Category Archives: Homeless/Feed the Hungry

News from the Service Commission’s Homeless & Feed the Hungry program

POWIR Updates

As many parishioners are now aware, we are in the formative stages of a partnership with Catholic Charities to welcome a Refugee family this year. A group of over forty parishioners have committed to helping the effort in the areas of housing, pre-arrival and post-arrival needs. As we prepare for this family to arrive, our passionate volunteers have created this communication space to answer any questions that may surface throughout the process. Stay tuned here for all the exciting developments! We trust in God’s timing and purpose as we wait in anticipation of a family who could arrive from any country!

What is a refugee? A refugee is an individual or family who have been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. There are currently 65.6 million persons who have been forcibly displaced worldwide.

Is the family we are welcoming here legally? Absolutely. Refugees resettled by Catholic Charities have undergone a 15-step legal process which includes interviews with the United Nations and U.S. officials, vetting, security, medical, and fingerprint screenings, and cultural orientations.

The ceiling for refugee arrivals has been set for the fiscal year 2020 at a historic low of 18,000 individuals. We ask for your prayers that we may be able to help one of these individuals as we seek ways to “welcome the stranger”.

June 1-2: Annual Men’s Clothing Drive for St. Francis House


Each spring our community comes together to support St. Francis House with a Men’s Clothing Drive, and each year the drive is a huge success because of your generosity and grace. This year’s drive will take place June 1-2.  St. Francis House serves approximately 50 clothing appointments per day (Monday-Friday) which is 250 full sets of clothing per week to their guests in need. Please join us in helping by donating clean, practical clothing. Your efforts and generosity are appreciated by the thousands who come to St. Francis House each year for a fresh pair of clothes in times of need.

MOST NEEDED ITEMS INCLUDE:

  • Men’s pants (especially jeans size 30-40)
  • T-shirts, shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, & spring coats
  • Footwear (walking shoes and sneakers)
  • Backpacks/duffel bags/tote bags
  • Summer hats (baseball caps, beach hats)
  • NEW underwear and undershirts (in original packaging)
  • NEW socks (for their Foot Clinic)

ALSO ACCEPTED: Women’s everyday clothing

NOT ACCEPTED: Children’s clothing; used socks, underwear, and sleepwear; household items (including linens); damaged or discolored items

WHEN: Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 from 9:00AM to 5:00PM

WHERE: Drop off items at the St. John the Evangelist Church garage (behind the church)

HOW: If you can put your items in boxes or secured bags and label them with the general contents it would be a great help with sorting.

Thank you for your generosity!

If you have any questions please call the St. John (781-235-0045) or St. Paul (781-235-1060) parish office.

Immigrant and Refugee Services Brainstorming Session – Thursday, May 31

Our collaborative has participated in fruitful planning meetings regarding Adult Faith Formation and Christian Service in support of the development of our Collaborative Pastoral Plan. One of the beautiful fruits of those meetings was a strong desire from individuals in both parishes to support immigrants and refugees in our community and beyond. There will be a preliminary planning session for all those who might be interested in participating this initiative on Thursday, May 31 at 7:00pm in the St. John-St. Paul Collaborative Office Conference Room (in the St. John Parish Center, 39 Washington Street, Wellesley) All are welcome to attend!

January 21: “Collection Sunday” – Household Cleaning Supplies for Refugee Relief

Catholic Charities LogoCatholic Charities/Boston settles between 300-400 refugees each year. After these families and individuals have been resettled in the Boston area, they need assistance in so many ways.  The Service Commission has organized a Collection Sunday during the weekend of January 20-21 to collect Household Cleaning Supplies, including dish soap, sponges, laundry detergent, brooms (either upright or whisk brooms) and microfiber mops/dusters. Donations may be left at St. John Church in the Glen Road entrance, in the Library area on the lower level , or in Powers Hall. (Look for the “Collection Sunday” signs.)

This is a wonderful opportunity to get your children involved in a service activity. Imagine the conversations that will ensue as you explain why these families need to uproot and resettle in the United States, far from family and a familiar culture!  If you have any questions about Collection Sunday, please contact the Parish Office (781-235-0045.)

Thanksgiving Thank You!

