OLW #DifferenceMakers Brighten Christmas For Many
When we were children, we eagerly looked forward to what we would receive as gifts at Christmas. As adults, we realize that we receive joy from what we can do for those less fortunate. We can measure our success by how we help others.
By this measuring guide Our Lady of the Wayside has had a wonderful, blessed Christmas season. Several of our ministries reached out to people who needed assistance for a Merry Christmas.
The ministry that’s most closely associated with this season is the St. Mark’s Christmas Giving Tree. This year there were over 300 people on the list with needs for food and gifts.
Patty Haase and her team provided for the needs of everyone on the list. As a result of the pandemic restrictions, the collections were lower than in the past. But a significant contribution from an anonymous donor raised the total and everyone received gifts.
Delivering the Christmas Dinners to St. Mark’s
Jim, Deacon Tom, and Don Piergalski loading the car
We received a contribution of Christmas Dinners from a Rockford Diocese St. Vincent DePaul Conference. There were enough ham dinners with all of the “sides” included to help: – the St. Mark’s community; the Little Sisters of the Poor; and the remainder was given to the Northwest Region of Catholic Charities and some parishioners. The total of the dinners provided over 300 people with a fine Christmas celebration.
Sadie Kelly and Deacon Tom delivering to Sr. Amie Marie (Little Sisters of the Poor)
The December food collection for the St. Mark’s Food Pantry was the largest collection of the year. The pastor, Fr. Martin Ibarra, thanked the OLW parishioners for their excellent support throughout all of 2020.
Don Piergalski and the St. Mark’s Food Pantry team did an excellent job of adjusting to the requirements of the pandemic and keeping the food supply coming.
Because of the pandemic, the P.A.D.S. ministry has not been able to meet in the OLW rectory basement. But since the need continues, P.A.D.S. was able to receive a large grant for housing for the homeless. Funding is required for the meals. P.A.D.S. has received contributions of over $20,000 for the meals, including a large contribution from the CFM community.
Thank you to all for your kind donations to these ministries. This year will be remembered for many reasons; but one reason we will long remember is the outpouring of people who reached out to help make a brighter Christmas for many children and adults.
A special thanks to Kathy Freiburger who is retiring. She has provided excellent support to us for 20 years.
“It’s not lengthy prayers, but generous deeds that touch God’s heart.” St. Arnold Janssen
Blessings Upon All This New Year!
Deacon Tom Corcoran
“You are the light of the world. Do not light a lamp then put it under a bushel basket…. your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:5-16
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