ST. MARY OF SORROWS PARISH OUTREACH MINISTRY
“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6: 8.
St. Mary’s Parish Outreach Ministry is dedicated to answering Jesus’ call to love and serve the Lord and those in need through prayer and acts of charity and justice. We want to be the Presence of Jesus to those who are hurting.
We serve as an act of praise and gratitude to Jesus, our Savior.
We support the principles of Catholic social teaching, as described by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops: www.USCCB.org.
Parish Outreach Ministry Annual Events
Please see weekly Parish bulletin on this site for most current info or contact Parish Outreach Ministry Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org 703-978-4141 x109
Respect Life – Many St. Mary’s parishioners attend the Annual March for Life in Washington, DC in January and observe the 40 Days for Life Vigil during Lent by fasting and praying for God’s help in moving the hearts of everyone to choose life.
Parishioner, John Murray, serves as the Pro-Life POC at St. Mary’s: email@example.com 703-978-6135.
Hypothermia Shelter – To serve those who are homeless in our area, St. Mary’s hosts a week-long overnight hypothermia shelter at the parish during the week of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday each January. Hundreds of volunteers have enthusiastically participated in our shelters through the years and our guests count on that great response each year. Sign-up information for this program is available in our November, December, and early January bulletins.
Lenten Suppers and Stations of the Cross – St. Mary’s parishioners and friends come together to share faith and fellowship during Lent. Each Lenten Friday evening, we have a simple meal and attend Stations of the Cross together. All are welcome! During some of the Lenten Fridays, our Knights of Columbus will host a Fish Fry Dinner in our fellowship hall. And, on other Lenten Fridays, charitable organizations will host a dinner in our fellowship hall and share information about their programs that serve those in need. Lent is a time we focus on prayer, fasting, service, and giving as we remember Jesus’ sacrificial suffering and death on the Cross for our salvation.
Lenten Rice Bowls – Each year during Lent, St. Mary’s participates in this Catholic Relief Services program of prayer, fasting, education, and giving that helps care for people locally and globally. The goal of the Lenten Rice Bowl program is to link participants in solidarity to one another and provide relief to those who are suffering in poverty.
Easter Basket Program – At Eastertime, we share the joy of Jesus, our Risen Savior, by filling and wrapping hundreds of Easter treats and toys that are distributed to children and families in need in our area. Some of our recipients include children in the Fairfax County Foster Care and Adoption Program, children and families served by OAR, House of Mercy, the Gabriel Project, and Main Street Child Development Center, and adults with special needs in the Gateway & SHP residential programs. Parishioners are invited to donate Easter candy and treats, and families are encouraged to join in the fun preparing these Easter gifts one Sunday before Easter.
School Supplies Collection – No child, who is ill-equipped, can be expected to function as well at school as children who start off with everything they need. For over 30 years, St. Mary’s School Supply Collection has been improving the educational experience of children with families that are struggling financially. Since the collection began, the number of contributions has increased each year. Thousands of new backpacks and school supplies have been donated, which means that thousands of students have received tools to help create a better future. This collection endures because of our volunteers and the generosity of our parish. For more information, contact Pat Holliday: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Coat & Clothing Drive – Each Fall, St. Mary’s volunteers collect, sort and pack boxes of gently-used donated coats and clothing for distribution to charitable organizations and agencies in our local area. We also invite individuals and families in need to come and select coats and clothing for themselves and their loved ones.
Thanksgiving Food Drive – St. Mary’s parishioners collect non-perishable food in support of the Catholic Charities St. Lucy Project, which helps feed our brothers and sisters in need throughout all the counties in our Diocese all year long. Each year, we need volunteers to help us load the food donations onto the St. Lucy’s truck for delivery on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, after the 12:30pm Mass.
Christmas Giving Tree Program – Through the St. Mary’s Christmas Giving Tree Program, we share the love of Jesus by providing Christmas presents for children and families in need in our area. We need lots of volunteers to continue to make this program a success. We welcome you to join our team of Christmas angels, who work together to contact community-based charities to identify their needs, help decorate our Christmas Giving Tree with names & gift ideas for children and families, help parishioners sign-up to adopt a child or family for the gifts, and help us on the first weekend in December with sorting and wrapping presents. We also include ideas for service projects and spiritual bouquets on our Parish Christmas Giving Tree.
Food Pantry – Each month we distribute grocery bags after the Masses, which parishioners fill and return the following week. Volunteers sort the donations and stock the pantry shelves. The St. Mary’s Food Pantry is available for families in need, as well as helps support other local food pantries.
St. Mary of Sorrow’s Samaritan Fund & Tithing Fund
Samaritan Fund – St. Mary of Sorrows Samaritan Fund Program provides funding to programs that assist individuals and families struggling to meet basic needs for housing, utilities, and medical costs, including Catholics for Housing, Dorothy Day Catholic Workers House, House of Mercy, Father McKenna Center, Fairfax F.I.S.H, Martha’s Table, So Others Might Eat (SOME), and FACETS. Our goal is to assist low-income families through referral to these established local programs and services to help them move toward greater financial independence. You can help by continuing to pray for those in need and for those who are dedicated to helping. Also, please consider making a monetary donation to St. Mary’s Samaritan Fund, so that we can continue responding through prayer and financial assistance.
Tithing Fund – St. Mary’s tithes 10% of income to help those in need.
We provide tithing funds to residential support programs, such as Pathway Homes, Langley Residential Support Services, Marian Homes, and Community Living Alternatives.
St. Mary’s also provides tithing funds to many Pro-Life ministries, including: A Best Choice Mobile Ultrasound & Pregnancy Resource Center, A Woman’s Choice Crisis Pregnancy Center, The MaRiH Center, Reece’s Rainbow, The Gabriel Project, Project Rachel, and The Paul Stefan Foundation.
Additionally, St. Mary’s provides tithing funds to support local and international missions working for peace and justice, including Bikes for the World, The Car Ministry, Centre for Society and Religion, Centreville Immigration Forum, Chimbote Mission in Peru, Healthy Teeth Journey of Hope in Guatemala, Just Neighbors Ministry, the La Salette Sisters Missionary, Safe Passage in Guatemala, San Pedro Mission in Guatemala, St. Bonaventure School and Mission in New Mexico, OMI Clean Water Project in Zimbabwe, St. Claret School in India, The Sylhet Catholic House in Bangladesh, and Toward America’s Children (TEACH) in Guatemala.
Tithing fund recipients support the principles of Catholic social teaching, as described by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops at www.USCCB.org.
Tithing Fund guidelines and application forms are available annually on January 15th on our website. Completed applications for one year of tithing funds are due annually on May 1st. They can be initiated by a parishioner of St. Mary’s or by the applicant organization.
Completed applications may be submitted by email to email@example.com or by mail: St. Mary of Sorrows Church, Attn: Christina Benedi, Parish Outreach Ministry Coordinator, 5222 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, VA 22032
“35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.’”
– Jesus speaking in Matthew 25: 35-40