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Local activities planned for World Day of the Poor

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The second World Day of the Poor, initiated by Pope Francis last year, is Nov. 18, with the theme, “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him” (Ps 34:6).

The Diocese of Arlington is offering several opportunities to assist the poor in concrete ways. Bishop Michael F. Burbidge sent a letter to the faithful encouraging their participation. 

“Our Holy Father is calling us, as Jesus did, to hear and respond to the cry of the poor. How can we do this? One way is to participate in parish ministries that directly serve the poor. In addition, I invite you to join our Diocesan efforts, through Catholic Charities, to serve those who a re hungry or homeless, the sick or elderly, and prisoners or newcomers to our country.”

Bishop Burbidge will help make care bags at St. Ann Church in Arlington Nov. 18. 

Art Bennett, president and CEO of diocesan Catholic Charities, said the pope reminds us “not only listening to the poor but also directly helping them is a high priority of the church.” 

Diocesan Catholic Charities is sponsoring several events throughout the week, Nov. 14-18. 

— Beverly Hubble Tauke, diocesan Catholic Charities board member and counselor, will speak on resilience building at St. Joseph Church, 750 Peachtree St., Herndon, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. 

— Sally O’Dwyer, director of volunteers for Catholic Charities, and Margot Chavez, communications associate and volunteer coordinator, will speak on “Our Call to Serve” at Church of the Nativity, 6400 Nativity Lane, Burke, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. 

— St. Veronica Church in Chantilly, Good Shepherd Church in Alexandria and St. Mary of Sorrows Church in Fairfax are collecting items for the St. Lucy Food Project food drive Nov. 18. 

— St. Lucy Food Project sorting and stocking, St. Lucy warehouse, 8428 Kao Circle, Manassas, Nov. 18, 1:30–6:30 p.m. (three shifts) open to volunteers who will sort and stock food contributions.

In addition, Price Waterhouse Cooper volunteers will sort through food donations, bake cookies, pack meal packs, and other food-related items needed Nov. 16 at Christ House and the Leesburg Regional Office. Girl Scouts from St. Louis School in Alexandria and confirmation groups from St. Bernadette School in Springfield will help at the St. Lucy Food Warehouse. 

Catholic Charities suggests other events to help on the World Day of the Poor include: 

— filling Welcome Home backpacks for those leaving incarceration;

— collecting and packing essential items for Christ House clients in Alexandria, Mother of Mercy Free Clinic in Manassas and those distributed through the Mobile Response Center vehicle;

— food sorting, packing and unloading in Manassas; 

— sponsoring a pantry shelf; 

— donating in-season clothing and small household items to the Christ House thrift shop; 

— creating a bag with prayerful gift bags for seniors; 

— creating an affirmation jar with prayers or heartfelt compliments given to those served by Catholic Charities. 

— For those who are thinking about Christmas, organize an Advent Calendar donation drive or a Christmas card drive for the incarcerated, or make Christmas stockings for young Catholic Charities clients. 

Good Shepherd will host its sixth annual “Homeless for a Night” campout Nov. 17-18. Campers build makeshift cardboard shelters, attend Mass, participate in activities and listen to a presentation by Mary-Parker Lamm, deputy director of the Carpenter Shelter, which helps the homeless achieve independence through shelter, guidance, education and advocacy. 


Watch last year's World Day of the Poor playlist on YouTube and don't forget to subscribe for more informative and inspiring videos. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018