Dear Sisters and Brothers –
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that we would provide two opportunities for your Lenten almsgiving: the traditional Rice Bowl, which supports the work for the Catholic Relief Services, and the work of the Jesuit Refugee Services. I’m writing with a bit more information on the latter.
Our alms will go directly to JRS/Syria. They are currently distributing hot meals to 10,000 beneficiaries per day, five days a week through 12 distribution centers. Local partners such as churches, mosques, and youth groups manage the distribution centers. JRS/Syria aims to improve the food security of vulnerable, internally displaced families, and host community members affected by the Syrian crisis to ultimately provide some form of stability in their lives, alleviate their suffering, and allow them to maintain their human dignity. They are in great need, as you might imagine, which is why we added JRS/Syria this year. We have set up a donation box at our Lent altar in the St. Francis Xavier shrine on the east side of the church.
On another note, we are planning to send a delegation of parishioners to visit our sister parish San Antonio in El Salvador again this June. We have had a relationship with Parrioquia San Antonio since 2001, sending delegations back and forth over the years to grow in understanding and support of one another. St. Ignatius parish supports three skill-building workshops, (clothing design and construction, artificial flower making, and small-scale commercial baking), and provides education scholarships for some 15 young people.
A portion of our delegation this year will be a few high school students and their parents. In the past, the addition of young people has served to broaden and deepen the entire experience. If you are interested in joining us or have any questions, please contact Maria Boden, (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Amy Stewart, (email@example.com). Dates are approximately from June 14th to 21st.
Finally, our annual Gathering of Ministers event is Saturday, April 29th, after the 5:00 pm Mass. It’s an opportunity to say “thank you” to all our parishioners who have helped in any way to create our parish community, as well as to share the goals of the parish for the 2017-18 year. If you have participated in any ministry, helped plan or produce an event, please save the date. More information is forthcoming.
God bless you and St. Ignatius Parish.
Oremus pro invicem.