Christmas outreach flourishes in Tier - Catholic Courier
Maggie (left) and Lizzie Bonassar look at the cards on one of three giving trees at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Ithaca Nov. 15, 2015. Maggie (left) and Lizzie Bonassar look at the cards on one of three giving trees at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Ithaca Nov. 15, 2015.

Christmas outreach flourishes in Tier

From visits with the homebound to gifts of toys, food and clothing for people in need, Southern Tier parishes were in full swing with outreach efforts during the Christmas season.

Among the many examples of generosity, as noted in recent parish bulletins:

In Tioga County, the parishes of Blessed Trinity and St. Patrick featured giving trees at St. Margaret Mary Church, Apalachin, and St. Patrick Church, Owego; angel tree and Christmas-basket initiatives at St. James, Waverly; and an Adopt-A-Family effort by St. John the Evangelist, Newark Valley. Meanwhile, Tioga County Rural Ministry conducted a drive to provide gifts for senior citizens and shut-ins along with winter wear for people of all ages.

At Tompkins County parishes, gift baskets were distributed by Holy Cross, Dryden; while giving-trees initiatives were done at Immaculate Conception, Ithaca; St. Catherine of Siena, Ithaca; All Saints, Lansing; and St. Anthony, Groton. St. Anthony also assembled cookie platters for the sick, shut-ins and nursing-home residents; and All Saints held its annual Fair Trade Gift Sale at which handmade items were sold, with all proceeds going back to residents of Third World countries who produced the goods. In addition, Immaculate Conception did caroling for homebound parishioners, and St. James in Trumansburg collected holiday breads for its local food pantry and donated clothes, diapers and accessories for infants and young children served by Birthright.

Steuben County’s many efforts included giving trees at Holy Family Catholic Community and St. John Vianney parishes; donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Society by St. Mary Church in Dansville; Christmas baskets at Ss. Isidore and Maria Torribia Parish; a food collection for area pantries by All Saints Parish in Corning/Painted Post; the All Saints youth group’s Teen Christmas Candlelight Project providing winter clothing for local teens; a holiday food drive by the Hornell Knights of Columbus; collection of toys and monetary donations by Our Lady of the Valley Parish to benefit Steuben County Rural Ministry; and Our Lady of the Valley youth-group members visiting and singing Christmas carols for nursing-facility residents.

Chemung County parishes featured several elaborate Christmas-basket efforts. At Elmira’s St. Mary Southside, Blessed Sacrament and Christ the Redeemer, each of the three parishes prepared baskets for at least 75 families in their respective areas; while St. Mary Our Mother in Horseheads staged a giving-tree project that provided gifts and food for more than 200 families. In addition, parishioners in Elmira donated gifts for residents of Elmira Psychiatric Center and visited with the homebound. Meanwhile, Elmira Notre Dame High School provided food and clothing for 24 area families.

In Schuyler County, a successful Operation Christmas Child initiative was conducted by Schuyler Catholic Community that saw 43 boxes of Christmas gifts donated for children worldwide who have little or nothing of their own; a giving-tree effort at St. Mary of the Lake Church in Watkins Glen provided gifts for nursing-facility residents and folks served by the Arc of Schuyler; and a family adoption project was held at St. Benedict Church in Odessa.

Among Livingston County parishes, the cluster of St. Agnes in Avon, St. Paul of the Cross in Honeoye Falls and St. Rose in Lima packed and wrapped nearly 100 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child and also had a giving tree at St. Rose; St. Luke Parish did caroling at area nursing facilities, collected calendars and blank Christmas cards to be used by people who are incarcerated, conducted giving-tree projects, and sent holiday cards and letters to the homebound; St. Mary, Honeoye, staged a giving-tree project to benefit the Honeoye Community Food Pantry; and St. Matthew in Livonia had a giving tree and also held a soup supper followed by caroling for homebound parishioners.


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