The Christian Service Committee at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Middlebury, St. Bernadette’s in Bridport and St. Genevieve’s in Shoreham has a long list of “regular” activities, but the Covid-19 pandemic necessitated some changes to abide by safety protocols.

But that has not stopped members from calling more than 70 homebound parishioners to offer them assistance with internet needs, religious reading materials and information on the Mass and other spiritual activities on television or the internet.

The purpose of the committee is to Initiate, develop and coordinate parishioners’ efforts to practice corporal and spiritual works of mercy; help to promote and support the rights of the poor, the handicapped, the elderly,  the unborn and the defenseless through assistance and referrals; visit and provide for needs of the sick and suffering, the dying and bereaved, work to promote family life for all, regardless of race, creed or marital status; and endeavor to advance community understanding and good will and promote worthy social issues.

The committee of 18 and Father Luke Austin, pastor, serve parishioners and the Addison County community.

“The total number of people served is tremendous as our outreach not only encompasses the parish but also the community through the lunch program, food shelf, Christmas programs and Pregnancy Resource Center of Addison County,” said Deborah Kirby, chairperson, who thanks the many parishioners who donate their time and talents to the churches, their neighbors and community.

Among other committee ministries are visits, cookies for the Newman apostolate at Middlebury College and Easter flowers. Members also send cards to the homebound, celebratory cards and Mass cards.

—Originally published in the Winter 2020 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.