Parishioners of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Shelburne are helping the food insecure in numerous ways.

Seniors are invited to pick up free meals-to-go once a month at St. Catherine of Siena Church with drive-through service as part of the Age Well meal-to-go program. Meals are prepared by Age Well caterers. “We package and provide pick up or delivery for about 100 meals per month,” said parishioner Ann Cousins.

The parish puts out baskets at the church to collect items for the Shelburne Food Shelf and toiletries for Joseph’s House in Burlington. When requested by Joseph’s House, the parish has provided grocery gift cards.

The youth of the parish have prepared and hosted parish meals with the proceeds going toward a particular need they identified; for example, proceeds from one meal helped hurricane recovery services.

Every other month, parishioners prepare and serve meals for Salvation Army guests.  Serving is on pause while all meals are carry-out now due to Covid-19. “We have planned for between 50-125 guests with number fluctuating according to need,” Cousins reported.

Every other month, the parish prepares and hosts a meal for Dismas House; individual families have adopted Dismas House to provide meals.

St. Catherine families have been providing meals, once or twice a month, for those who are temporarily housed at Harbor Place in Shelburne.

Other works of mercy

Visit the Sick:

St. Catherine’s has an active group of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who bring Communion to the homebound (on pause due to Covid). “At the end of the hallway leading to the sacristy and church is a new stained-glass window of the Visitation that serves as a prayerful reminder of ministers’ role bringing the Holy Eucharist to those who are not able to come to Mass,” Cousins said.

Bury the Dead:

St. Catherine’s parish hall has a block of windows that look out on the parish and town cemeteries. “The vantage is not only a beautiful reminder of the Communion of the Saints (many parishioners’ families and friends are buried in the cemetery), but it also is a reminder of a special role our parish has in supporting families with hospitality following funerals,” Cousins said.

Instruct the Ignorant:

The parish has continued bible studies, either via Zoom or in person, safely distanced.

Comfort the Afflicted and To Pray for the Living and the Dead:

Through FlockNote communication, St. Catherine’s has an active list of parishioners praying for special intentions and a mechanism for those wanting prayers to bring those intentions to the prayer chain. One parishioner, who has a special gift for letter writing, reaches out with a mailed card to adjoin her prayers.