Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Whyte-Recpt005Father Michael Whyte, Pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in West Simsbury, joins, from left, Eileen Morse, coordinator of the St. Joseph Cathedral Food Pantry; and volunteers from St. Catherine of Siena Church: Kim Blanchard, Pat Walsh, Michelle Rice, project chair Karen Carew and Paula Tweed.

HARTFORD – Members of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in West Simsbury have given the St. Joseph Cathedral Food Pantry the largest single donation the pantry has ever received.

At a Mass celebrated at the cathedral on April 10, Monsignor John J. McCarthy expressed gratitude and appreciation to representatives of the parish and to the food pantry’s volunteers, who serve the needy in Hartford’s Asylum Hill neighborhood.

The $8,888 check, presented to Eileen Morse, food pantry coordinator, was one of three significant donations made to local charities from funds raised through St. Catherine’s 2010 Advent Giving Tree Project.

The Giving Tree Project, which raised over $30,000 last year, was initiated by parishioners three years ago.

"I was originally opposed to [the idea]," said Father Michael G. Whyte, Pastor of St. Catherine of Siena. "I had recently been assigned to the parish and the economy was in shambles when I met with the committee, who told me they wanted to raise $30,000 during the busiest time of the year.

"I drove home that night to the rectory and I thought to myself, these people [on the committee] work full-time jobs, they have families, they are very blessed, that’s true; but they are themselves a great blessing," he said.

"They showed me, their priest, what it is to live the Gospel message," he said. "They have children to raise, families to feed, jobs to go to. Yet amidst all that, they still attend to the needs of others."

That year, and in each succeeding year, the committee has successfully raised approximately $30,000 through the Giving Tree Project.

Karen Carew, who chairs the committee, had, for several years, been collecting donations in her neighborhood to provide Advent food and gift baskets for a few families of Sacred Heart Church in Hartford. She and her husband decided to take their neighborhood project to a higher level when they approached their new pastor, Father Whyte.

Mrs. Carew and members of the small committee try to make it easy for parishioners to participate and give them options for directing their donations. Two Christmas trees at St. Catherine of Siena are decorated with envelopes that parishioners use to make their donations. The envelopes allow donors to specify which of three local charities will benefit from their generosity, she said.

This year, parishioners selected from among Sacred Heart Parish in Hartford, the cathedral food pantry, and the Angel Food Ministry that assists senior citizens and families in the Simsbury area.

Sacred Heart Parish received over $11,000; St. Joseph Food Pantry received nearly $9,000; and the Angel Food Ministry received $10,000.

Mrs. Morse was very grateful for the generous donation.

"We are a very active group and stay true to our mission statement," she said. "We feed, clothe and assist the poor of the Asylum Hill neighborhood."

Currently, the St. Joseph Food Pantry is assisting refugee families from Myanmar and Somalia. It will use some of the money it received to assist preschool children in learning English to prepare them for school, Mrs. Morse said.

She praised the parishioners and committee members of St. Catherine of Siena, who were presented with a plaque commemorating their generosity and benevolence.

"They are wonderful people. I’m so impressed with what they do," she said. "They are young and so full of faith."

Father Whyte also took the opportunity to express gratitude to parishioners of both his parish and the cathedral parish.

He said that he thought St. Catherine would not only be quite proud of the St. Catherine parishioners, but would also be proud of the cathedral parish "for all it does for the community and for what a wonderful diverse community it is."

 

Events Calendar

September 2014
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
12:00 AM
Archbishop O'Brien Library , Bloomfield, United States
The Archbishop O’Brien Library will participate in a community-based project with Life Choice Donor Services, a non-profit organ procurement organization, during September, to raise awareness for organ [...]
Date :  September 01, 2014
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
10:00 AM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
St. Paul Catholic High School open houses at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Sept. 20,  7 p.m. Oct. 8 and at 10 and [...]
Date :  September 20, 2014
21
22
23
24
12:00 AM
Hartford GYN Center, Hartford, United States
The Pro-Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Hartford will participate in the international 40 Days for Life campaign from Sept. 24 through Nov. 2. The success of the campaign is evident in [...]
Date :  September 24, 2014
25
26
06:00 PM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
"Know Greater Joy" is the theme of a Men's Weekend Retreat being offered Sept. 26-28 at Holy Family [...]
07:30 PM
St. Therese Church, Branford, Branford, United States
LYRA, an a cappella group of four professional vocalists from St. Petersburg, Russia, is returning to [...]
12:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield , Litchfield, United States
A Beginning Experience Weekend will be conducted Sept. 26-28 for divorced, separated and widowed men and [...]
Date :  September 26, 2014
27
09:30 AM
Holy Angels Parish Center, South Meriden, Meriden, United States
MERIDEN – The Meriden-Wallingford Council of Catholic Women will sponsor a catered breakfast at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 27 at Holy Angels Parish Center in South Meriden. Guest speaker Deacon Thomas J. Davis [...]
12:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield , Litchfield, United States
A Beginning Experience Weekend will be conducted Sept. 26-28 for divorced, separated and widowed men and [...]
Date :  September 27, 2014
28
01:00 PM
Polish-American Club, West Haven, United States
NEW HAVEN – St. Stanislaus Parish will have its annual picnic/harvest festival from 1-8 p.m. Sept. 28, rain or shine, at the Polish-American Club at 194 W. Spring St., West Haven. Polish and [...]
12:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield , Litchfield, United States
A Beginning Experience Weekend will be conducted Sept. 26-28 for divorced, separated and widowed men and [...]
Date :  September 28, 2014
29
07:00 PM
Caritas Christi Center, Hamden, Hamden, United States
Caritas Christi Center will offer a New Life Seminar for the separated and divorcd from 7-9 p.m. on nine [...]
Date :  September 29, 2014
30

Login Form

Copyright © 2014 The Catholic Transcript Online