For Southern Tier Catholics this past Christmas, the spirit of giving extended far beyond family and friends.
Many folks in need were able to enjoy a nicer holiday season, thanks to numerous charitable efforts. According to parish bulletins, those initiatives included, by county:
Schuyler: The Schuyler Catholic Community cluster of St. Mary of the Lake, Watkins Glen/St. Benedict, Odessa, took part in the Box of Joy program to provide gifts for children in other countries; the St. Benedict’s Society adopted a family; St. Mary of the Lake Church spearheaded a giving tree that furnished gifts for people at local senior-citizen facilities as well as the ARC; and Catholic Charities gave “Gifts of Hope” to local families.
Livingston: The cluster of St. Agnes, Avon/St. Paul of the Cross, Honeoye Falls/St. Rose, Lima, wrapped and packed 77 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, a relief initiative benefiting children around the world; St. Rose Church featured an angel tree; St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in western Livingston conducted giving-tree projects at its churches, sent greetings to folks who are homebound or in nursing facilities, and caroled at senior-citizen residences; and the cluster of St. Mary, Honeoye/St. Matthew, Livonia, conducted a giving-tree effort for the Honeoye Community Food Pantry as well as a prayer service Dec. 15 for people in need of comfort, peace and hope at holiday time.
Steuben: Holy Family Catholic Community in northern Steuben/southern Livingston led a giving-tree program; Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Hornell/Rexville took part in a giving-tree endeavor; Steuben County Rural Ministry/Turning Point in Hornell conducted a Christmas-basket initiative; All Saints Parish in Corning supported a Teen Christmas Candle Light Project, with parish youths donating clothes and shoes for area teens; St. John Vianney Parish in Bath/Hammondsport featured Operation Christmas Child and giving trees; and Ss. Isidore and Maria Torribia Parish in central Steuben raised funds to provide gifts for children served by the Bradford Food Pantry, and hosted an effort at Addison’s St. Catherine of Siena Church through which 135 families received toys, books, blankets and food baskets.
Tompkins: Catholic Charities held a “Share the Warmth” drive for people in need of winter wear; Immaculate Conception Parish in Ithaca assembled and delivered Boxes of Joy, caroled for the homebound and also had a giving tree; St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Ithaca conducted a giving-tree effort and took up a collection for Food Bank of the Southern Tier, and its youth-ministry program created treats and gifts for people served by a local soup kitchen; giving-tree projects took place in the northern Tompkins parishes of St. Anthony in Groton, Holy Cross in Freeville and All Saints in Lansing; St. Anthony in Groton also provided cookie plates for nursing-home residents and homebound parishioners, and collected food items for families to enjoy holiday dinner; and the Cornell Catholic Community raised donations to support Food Bank of the Southern Tier and the Thrive for Life Prison Project.
Chemung: The social ministry committee at St. Mary Our Mother Parish in Horseheads furnished Christmas dinner, children’s gifts and food baskets for local families; Catholic Charities led a “Gifts of Hope” initiative; and Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Elmira held a Christmas-basket program for 150 families, a mitten-tree project providing winter wear, money donations for families’ Christmas dinner, and gift-giving for residents of Elmira Psychiatric Center.
Tioga: Young people from Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes, aided by parishioner donations, helped produce 104 Boxes of Joy, exceeding the set goal of 60; Newark Valley’s St. John the Evangelist Church took part in an Adopt-A-Family effort; giving trees at St. Margaret Mary Church in Apalachin and St. Patrick Church in Owego benefited Tioga County Rural Ministry; and an angel tree was featured at St. James Church in Waverly.Tags: Faith in Action