Submitted by Fr. Julio Martinez, OFM Conv. ~ Pastor of St. Julia Parish, Siler City, NC
St. Julia Parish Reaches Out
On Saturday, May 2nd, I visited seven trailer park neighborhoods with the Blessed Sacrament. Men of the parish participated by organizing the visit, rigging the pickup with table and kneeler, serving as acolytes, driver and providing helping hands. The people set up shrines/altars in front of their homes to welcome the Lord and His blessing. It brought comfort, strength and inspiration to the people. Now we prepare for another visit of the Blessed Sacrament to those who live in other areas.
We set up an expanded food pantry and more and more people from the parish are using this blessing that we are able to provide. A group of ladies from the parish also take food to individuals and families that either cannot drive to the parish or are in quarantine. We are grateful to the generosity of parishioners, Friars, and anonymous donors from other communities who contribute to the food pantry. Because of this generosity we are also able to help families pay some bills.
Our monthly food distribution that we sponsor with the Food Bank continues and we distribute food to about 100 families. The local chicken processing plant has used our property for the sale of chicken at $1.00 a pound. This is a way to participate in local community endeavors during this difficult time. The parish has received $4,000 from the chicken plant for allowing them to use our property. On June 4th, the parish will again collaborate, this time with Chatham County Managerial Office and another charitable organization, providing the space for 5,000 meals to be distributed to the local community.
Our people come to the parish every Sunday to drop off their weekly contributions, receive printed spiritual material and a blessing. It also gives me the opportunity to see and touch base with them as to how they are. We have many parishioners that have tested positive. They are quarantined at home. All have lost their jobs temporarily or permanently. We also have two of our men who are in intensive care and their families are being taken care of by many in the community.
Although the church building’s doors are closed, the Church’s Hearts are wide open here at St. Julia. Our community has really capitalized on the union and genuine sense of community that already existed among us. It has become stronger and I hope that after this hell, we will return even stronger.
Submitted by Fr. Timothy Dore, OFM Conv. ~ Pastor of the Pastorate of St. Michael the Archangel, Church of the Annunciation, and St. Clement Mary Hofbauer, Baltimore MD
Baltimore Pastorate Scouts Conduct Food Drive
On Sunday afternoon, May 17, 2020, Troop 419 of the Boy Scouts of America, one of the many scouting organizations serving within our Pastorate of St. Michael the Archangel, Church of the Annunciation, and St. Clement Mary Hofbauer, conducted a food drive to benefit our Pastorate food pantries. They collected non-perishable food at St. Michael, Overlea, and at Annunciation, Rosedale. I’m so edified by the Scouts’ desire to serve the most needy among us, especially during these difficult days!
Featuring Fr. Albert Scherer, OFM Conv. ~ Pastor of Our Lady of the Cross Parish, Holyoke, MA (Story and photos by Carolee McGrath – iobserve.org)
Mater Dolorosa School ~ May Crowning and More
The students of Mater Dolorosa School thought they would not have any Crowning this year, a tradition that began when the school started, It was felt that keeping the tradition, although a bit modified, was important to the students and greater community. A video of the May Crowning with Friar Albert was streamed on the school’s Facebook Page on Thursday, May 14 2020. In addition, the Diocese of Springfield News Site posted a May 17, 2020 online article featuring the Crowning, and other events for the school/parish students. Many more videos and photos are posted on the Mater Dolorosa School Facebook Page.
Submitted by Fr. Carl Zdancewicz, OFM Conv. ~ Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, Winston-Salem, NC
Drive-In Mass Celebrated on Sunday May 17th
Pastor Emeritus, Fr. Joe Angelini, OFM Conv. and Pastor, Fr. Carl Zdancewicz, OFM Conv. of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, in Winston-Salem, NC celebrated their first ever outdoor car Mass (in English and Spanish), on May 17, 2020. Over 125 car attended both services. A multicultural team put together the logistics for this event to happen. YouTube Video of the Mass in English