Christian Service Commission

MISSION STATEMENT:

The Christian Service Commission exists to encourage, support and coordinate the Christian Service efforts and activities of parishioners carried on in the name of parishes.  The Beatitudes give direction to this mission, urging all of us to reach out to those in need locally, regionally and internationally, to share with them the blessings we have been given as individuals and as a community.  Justice demands that the problems that plague some of us are addressed by all of us responsibly and repeatedly until they are no more.

We pursue this mission with collaboration and mutual support from the other parish commissions (and advisory groups), those focused on Worship, Education, Youth, Community, Finance, and Parish Council.

The Christian Service Commission tries to balance the works of charity (to meet immediate needs) with those rooted in justice, where the source of hunger, poverty, homelessness and other social ills are dealt with.  The justice work supports the dignity of people who are poor by “teaching them to fish.”

Christian Service calls all to works of Charity, Peace and Justice.

These ministries have enormous range and as parishioners we can only get involved with a few aspects at a time.  Promotion of human dignity, recognizing others as our brothers and sisters, equally "children of God,” the call to share the resources with which we have been abundantly blessed, growth in faith and in the understanding of Gospel values we experience as we participate and as we open ourselves to learn from and be served by those with whom we share.

COMMISSION MEETINGS: Every-other-month from September through May to coordinate the parishes’ calendar, publicity, resources and issues in support of the various Christian Service ministries.

While the commission serves as the advisory and organizing entity, the actual day-to-day work of the members is conducted within committees, some of which focus on their respective parish, some on the wider Lexington Catholic Community.

AA/Al Anon Meetings
Contact: Parish Office
Email: AAandAlAnon@lexingtoncatholic.org
Meetings are for both men and women, and are held at St. Brigid Parish. Al Anon meetings are held on Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. AA meetings are also held on Wednesdays, at 6:30 p.m.

Advent Candles
Contact: (SH) John Yasaitis
Email: SacredHeartAdventCandles@lexingtocatholic.org
During the Advent season, Sacred Heart parishioners are invited to help others through Advent Candles. Each candle represents a specific gift of clothing, food or other items that are distributed to people in need at Christmas. The program serves the Prison Ministry at MCI Framingham and children of incarcerated women, Family AIDS Ministry at St. Katherine Drexel, Somerville Family Center and Santa’s Discretionary Fund.

Advent Giving Tree
Contact: (St.B) Hallie Wells
Email: SaintBrigidAdventGivingTree@lexingtoncatholic.org
During the Advent season, we invite St. Brigid parishioners to help others through the Giving Tree.  Each gift tag represents a specific gift of clothing, food or other items that are distributed to people in need at Christmas. Gifts for the children of Saint Patrick’s, Roxbury, are distributed during the Christmas party. Mittens from the Mitten Tree are also given away at the party. Other Advent Giving Tree programs include the Julie Asian House, and Si Se Puede, Lawrence, an after-school program.

Advent Christmas Angels
Contact: (SH) Donna Heuchling
Email: SacredHeartAdventChristmasAngels@lexingtoncatholic.org
Parishioners pick ornaments representing the children of women incarcerated at the South Middlesex Correctional Center in Framingham. Gifts are purchased so the women have presents to give to their children at their family Christmas Party.

Amnesty International
Contact: Fran Ludwig
Email: AmnestyInternational@lexingtoncatholic.org
This organization is designed to promote global observance of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One weekend a year, parishioners participate by signing letters that call attention to the unjust imprisonment of nonviolent political prisoners and request their release. This simple activity has proved effective in gaining the release of specific prisoners and in improved observance of human rights generally. A high volume of letters is critical.

Bread for the World
Contact: Fran Ludwig
Email: BreadfortheWorld@lexingtoncatholic.org
Bread for the World helps by supporting parishioners to act as advocates for the hungry at home and abroad. Members are kept current about upcoming votes in Congress on hunger issues through a monthly newsletter. Once a year parishioners are invited to write their senator(s) or representative about the effect of proposed legislation on the hungry and malnourished.

Celebrating Adoption Community
Contact: Donna Heuchling
Email: CelebratingAdoption@lexingtoncatholic.org
The mission of The Sacred Heart Adoption Community is to focus on families formed through adoption, kinship care and foster care in a parish community setting. We also help raise awareness and promotion of adoption as a way to form a forever family. Since 2002 our members have gatherd every November for our Saturday evening adoption party, and Sunday 10:00 a.m. Adoption Mass. Our members are always available to discuss adoption with anyone expressing an interest in adoption or desire for more information about adoption. For two consecutive years we have donated Teddy Bears to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Family Services for use on National Adoption Day in Massachusetts. These Teddy Bears are handed out on National Adoption Day at local Courthouses where children/teens finalize their adoption with their parents after being in foster care.

