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 the Parish Bulletin for the most current info or contact Parish Outreach Ministry Coordinator: Christina Benedi
christinab@stmaryofsorrows.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: johnmurray123@gmail.com 703-978-6135.

Hypothermia Shelter – To serve those who are homeless in our area, St. Mary’s supports FACETS in Fairfax, Virginia http://facetscares.org in hosting a hypothermia shelter each January during the week of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Many volunteers have enthusiastically participated in our shelters through the years and our guests have enjoyed great meals and warm hospitality 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 – 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.

On Lenten Fridays, our Knights of Columbus will host a Fish Fry Dinner at the Parish followed by Stations of the Cross at church. More information about these events will appear in our Parish Bulletin and website during Lent. All are welcome!

Lenten Rice Bowls – Each year during Lent, St. Mary’s supports 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. For more information, please visit: https://www.crsricebowl.org

Easter Basket Program – At Eastertime, we share the joy of Jesus, our Risen Savior, by filling and wrapping Easter baskets with treats and toys that are distributed to children and families in need in our area. The Girl Scouts lead the effort in preparing and delivering these Easter baskets, and Parishioners are invited to donate Easter candy and treats.

Our recipients have included 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 residential programs. More information about this event will appear in our Parish Bulletin and website during Lent.

School Supplies & Technology Monetary Collection – St. Mary’s provides financial support for school supplies and technology to charitable organizations and schools assisting families in need, including Burke CARES, GSMI (God Send Ministry International), House of Mercy, Main Street Child Development Center, OAR, Safe Passage/Camino Seguro, Tenants and Workers United, and Woodlawn Elementary School. This support is made possible from generous donations by St. Mary’s parishioners.

Annual Coat & Clothing Drive – Since 2020, St. Mary’s has asked parishioners to take part in a community-based coat and clothing drive in support of House of Mercy in Manassas, Virginia. House of Mercy directly accepts clothing and household donations to assist individuals and families in need. For more information, please visit: https://houseofmercyva.org

St. Lucy Project Food Drive – Each year, St. Mary’s parishioners host a food drive to support 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. We welcome adults and parents with their teens to volunteer to help us load the food donations onto the St. Lucy’s truck. Once a date is confirmed for this event, additional information will appear in our Parish Bulletin and website.

Christmas Giving Program – St. Mary of Sorrows provides monetary donations to charitable organizations serving individuals and families in need, to purchase Christmas gifts and needed items for those they serve. This is made possible through the generous donations of St. Mary’s parishioners. Recipients have included: Fairfax County Department of Family Services (DFS) Foster Care and Adoption Program, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House residents, Main Street Child Development Center, OAR, The Gabriel Project, Arlington Mill Senior Center, Gateway Homes residents, Gartlan Center Program for adults with special needs, and Christ House – for men who are homeless and those who have substance use disorders.

St. Mary’s parishioners and volunteers also host an annual toy collection for House of Mercy in Manassas, serving families in need.

In addition, each year, the St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus provide dozens of holiday food baskets to families in need, through their hard work and generosity, and generous donations from the St. Mary’s parishioners and food pantry volunteers.


Food Pantry – The St. Mary’s Food Pantry is available for families in need by appointment and helps support other local food pantries and charitable organizations. For more information, please contact parishioner POC, Karen Abraham: karen.abraham56@gmail.com and/or find more here.

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, The Lamb Center, Martha’s Table, So Others Might Eat (SOME), FACETS, Britepaths, and Oxford Houses of Virginia. 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, as well as the faith formation missionary work of Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) and St. Mary’s Preschool, and the senior citizen support program, Shepherd’s Center of Fairfax/Burke.

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, Centreville Immigration Forum, Friends of Chimbote Mission in Peru, Healthy Teeth Journey of Hope in Guatemala, Just Neighbors Ministry, Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Ghana, the La Salette Sisters Missionaries, Safe Passage in Guatemala, San Pedro Parish Mission in Guatemala, St. Bonaventure School and Mission in New Mexico, St. Claret School in India, The Sylhet Catholic Diocese 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 application forms for each fiscal year (July 1st– June 30th) are available annually on our website. Completed applications are due each year on November 1st. They can be initiated by a parishioner of St. Mary’s or by the applicant organization.

Recipients of Tithing Funds for the prior fiscal year, who are applying for tithing funds for the upcoming fiscal year, must submit a Report on the Use of Funds, along with their application, in order for their application to be complete. This document will also be available annually on our website.

Completed applications must be submitted by email (no paper copies, please) to: christinab@stmaryofsorrows.org

“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