A big thank you to all the Parishioners who contributed to the Thanksgiving Feast at Bristol Lodge soup kitchen in Waltham. Thanksgiving is such a busy time of year, so we are always amazed by the number of parishioners who contribute year after year to make a memorable Thanksgiving for the guests at Bristol Lodge. We served 10 large turkeys with twice as many sides… and there were leftovers for weekend meals!

Thank You from the St. John Service Commission

Service FairA big thank you to all the parishioners who contributed to the Household Goods collection for Refugee Relief. Over 100 items (including brooms, dusters, laundry detergent, dish detergent and various soaps) were delivered to Catholic Charities/Boston (CCB) for distribution to refugee families who have been resettled by CCB. Our efforts were especially appreciated given the recent Executive Order which limits both the number of refugees who are allowed in to the U. S. (from 110,000 to 50,000 in FY 17) as well as their country of origin.

Please remember that caring for refugees is based on Catholic social teaching. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus instructs us to welcome the stranger, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Mt 25:35-40)

This Weekend: “Collection Sunday” for Refugee Relief – January 28-29

Catholic Charities LogoAs many of you know, last year the proceeds of our Lenten gift went to Catholic Charities/Boston for their Refugee Relief activities. CC/Boston settles between 300-400 refugees each year and the majority of these refugees come from African countries including DR Congo, Eritrea and Ethiopia as well as Middle Eastern countries including Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

After these families and individuals have been resettled in the Boston area, they need assistance in so many ways. One way we can help out is to collect household items that are needed in their apartments. The Service Commission has organized Collection Sundays during the weekends of January 21-22 and January 28-29. On these weekends we will be collecting Household Cleaning Supplies, including dish soap, sponges, laundry detergent, brooms (either upright or whisk brooms) and microfiber mops/dusters. Donations may be left at St. John Church in the Glen Road entrance, in the Library area on the lower level , or in Powers Hall. (Look for the “Collection Sundays” signs.)

This is a wonderful opportunity to get your children involved in a service activity. Imagine the conversations that will ensue as you explain why these families need to uproot and resettle in the United States, far from family and a familiar culture!  If you have any questions about Collection Sundays, please don’t hesitate to contact the Parish Office (781-235-0045.)

“Collection Sundays” for Refugee Relief: January 22 & 29

Catholic Charities LogoAs many of you know, last year the proceeds of our Lenten gift went to Catholic Charities/Boston for their Refugee Relief activities. CC/Boston settles between 300-400 refugees each year and the majority of these refugees come from African countries including DR Congo, Eritrea and Ethiopia as well as Middle Eastern countries including Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

After these families and individuals have been resettled in the Boston area, they need assistance in so many ways. One way we can help out is to collect household items that are needed in their apartments. The Service Commission has organized Collection Sundays during the weekends of January 21-22 and January 28-29. On these weekends we will be collecting Household Cleaning Supplies, including dish soap, sponges, laundry detergent, brooms (either upright or whisk brooms) and microfiber mops/dusters. Donations may be left at St. John Church in the Glen Road entrance, in the Library area on the lower level , or in Powers Hall. (Look for the “Collection Sundays” signs.)

This is a wonderful opportunity to get your children involved in a service activity. Imagine the conversations that will ensue as you explain why these families need to uproot and resettle in the United States, far from family and a familiar culture!  If you have any questions about Collection Sundays, please don’t hesitate to contact the Parish Office (781-235-0045.)

Refugee Relief Orientation – Thursday, October 20 at the Laboure Center

TCatholic Charities Logohe date for the next Refugee Relief orientation is set for Thursday, October 20th at 6:00pm and will last for an hour. It will take place on the second floor of the Laboure Center, which is the branch of Catholic Charities located at 275 W Broadway in South Boston, about four blocks down from Broadway station on the Red Line. There is a parking lot in the back, and be sure to park in the white spaces. At the meeting CC leaders will review information about the refugee situation in general and how it relates to the services provided by CC, as well as look at some upcoming opportunities for volunteers. Please bring a government-issued form of ID, like your driver’s license or passport. If you have any questions, please contact the Rectory.

Food Pantry Collection for St. Katherine Drexel will be NEXT Weekend, October 18

feed the hungryThis month’s delivery date for the St. Katharine’s Food Pantry will be moved from Sunday, October 11 to the following Sunday, October 18 due to the long holiday weekend.

Please contact Angela Spinale at (781) 431-0008 with any questions.