Clothing Collection Ministry
Contact: Mary Harvell
Email: SaintBrigidClothingCollection@lexingtoncatholic.org
Every year, during a weekend in the fall, parishioners are invited to drop off warm new or gently used clothes in the basement of the parish center at St. Brigid. Volunteers collect clothing on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing is then sorted and brought to the following organizations. Men’s clothing is picked up by St. Francis House, women's clothing goes to Rosie's Place, and the children’s clothing is given to Cradles to Crayons.  The clothing drive runs simultaneously with the Cradles to Crayons drive sponsored by LexFun at the parish hall on Saturday.

Fair Trade Fair Ministry
Contact: Lee Crivello
Email: FairTradeFair@lexingtoncatholic.org
In early November, various craft items from third world countries are offered for sale after weekend Masses as a link to and a sign of support for our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

Family AIDS Ministry/Saint Katharine Drexel
Contact: Bob Ludwig
Email: FamilyAIDSMinistry@lexingtoncatholic.org
The Family AIDS Ministry at Saint Katharine Drexel (SH sister parish) in Roxbury, welcomes help for adults and children with AIDS and their families. Supermarket gift certificates are always needed. Parishes provide Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas gifts (Advent Candle Ministry), and Easter hams.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Boston
Contact: Bob Ludwig
Email: HabitatforHumanity@lexingtoncatholic.org
Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to building modest, affordable homes for low income families. Future home construction will be primarily in Dorchester and Roxbury. Parishioners are invited to participate and/or support two building days each year with prayers, work and donations.

Haiti Mission: Sacred Heart/St. Brigid Haiti Committee
Contact: Lee Crivello
Email: HaitiMission@lexingtoncatholic.org
The Haiti Committee provides funding to support primary education to the children of Fond-des-Blancs, Haiti, a rural parish spread over a main village center and 11 outlying centers, with chapels used as chapel schools during the week. This committee assists by raising money to recruit and maintain a qualified teaching staff of more than 100.

Haley House
Contact: Neil Hegarty
Email: HaleyHouse@lexingtoncatholic.org
Inner-city Catholic Worker House that provides daily meals, clothing, counseling and job training for clients. Also operates the Haley House Café in Roxbury. From September to June volunteers assist with meal preparation and service.

Helping Hands
Contact: Jeanne Hobbs
Email: HelpingHands@lexingtoncatholic.org
This outreach ministry provides various types of assistance to parishioners in need. Services range from transportation to church, doctors visits, or the hospital to providing a meal to a shut-in, to child care, to help with shopping. The Helping Hands monthly coordinator receives calls at home from parishioners in need of assistance, and matches them via email with Helping Hands volunteers who can help with their request. Volunteers in all aspects of this ministry are always welcome.

Honduras Mission
Contact: Paul Lukez
Email: HondurasMission@lexingtoncatholic.org or Honduras@lukez.com

Volunteers participate in fundraising, collecting needed materials or working at Saint Rosa de Lima Parish in Guaimaca, Honduras during the February vacation.  Various presentations to the parish community are designed to connect our parish with our brothers and sisters in the third world.

Paul Lukez will be heading up this years Honduras Mission. For more information, please check their website at:   http://www.honduranmission.org

 

Hospitality
Contact: (SH) John Yasaitis and Eunice Laffey
Email: Hospitality@lexingtoncatholic.org
Sunday Hospitality after the 10:00 a.m. Mass has been operating year round at Sacred Heart for more than 15 years with the help of about 25 volunteer families. Hospitality has provided an excellent venue for parishioners to meet socially, and for newcomers to be introduced and integrated into the parish community and invited to participate in the various lay ministries. Topical speakers or other parish activities (e.g. Amnesty International letter signing, Christmas wreath making, parish commissions Sunday signup, etc.) sometimes also take place at this time.

Inner-city St. Katharine Drexel Food Pantries
Contact: (SH) Bob Ludwig and (St.B) Jennifer Hofmann
Email: InnerCitySt.KatharineDrexel@lexingtoncatholic.org
On the first weekend of the month, donations of nonperishable food and Stop & Shop cards are collected after all Masses at both churches.  Food is delivered by SH/St. B teams to the St. Katharine Drexel food pantries (which serve both our sister parishes of St. Patrick and St. Katharine Drexel) following the last Sunday morning Mass.

