BANGOR — “We are called to care for the other. We do that through sharing ourselves.”
The words of Bishop Deeley on Ash Wednesday describe part of the way Christians can spend Lent working on becoming better disciples on mission for the Lord.
The Knights of Columbus’ Pine Cone Council 114 and the parishioners of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor personified that message on Feb. 20 with an historic and beyond impressive food drive that shattered expectations and served as a display of selfless giving of which the entire community can be proud.
“In all, the Knights collected just over 5,000 pounds of food items and $730 in cash, gift cards, and checks,” said Keith Forbes of Pine Cone Council 114. “This was an amazing team effort of the parish office, the Knights, the parishioners, and our local news agencies who helped support and promote our community food cupboards. It’s such a great presence of Jesus and his good works.”
Over 20 Knights collected the food from more than 300 donors during a four-hour collection on Saturday at six parish churches (St. John Church and St. Mary Church in Bangor, St. Joseph Church and St. Teresa Church in Brewer, St. Matthew Church in Hampden, and St. Gabriel Church in Winterport).
On a beautiful day in May of 2020, the Knights were overjoyed to net around 3,400 pounds of food during a similar collection, which made Saturday’s haul that much more remarkable.
“Saturday was a very cold day, but the Knights were out there collecting the food and then getting it to the food banks,” said Monsignor Andrew Dubois, pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Parish. “We are so thankful for their dedication to our parish, their devotion to the mission and values of the Knights through the many forms of service they provide, and their compassion in serving the needs of our brothers and sisters throughout the larger community.”
The food drive was held in honor of the “Year of St. Joseph,” declared by Pope Francis to lift up a quiet man whose steadfast faith and love played a pivotal role in salvation history.
“Monsignor Dubois had St. Joseph’s prayer cards made up and the Knights handed them out as a thank you to donors for their participation,” said Forbes.
The proceeds were delivered to the Brewer Area Food Pantry, the Ecumenical Food Cupboard in Bangor, the Hampden Food Cupboard, and Neighbor’s Cupboard in Winterport.
“They were so very, very pleased with these unbelievable donations from so many beautiful people,” said Forbes. “We just want to say thank you to the community and parishioners for their enormous generosity.”
To learn more about the Year of St. Joseph, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/year-of-saint-joseph. For listings of events and giving opportunities in Maine during Lent, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/lent-resources.