Life and Dignity of the Human Person
Right to Life – Each third Thursday of the month, Saint Mary’s parishioners are invited to pray the rosary together on the public walkway outside the abortion clinic at 10400 Eaton Place, in the City of Fairfax. We also bus to the National Right to Life Day March on the Supreme Court and observe the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil during Lent. For more information, contact John Murray at email@example.com.
Prison Ministry – Teams from Saint Mary’s conduct a bible study on Friday evenings and meet with inmates on Saturday afternoons for prayer and scripture discussion at the Fairfax County Detention Center. If you feel called to join this ministry, please contact Dave Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Execution Vigils – Thirty minutes before a scheduled execution in Virginia, parishioners and others meet for prayer and reflection in the grotto on the grounds of The Historic Church. For more information, contact Mason Nottingham at email@example.com.
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Samaritan Fund – Through the Samaritan Fund we help to break the cycle of poverty, homelessness, illness and lack of education. Donations to the Samaritan Fund are used throughout the year to assist hundreds of people referred to us from Fairfax County social services and other local agencies. Also, when extreme needs or emergencies arise among our parishioners, we are able to provide funds.
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. Our pantry’s supplies are available for families, as well as other organizations for their food pantries. If you are interested in being a member of the food pantry team, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hypothermia Shelter – Saint Mary’s is again planning to host a weeklong overnight hypothermia shelter at the parish, from January 19-26, 2014. Hundreds of volunteers have enthusiastically participated in our shelters through the years and we are counting on that great response again this year. Please contact the hypothermia coordinators Mary Jo O’Connell and Anita Keeler, at email@example.com.
Thanksgiving Food Donation – Following a long tradition, in 2012, Saint Mary’s parishioners donated and delivered Thanksgiving food to the homes of approximately 200 families referred by Fairfax County Department of Human Services and others, and 75 dinners to Damien Ministries, in Washington, DC. If you would be interested in assisting with this project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clothing Drive – Our 2013 Clothing Drive will take place from September 15 – 18. Traditionally, this is an event in which volunteers collect, sort and pack over 700 boxes of gently-used donated clothing for shipment to foreign and domestic missions and for distribution to organizations and agencies in the local area. Many workers are needed! If you would like to volunteer to be a part of this year’s planning, send an email to email@example.com.
Winter Coat Collection – On January 12, 2014, we plan to conduct our annual winter coat collection. Between 600 and 700 coats and jackets are usually donated and distributed through several organization to needy people in the surrounding area. Contact Sandy Donlon at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Undie Sunday – During this popular collection, hundreds of new underwear items have been donated and distributed to needy people through local organizations and programs, including our parish’s hypothermia shelter. We will be looking for a coordinator for this project, so if you are interested, please contact Carol Mayfield at email@example.com.
Call to Family and Participation
Lenten Soup Suppers – Young and old alike enjoy participating in our Friday evening Lenten Soup Suppers. We strive to present guest speakers of the highest quality and to ensure that there will be plenty of soup and bread to satisfy everyone. Many families stay after the soup suppers to attend Stations of the Cross that immediately follow.
JustFaith – Many Saint Mary’s parishioners have joined men and women from neighboring parishes to complete the 30-week JustFaith program. The experience of community has deepened into a commitment in which many of the groups have continued meeting years after graduation and members are nourished by the mutual support and faith-enrichment that JustFaith offers. Our parish also sponsor groups who would like to take an 8-week or shorter program. Visit www.justfaith.org, to learn more about JustFaith programs, and contact Carol Mayfield at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested in participating in one.
Christmas Gift Program – Saint Mary’s Christmas outreach brings joy to many people, including: Children in Fairfax County foster care; needy families; mentally and physically disabled adults in county group homes; elderly men and women participants in senior center programs; HIV-positive men in DC; families of newly released offenders, as well as many others. Teams of Christmas volunteers organize for parish-wide sign-ups that begin in October and work through completion of deliveries of gifts and food in December. This is a great opportunity for families and individuals to pitch in and help take the Christmas message directly to those less fortunate. For more information, please contact Chris Mikrut, <email@example.com>
Easter Treats Program – Each year, we fill and wrap hundreds of Easter Treat boxes and toys that are distributed by workers in the Fairfax County foster care program, FACETS, Main Street Child Development, and organizations within the Diocese of Arlington. Parishioners are invited to donate Easter candy and treats, and families are encouraged to join in the fun during one Sunday before Easter.
Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
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 25 years, Saint 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. Approximately 11,000 backpacks have been donated in total, meaning that over 11,000 students have received tools to overcome their struggles and 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.
Fair Trade – Saint Mary’s is a Fair Trade parish. On five or six Sundays during the year, volunteers sell Fair Trade coffee and chocolate after the Masses, and Fair Trade coffee is purchased and served almost exclusively at the parish. We believe we are thereby promoting economic justice for the growers and building a spirit of solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world.
Lenten Rice Bowls – Each year during Lent we participate in the Catholic Relief Services program of prayer, fasting, education and almsgiving, or monetary sacrifices that help people in our diocese and throughout the world. The goal of the Lenten Rice Bowl program is to link participants in solidarity with the poor and to promote development that assists people in need.
March for Life – Saint Mary’s parishioners join people from around the United States for the annual rally and March for Life on January 22nd. This event commemorates the Supreme Court’s 1974 decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion on demand. By observing this anniversary and attending the March, our parish testifies to our belief in the bedrock principle of our Faith: The sacredness of life in all its phases and the value and dignity of each human being.