“… the essential vocation and mission of the lay faithful is to strive that earthly realities and all human activity may be transformed by the Gospel, none of us can think we are exempt from concern for the poor and for social justice…” The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis I, n. 201

Maple Street Shelter Dinner

Thank you to all who contributed to the dinner. Here are a few photos from the event

Justice and Charity Commission

This group serves to educate and encourage parishioners to carry our Catholic Social Teaching individually and as a community. The commission meets the third Thursday of each month in the Rectory to evaluate and to plan service opportunities and to share information about local, national & global social justice issues.

The parish was surveyed in April 2016 to assess the perceived needs and interests in the community. The priorities identified were: Homelessness, Hunger, Poverty and Affordable Housing. For this reason, the Justice and Charity Commission has organized a series of events to both educate about the issues, and promote opportunities for involvement in these areas.

During the 2016-2017 year, the Justice and Charity Commission (JCC) hosted presentations and informational events to the parish community about service organizations in the local area. During 2017-2018, a “menu of opportunities” was planned so that people can get involved in these various local organizations.

Over the weekend of April 28-29, 2018, the JCC will conduct a revised survey of parishioners to assess their interests in justice related issues and topics. Our sense is that the needs of the community have changed in these past two years, so some new data is necessary to guide our efforts.

Pilgrimages to Ecuador

We are gearing up for another Pilgrimage to Ecuador this year! Seven young men from St. Matthias and St. Pius parishes will be joining with Sabrina Harper, Maria Cornell and Sam Hutkins on this trip which will be from June 19 – July 4, 2018. They have chosen to go on this trip to deepen their spirituality and their love of God through service and learning about the marginalized people of Ecuador. They will be helping Hansen’s disease (Leprosy) patients in Guayaquil & poor families trying to better themselves in Quito.

Here is the link to the blog so that you can read more about the work the groups do: http://www.sabrinaspence.blogspot.com

Every other year, youth from St. Matthias and St. Pius parishes go on a pilgrimage to Ecuador. They visit Damien House (Fundacion de Padre Damien) in Guayaquil which is a clinic and residence for patients with Hansen’s disease. While there, they assist Sr. Annie with clean up projects, cheering residents and learning to actively listen to those who are forgotten.

They also visit and work at The Working Boys Center: A Family of Families (El Centro del Muchacho del Trabajador) in Quito, Ecuador where they learn the miraculous ways that people are lifted out of poverty through basic investments in education, vocational training, healthcare and spirituality. Living the community, this Family of Families helps our youth recognize the value of humility and doing without in order to appreciate the many blessings we have in the United States.

St. Vincent de Paul Society

Lord Jesus, you who willed to become poor, give us eyes and a heart directed toward the poor. Help us to recognize you in them – in their thirst, their hunger, their loneliness, and their misfortune. Enkindle within our Vincentian family unity, simplicity, humility and the fire of love that burned in St. Vincent de Paul. Strengthen us, so that, faithful to the practices of these virtues, we may contemplate you and serve you. In the person of the poor and may one day be united with you and them in your kingdom.  Amen.

This group lives out Jesus’ command to care for the poor by responding to emergencies for food, shelter, clothing, and furniture. They also visit the sick and those in jail. Food items are brought to Sunday liturgies. Collections from the parish community on the fifth Sunday of the month are used for special needs.