PORTLAND — Four Maine parishes have been named recipients of Matthew 25 Awards which include grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000.
The awards, presented by Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry program, are given to parishes to assist them in expanding their capacity to serve more people or to develop a new social ministry. The ministries receiving the awards must be directly serving vulnerable people in need, regardless of faith affiliation, and adhering to the principles of the Bible verse Matthew: 25 (“I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink…”).
This year’s winning parishes and ministries are:
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Parish, Portland
The grant will be used by the St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen to purchase a new commercial refrigerator, tables, and chairs to increase their capacity to serve people. The soup kitchen provides lunch, groceries, and clothing items to those in need in the Greater Portland area. Last year, over 36,000 lunches were served at the kitchen.
St. John Vianney Parish, Fort Kent
The grant will be used by the food pantries at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Saint Francis and St. Mary Church in Eagle Lake, as well as the Good Shepherd Ministries, to purchase a trailer for the moving of food and clothing to the various locations in the county.
Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord, Old Town
The grant will be used by the food pantry at Holy Family Church in Old Town to purchase shelves and tables.
Holy Savior Parish, Rumford
The grant will be used to improve the hearing in the parish hall primarily for seniors who come for lunches, speakers, and other events.
The mission of Parish Social Ministry is to provide leadership, guidance, Catholic social teaching education, and training to empower parishioners to compassionately serve people of all faiths living in their communities. From Kittery to Madawaska, the size and scope of the program continues to grow one successful initiative at a time through youth camps, case managers at soup kitchens, community fairs promoting strong family life, an educational series for seniors, and hundreds of other initiatives.
“I am so grateful for the work of Parish Social Ministry in our diocese,” said Bishop Robert Deeley. “The help it offers, including the Matthew 25 Awards, reminds us that we are all called to participate in the mission of the Church, bringing love and mercy to our world. These four parish programs and so many others are devoted to spreading the message of the Gospel. They serve as wonderful examples of the ways in which people in our diocese are bringing God’s love to those in need.”For more information about the many Parish Social Ministry programs assisting throughout Maine and ways that you can help, visit www.ccmaine.org/parish-social-ministry.