From donations of food and money to acts of kindness, parishes in the Diocese of Rochester are embracing the Lenten priority on almsgiving.
A variety of initiatives promoting Lenten charity are taking place across the diocese. Among the efforts are the following:
• At the Our Lady of Lourdes/St. Anne cluster in Rochester and Brighton, a Lenten soup supper has been replaced by an effort to provide families from John James Audubon School No. 33 with a week’s worth of food as well as notes of encouragement.
• St. Pius Tenth in Chili is collecting clothing and school supplies for students in Rochester city schools, and parish youths are collecting toiletries and snacks for local shelters as well as making St. Patrick’s Day cards for nursing-home residents.
• St. Theodore in Gates is conducting a “40 Foods for 40 Days” collection during which it is asking parishioners to donate to its food cupboard an average of at least one item for every day of Lent.
• At St. John the Evangelist Parish in Greece, mite boxes — small boxes, usually made of cardboard, into which loose change is put for charitable purposes — are being distributed to parishioners for supporting local charities.
• Immaculate Conception Parish in Ithaca is continuing its Lenten tradition of distributing collection bags to benefit Catholic Charities. Parishioners are asked to take bags home, fill them with spare change and cash during Lent, and return them.
• At St. Catherine of Siena in Mendon, the social-justice committee is distributing gift cards to families in need so they can purchase Easter dinners.
• The social-ministry committee of Holy Cross Parish in Rochester/Charlotte is seeking donations of food items so it can provide Easter baskets for people who are food insecure.
• At St. Paul in Webster, a Lenten food drive is being conducted by the parish’s Good Sam Outreach for local charitable organizations.
• At St. John the Evangelist in Spencerport, food is being collected for the Spencerport Ecumenical Food Shelf. In addition, the parish is conducting a Lenten effort to call parishioners facing isolation from the pandemic.
• St. Christopher Parish in North Chili is asking parishioners to send cards or make phone calls to people who can’t leave their homes and/or are feeling isolated and lonely. The parish also is collecting Lenten donations for House of Mercy.
• St. John of Rochester in Fairport is collecting weekly food donations during Lent to support its Project Hunger ministry.
• The cluster of Holy Spirit/St. Joseph in Penfield is collecting food and children’s clothing during Lent.
• Our Lady of Peace in Geneva is promoting its March 19 blood drive as a form of Lenten giving.
• And, numerous parishes across the diocese are continuing their annual financial support of CRS Rice Bowl, the Catholic Relief Services Lenten program that fights poverty and hunger at home and abroad.