Photo courtesy of Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

BANGOR — To commemorate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and to give back to many in need during the Advent season, students at All Saints School in Bangor will throw a “baby shower” for the Blessed Virgin Mary at a special schoolwide Mass on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 9:30 a.m. at St. John Church, located on 207 York Street.

“Each year, we celebrate this feast day with a ‘baby shower’ for Mary and offer mercy to many in need by donating helpful items to the Shepherd’s Godparent Home in Bangor,” said Matthew Houghton, principal of All Saints.

Founded in 1992, Shepherd’s Godparent is a free, residential shelter for young women who are pregnant and in crisis, including homeless women.

School families have received a list of things the shelter could use, including socks for boys and girls, medicine, sippy cups, wipes, pull ups, baby grooming kits, thermometers, brooms and dustpans, and storage bowls and containers.

Students will bring the baby gifts to the Mass and, as they enter the church, they will lay the gifts at the feet of the statue of Mary. The items will then be delivered to the home later that day.

“These donations do so much to help these women and children get established on their own,” said Houghton. “Joy is found by giving, helping, and loving one another. This is a great way to teach them that important lesson.”

All are welcome to attend the Mass on Dec. 8. For more information on how you can help Shepherd’s Godparent, call 207-949-2273.

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception commemorates the day that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin. It is a holy day of obligation for Catholics and is the patronal feast of the United States and the Diocese of Portland. For Mass times at Maine parishes, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/solemnity-immaculate-conception-masses. Solemnity Mass times will be added as they are confirmed.