Charitable efforts in the Southern Tier ranged far and wide during the Advent season, thanks to the dedication of Catholic parishes across the region. Special initiatives, listed by county, included:
Tioga: Youth-group and faith-formation families from Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes took part in the Box of Joy project, packing and shipping more than 100 boxes filled with donated items from parishioners so that underprivileged children in other countries could enjoy Christmas; giving-tree projects were conducted at St. Margaret Mary Church in Apalachin as well as St. Patrick in Owego to support Tioga County Rural Ministry; and an Adopt-A-Family initiative took place at St. John the Evangelist in Newark Valley.
Chemung: Elmira’s Parish of the Most Holy Name of Jesus — which comprises all the city’s Catholic churches — staged its annual Christmas-basket project that benefited 150 local families, conducted a mitten-tree initiative to provide winter wear for area residents, and forwarded Christmas gifts to folks residing at Elmira Psychiatric Center; and St. Mary Our Mother Parish in Horseheads provided Christmas dinner, food baskets and children’s gifts for 220 area families.
Tompkins: The All Saints, Lansing/St. Anthony, Groton/Holy Cross, Dryden cluster took part in giving trees along with additional efforts to provide Christmas gifts and food; Immaculate Conception in Ithaca performed a giving-tree project to benefit several local organizations, sent cards to nursing-home residents and engaged in a Box of Joy initiative, with the parish youth packing 184 boxes in all; and St. Catherine of Siena in Ithaca conducted a giving-tree project for locally based organizations, while the parish youth staged an Advent project to provide children’s books for young people in need, both locally and for the organization Books for Africa, collecting a total of 732 books.
Steuben: All Saints Parish held its Teen Christmas Candle Light gift project, with parish youths donating clothes and shoes for local teens; Holy Family Catholic Community staged giving-tree efforts while its confirmation classes took part in the Operation Christmas Child initiative to provide gifts for children in need; St. John Vianney conducted a giving-tree project as well as a youth-group outing that involved crafts, cookie decorating and singing Christmas carols for nursing-home residents; Our Lady of the Valley performed a giving-tree effort initiative that provided gifts and personal-care items for area residents; and St. Catherine of Siena in Addison collected 300 cans of fruit to support a local Christmas food-basket program.
Livingston: St. Luke the Evangelist Parish provided Christmas food baskets and meals for residents of its five-church region, featured giving trees at its churches and mailed holiday greetings to people who are homebound; the cluster of St. Paul of the Cross, Honeoye Falls/St. Rose, Lima/St. Agnes, Avon conducted Operation Christmas Child as well as giving-tree projects; and the cluster of St. Mary, Honeoye/St. Matthew, Livonia also took part in giving-tree efforts.
Schuyler: The Schuyler Catholic Community cluster collected and donated Boxes of Joy at St. Mary of the Lake Church in Watkins Glen and St. Benedict in Odessa; St. Mary of the Lake conducted a giving-tree effort to provide gifts for people at local nursing facilities as well as ARC; and the St. Benedict’s Society adopted a family for Christmas.Tags: Faith in Action