Lexington Food Pantry
Contact: (SH) Lee Crivello and (St.B) Ninfa Ortolano
Email: LexingtonFoodPantry@lexingtoncatholic.org
On the third weekend of each month parishioners from Saint Brigid and Sacred Heart donate food for the Lexington Food Pantry. Food is delivered on Wednesday mornings to the Lexington Food Pantry at the Church of Our Redeemer, where it is checked and sorted. On the fifth weekend of the month, volunteers from both parishes staff the Lexington Food Pantry.

Loving Hands’ Knitting/Crocheting Ministry
Contact: Donna Hooper
Email: LovingHandsKnitting@lexingtoncatholic.org
The St. Brigid/Sacred Heart Knitting Ministry brings volunteers together for fellowship and community while providing an opportunity to use skilled hands and open hearts to make knitted/crocheted items for those in need of love, tenderness, and security. Members gather monthly from September to June on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the St. Brigid Parish Center. The ministry also encourages and welcomes the talents and gifts of those not physically able to gather, but are interested in contributing from home. The ministry bases its projects on annually identified needs, including baby layette items (hat, booties, blanket) and bereavement clothing for local hospitals and centers, as well as warm hat/scarf sets and blankets for children and adults in need within our local area and other identified communities.
To learn more, read bulletin article here.

Native American Ministry/Lakota Blanket Collection
Contact: Bernadette Zaggarella
Email: LakotaBlankets@lexingtoncatholic.org
The Lakota people of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota are among the poorest in the nation. Each year during the fall parishioners collect new blankets to help make the frigid winter more bearable. Monetary donations help pay for heating fuel during the winter.

Prison Ministry
Contact: Ted Heuchling
Email: PrisonMinistry@lexingtoncatholic.org
This ministry calls us to be present in weekly/monthly visits as members of the outside community to which prisoners no longer have access.  Simply being there to share Mass and prayer with prisoners, makes a difference in their lives. Offering spiritual support and counseling in one-on-one sessions with prisoners helps them survive and benefit from prison life.  Coming to know a prisoner and then being available to her after she is released helps her re-build her life and avoid trouble with the law. Advent Christmas Angels is a part of the Prison Ministry.
To learn more, read bulletin article here.

Respect for Life
Contact: Parish Office
Email: RespectforLife@lexingtoncatholic.org
This ministry’s primary goal is to provide help and support for expectant and new single mothers. Activities include the Respect Life Walk held each year in October, the annual Mother’s Day Flower Sale, and donations of needed baby items.

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
Contact: Judy McDonough 
Email: StVincentdePaul@lexingtoncatholic.org
“The vocation of the Society is to follow Christ through service to those in need (the poor) regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender or political opinions. The Society will offer empathy and some immediate relief to those suffering but also will seek mid-term and long-term solutions, always searching for justice.”St Vincent DePaul Society is dedicated to assisting persons in financial need by providing food vouchers, overnight lodgings at a local inn, assistance with utility bills, rental assistance, and medical prescriptions. All matters are handled confidentially.

Thanksgiving Turkeys and Easter Hams for Inner City
Contact: (SH) Bob Ludwig and (St.B) Heather Rennick Miller
Email: ThanksgivingandEasterFoodDonations@lexingtoncatholic.org
Both parishes donate to the food pantries and other inner city shelters at Thanksgiving. Sacred Heart parishioners have a tradition of providing turkeys and St. Brigid has a tradition of collecting frozen turkeys and all the fixings for St. Patrick's Parish. In addition, parishioners from both churches donate to the Easter Ham Collection. Turkeys and hams are delivered to St. Katharine Drexel food pantry guests and shut-ins, Family AIDS ministry clients, Haley House and Rosie’s Place. Additional donations of Stop & Shop gift cards and cash provide further assistance to our inner city parishes’ celebrations.

The Women’s Lunch Place
Contact: Claire Bertucci
Email: St.BrigidTheWomensLunchPlace@lexingtoncatholic.org
The Women’s Lunch Place (WLP) is a daytime refuge for women. Located in the basement of the Church of the Covenant, Boston, it offers many daily necessities (showers, place to nap, etc.), as well as breakfast and lunch.  The group makes lasagna and gingerbread for about 80 to 90 WLP guests.  A member of the group delivers this lunch on the fourth Thursday of every month.  The only exception is November, when we provide the Thanksgiving pies and ice cream.  In addition to the food, parishioners have generously donated new socks for WLP women at Christmas-time.

 

 

 

3 Minute Retreat

Donate to Sacred Heart

Donate to St Brigid