Deacon’s Beacon: The Holy Spirit is Alive at OLW

Posted on May 2, 2023 by Published by

The Holy Spirit is Alive at OLW 

“He is Risen”

Several weeks back, on Easter Sunday,  those words resonated in our readings, as the apostles heard the message of Jesus rising from the dead.  At first, it was difficult for them to understand, but over the next few weeks, with guidance from Jesus, they came to understand His message.

As His time of a bodily presence on earth was coming to an end,  Jesus told the apostles that they would have to continue to bring God’s message to the world.  The apostles were afraid and didn’t know how they could do that.  Jesus said, “I will send the Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide you.”  That message was meant for the apostles and all future generations of believers. 

The power of the Holy Spirit is thriving at Our Lady of the Wayside.  There are many ministries that show the presence of God in OLW’s parish life.  This week I would like to focus on the St. Mark’s Food Pantry ministry.   The food pantry is a long-standing OLW ministry, dating back to the 1990’s.  Don Piergalski has coordinated the project for over five years.  During this time the donations have doubled, reflecting OLW’s commitment to help the St. Mark’s community during these very challenging times.

On the second Sunday of every month the ministry collects food donated by parishioners and neighbors.  The food is stored in plastic bins on shelves in the garage.   Then, on the following Saturday a volunteer team loads their cars and vans with the food and drives down to the St. Mark Food Pantry.  There they unload their cars and vans and the St. Mark’s crew loads the food onto their pantry shelves.

The team loads the vans 

The April collection filled seven vans with much-needed nonperishable foods.

The volunteer drivers arrive back at OLW at 11a,m.  Some donors who were unable to shop for food,.have donated checks payable to OLW – St. Mark’s Food Pantry.  This also is an excellent opportunity to share in this effort;  the money is used to buy perishable items at discounted prices from the Chicago Food Depository.

Vans loaded, the team is ready to go

St. Mark’s and OLW teams prepare the pantry

This is an excellent  example of the Holy Spirit guiding us at Our Lady of the Wayside and is just one of many opportunities at OLW to share with those in need.  As we make these journeys of welcome and outreach to others, we trust Jesus, who tells us in today’s gospel: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

If you would like information on this or other ministries, please contact me at  Deacon Tom Corcoran at

“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

“At the end of our life we shall be judged by charity.”
–St. John of the Cross

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