Coffee has the effect of making the chaplain’s space a nice place to hang out.  It is in these moments that God and I do our best work, I believe: in casual conversation with no specific agenda and before the burden someone is carrying has erupted into real trouble.”

Organizations such as United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church, and the United Methodist Church are involved. Congregations donate coffee to the ministry and in turn chaplains create a coffee house atmosphere so troops can relax, talk with a chaplain, or just get a good cup of coffee.  If your community is interested in putting its faith into action, get more information at 888-970-7994 or contact Tom via email: HolyJoesCafe “at” aol.com

If you have more examples of the old adage “faith works wonders” please comment below.


  1. Thomas Jastermsky

    Holy Joe’s Cafe has been a true gift of the Holy Spirit! What started out with one chaplain on Pentecost Sunday 2006 has grown to offer coffee and prayer to any chaplain that contacts us!

    Churches around the country has supported
    Holy Joe’s Cafe by purchasing Fair-Trade Coffee and having our church send along to the chaplains. In over 3 years, Holy Joe’s Cafe has sent over 112 tons of coffee in support of the chaplains caregiving efforts. That is enough to brew over 22,400,000 cups of coffee!

    Please consider this simple & easy way of supporting the farmers, chaplains and the troops! Thomas

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