The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God. CCC 2447
Social Concerns Committee – Works of Mercy
Coordinator: Dcn. Frank Sullivan
Contact: Alisha Snoke, 740-407-5870
Sandwiches for the homeless are made once a month on Saturday morning at 8 am in the Spirit Center. They are usually finished in about 30 minutes. Participants are encouraged but not obligated to bring bologna, individually wrapped cheese, bread and sandwich baggies. Last year different groups from St Mary School and the PSR classes were encourages to participate. The sandwiches are distributed to several organizations including: St Vincent de Paul, Foundation Dinners, and Fairhaven with Maple Street Church, and St Mark pantry as back up if there is an abundance of sandwiches.
Contact: Parish Office, 740-653-0997
The inmates appreciate Mass and interaction with those who visit. Those who visit are often told how much it means that they are not forgotten. Visits are scheduled with typically 3 to 5 parishioners who accompany Father Eilerman. Father Eilerman offers Mass and reconciliation to the inmates. Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation are occasionally administered. Parishioners can participate by joining the visits or simply by keeping the inmates in their prayers. They are encouraged when they hear we are praying for them.
St Vincent DePaul Support
Contact: Dr. Ed Nash (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The committee hosts a special drive twice a year to help our local St. Vincent de Paul Society. This year the items most needed were paper products such as single roll paper towels, toilet paper, and napkins. This drive has also been used to collect blankets or other items that are needed. Collection boxes are in the church for nonperishable food items during all of Lent. We care boxes are distributed/delivered once a month to help supplement those in need. The boxes contain food, toiletries, and other items that may be needed such as laundry detergent etc.
Prayer Card Outreach
Contact: Claire Smith 740-653-3737
Cards are mailed several times a year to those whose names appear in the bulletin. They include a special prayer and are sometimes handmade cards donated by a parishioner. This is a wonderful way to unite in prayer with those in our parish and those who are not parishioners that are homebound. Christmas and birthday cards are sent to shut in parishioners. The cards are addressed for Fr. Eilerman to send. A wonderful way to stay connected with our fellow parishioners who are not able to join us on a regular basis.
The committee promotes and encourages parishioners to pray the Rosary at St. Mary Cemetery on a designated day in May. A wonderful way to remind us of our responsibility to the Spiritual Works of Mercy to pray for the living and the dead.
Once a year a special theme is chosen and a prayer card is passed out to all the families in the parish. Lenten prayers, cards for refugees, prayers for peace, etc. have been themes in the past.
The Social Concerns Committee has hosted a speaker on a variety of topics including prison ministry, Right to Life, Voter responsibility etc.
Contact: Mary Ann Berry email@example.com
Contact: Claire Smith 740-653-3737
Voter registration is usually held twice a year to promote a sense of political responsibility and active citizenship in the parish.
Contact: Mary Ann Berry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The committee promotes the “Life Chain” that is held every October on Respect Life Sunday. It is a peaceful, prayerful public witness to life. Participants stand along Memorial Drive in Lancaster to witness to our commitment to life at every stage.
The “Spiritual Adoption” program begins in January on the Roe vs. Wade weekend and concludes in October, Respect Life Month. People are asked to pray daily for the life of their spiritually adopted child and their parents for 9 months. In October baby items are collected to celebrate the birth of our adopted babies. This year we will focus on diapers and wipes but all items will be accepted.
Fortnight for Freedom
Dioceses around the country hold a special event to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. The Fortnight for Freedom is held from June 21-the vigil of the Feast of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More- to July 4, Independence Day.