Social Concerns Committee
Social Concerns Committee Members
Dcn. Frank Sullivan: Chair
Cecelia Mullin: Co-Chair – Bingo at Nursing Homes
Chuck Schooley: St. Vincent DePaul Rep.
Joe Holbrook: Parish Council Representative
Maryann Berry: Co-Chair
Alisha Snoke: Sandwich Saturdays
“The most important setting for the Church’s teaching is not in a food pantry or in a legislative committee room, but in prayer and worship, especially gathered around the Altar for the Eucharist. It is in the liturgy that we find the fundamental direction, motivation, and strength for social ministry. Social ministry not genuinely rooted in prayer can easily burn itself out. On the other hand, worship that does not reflect the Lord’s call to conversion, service, and justice can become pious ritual and empty of the gospel.” “Salt and Light USCCB”
Sandwiches for the homeless are made once a month, typically the 4th Saturday of the month, 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 group from St Mary School and the PSR classes were encouraged to participate during different months throughout the year. 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. Scheduled dates are October 24, February 27, April 23 and tentative dates scheduled are November 21, March 19, and May 21.
Contact: Alisha Snoke 740-407-5870
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 occur about every 6 weeks with typically 3 to 5 parishioners accompany Father Eilerman. Father Eilerman offers Mass and reconciliation to the inmates. Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation are occasionally administered. Deacon Paul DeShaise prepares the inmates for the sacraments. 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.
Contact: Kevin Schmelzer firstname.lastname@example.org
Nursing Home Ministry:
Bingo Nights are held twice a year at the Crestview Nursing Home. They are usually held in May and November. The residents look forward to the visits, refreshments and prizes. The next scheduled visit is Wednesday, November 11 at 7:00.
Contact: Cecelia Mullin 740-756-7987
St Vincent Support:
The committee hosts a special drive twice a year to help our local St. Vincent de Paul Society. The past 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. Clean out your cupboard is hosted twice a year on Ash Wednesday and the Feast of the Assumption. Items are donated to St. Vincent DePaul Collection boxes are in the church for non perishable food items during all of Lent.
Contact: Chuck Schooley 740-503-9526
Prayer Card Outreach:
Cards are mailed several times a year to the individuals whose names appear in the bulletin. They include a special prayer and are usually beautiful handmade cards donated by a parishioner. This is wonderful way to unite in prayer with those in our parish and those who are not parishioners. 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.
Contact: Claire Smith: 740-653-3737
The committee promotes and encourages parishioners to pray the Rosary at St. Mary Cemetery on a designated day in May. Tuesday May 10 is tentatively schedule for the 2016 rosary.
Once a year a special theme is chosen and a prayer card is passed out to all the families in the parish. This year the prayer card is a beautiful prayer for peace. The cards will be distributed in November to encourage peaceful solutions in the world especially for the Syrian Refugee crisis.
Contact: Cecelia Mullin: 740-653-7987
The Social Concerns Committee in conjunction with Marriage and Family Life Doughnut Sunday hosted Jerry Freewalt from the diocese to speak on the topic of “What is the Church Concerned about These Days?” The talk covered many thought provoking topics and was well attended. Topics and dates for next year’s speaker are still being worked out with the Diocesan Dept. of Social Concerns.
St. Mary Parish will be hosting a Diocesan speaker series on September 30 and October 21 concerning justice, the death penalty, and our criminal justice system. The talks are held at 7:00 in the Spirit Center.
Contact: Mary Ann Berry 740-468-3579
Voter Registration is usually held once a year to promote a sense of political responsibility and active citizenship in the parish.
Contact: Claire Smith 740-653-3737
The committee promotes the “Life Chain” that is held every October on Respect Life Sunday. It is a peaceful, prayerful and 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 v. Wade weekend and concludes in October, respect life month. It is a simple, prayerful and educational program that gives monthly baby development for all nine months. People are asked to pray daily for the life of their spiritually adopted son or daughter and their parents for 9 months. In October baby items are collected to celebrate the birth of our spiritually adopted babies. All items are donated to the Pregnancy Decision Health Center (PDHC) This year we will be hosting a “baby shower” for the PSR classes. They will be bringing in items to donate to the PDHC and we will be providing refreshments.
Contact: Mary Ann Berry: 740-468-3579
In response to a special appeal from the diocese, a special collection was taken up on October 18 to address the urgent need for the St. Francis Center in McArthur, Ohio. The center is in critical need of food to supply the center. Monetary donations or donations of food items were accepted.