“You did not choose me, I choose you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” Jn 15:16
Our Lady of Mercy Outreach Services is a ministry that aims at extending the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy to those in the parish and surrounding communities. It is our Christian vocation to place ourselves at the service of others. It is by sharing our gifts, talents and genuine support for the marginalized and needy members of our community that we truly put into action the message of the gospel and share in the work of the church. This work includes making the connection between the generosities of those willing to share their time, talent and fortune with those who are in need of the bare essentials of life. The coordinating of these efforts continues to be a tremendous part of Our Lady of Mercy Parish and a major hallmark of her pastoral history.
“By their fruits you will know them.” Mt 7:16
Food Pantry – Feed the Hungry.
“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat” Mt 25:35
The OLM Food Pantry is supplied by the generosity of individuals dropping off non perishable food items while going to weekly Mass. Each week food is collected at the front entrance of the church. The food is gathered by volunteers on Mondays and brought to Mercy House (57 Second Street) to stock the two rooms of shelves available to those seeking food assistance. Individuals finding it hard to provide food for themselves and/or their families are encouraged to contact the OLM Outreach Office at 401-884-4410 and find out more about this valuable means of getting assistance.
The “4 for 4” program run by OLM School during the school year is another tremendous contributor to the success of the OLM Food Pantry. Students of every grade level are encouraged to bring one non-perishable food item for the four weeks of each month while the school year is underway. Students share in the mission of their school so . . . that Mercy may flourish.
Various individuals make anonymous and very generous donations directly to the food pantry all year round. Some choose to donate a monetary contribution in the memory of a loved one. Other donors give $10 grocery gift cards. These cards are distributed with the nonperishable food in order that individuals may purchase milk and eggs that are not stored at the pantry.
The holidays are very demanding times on the food pantry and yet the OLM parish family is never short in providing the necessary means to make those struggling with a little extra to celebrate the occasion. Gift baskets are prepared by dedicated volunteers with the generous gifts of program sponsors. Each basket shares the Spirit of each holiday by lifting the spirits of those receiving them.
Clothing Collection – Clothe the naked.
“I was naked and you clothed me” Mt25:36
OLM Outreach is also available to receive clothes donation that are of good, reusable quality. There have been many occasions when individuals and families have been assisted through the generosity of donors passing on clothes they no longer use. Items such as jackets, slacks, shirts, blouses, shoes bedding, blankets, towels, etc. are items collected and being passed on to those in need of them.
Bereavement– Bury the dead. Comfort the sorrowful.
“I will not leave you orphans.” Jn 14:18
The OLM Bereavement Support Group is a powerful means of reaching out to those who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The challenge of such a loss is a life changing event accompanied by personal grief and can be a source of pain and confusion. We can ask . . .” Where is God in all of this? . . . or why did this happen to me?” By meeting together and sharing the experience of their loss, individuals find the strength and grace needed to restore meaning to their lives. What is available to each individual through their own gift of faith? Can that gift be used to enable them to continue life’s journey and restore a true sense of hope? Ongoing meetings introduce new members and allow the individual the option of participating or continuing according to their level of acceptance and comfort. While there is no question as to serious nature of grief it is recommended that you bring an ounce of humor to each meeting but know that is not required.
The support group meets every first and third Thursdays of each month. (Unless changed by a holiday, weather, etc.) Please contact the OLM Outreach Office at 401-884-4410 to inquire of the next scheduled meeting.