Believing in the presence of God in our midst, we proclaim the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the person by sharing in the mission of Jesus given to the Church. To this end, St. Mary Church works with individuals, families and communities to help them meet their needs, eliminate oppression, and build a just and compassionate society. The Parish Council Outreach Committee Chair is Torie Baldwin and our Staff Director of Outreach is Elena Doyle
Members of this committee support a variety of pro-grams throughout the year that offer hope and encour-agement to those in need. Some programs included are:
Brain Builders (lunch/meal program)
Cases of Love
Fredericksburg Schools Meal Back-Packs
Head Start (reading program)
Nursing Home Visits
Parish sacrament cards
Refugee Resettlement (Thanksgiving Celebration)
Shepherd (human trafficking awareness)
“Souper” Bowl (emergency food pantry)
Stella Marina Project (medical kits-Haiti)
Time: Meetings are held the 1st Saturday of each month following 9am Mass in the Parish Life Center Room 201. All are welcome. Additional time based on program support as able.
Catholic Advocacy Committee
Our Advocacy Committee attends Catholic Advocacy Day in Richmond in January as well as promoted the most successful parish voter registration drive in Virginia.
Mission: To serve as liaison to the Virginia Catholic Conference in coordinating parish activities to promote Catholic values in the public square according to the guidance of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Committee organizes the annual Catholic Advocacy Day in Richmond and coordinates parish awareness on issues such as life, predatory lending, human trafficking and immigration reform.
Time: Periodic meetings and events as they occur.
Talent: A passion to bring awareness to the parish and to actively participate in the promotion of Gospel values in society.
Coordinator: Jeff Caruso
Parish Ecumenical/Interreligious Commission
Fredericksburg enjoys one of the richest relationships among the Christian churches of the downtown area, whose fruit has yielded numerous ministries of outreach and prayer which have inspired the community repeatedly to seek ways of deeper unity and understanding. This year we gathered for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, as well as our Lent Wednesdays prayer services throughout the city and other events. We have called upon leaders of churches in several ways to look at the many ways the churches can stay effective in the work with our homeless population and the poor, and issues such as immigration reform and human trafficking.
Mission: To organize and promote unity among people of Christian faiths and between world religions represented in the Fredericksburg community.
Time: Periodic meetings and events as they occur.
Talent: A desire to bring unity to those separated by religious profession.
Coordinator: Tom & Joyce O’Toole
Family Services ~ Catholic Charities
We’ve served over 300 clients and provided 2,465 counseling sessions. This is up from 250 clients and 1,499 sessions last year. We’ve partnered with Mary’s Shelter, Hope House, and Empowerhouse to strengthen the parent-child relations in families served by those programs. We’ve increased our total number of available clinical hours by adding new clinicians. We’ve provided talks and trainings on mental health issues to many parishes, schools and local non-profits.
Mission: To serve as a volunteer in the daily schedule of the Catholic Charities on the parish campus.
Time and Talent: Depending on need, volunteer service could be in the office, or helping with clients.
Coordinator: Ann Devine-Tetor
Thurman Brisben Homeless Shelter Dinner
Mission: To cook and serve a meal to the 90 residents of the Thurman Brisben Homeless Shelter. (The group cooks and serves together). Must 16 years old to participate.
Time: Must be available between 3-5pm shift or 5-7pm. We use four volunteers per shift in addition to two team leaders. We prepare dinners once or twice a month, usually Wednesdays.
Talent: Willingness to prepare, serve a meal, Choose either the 3-5pm shift OR the 5-7pm shift. We invite four volunteers per shift in addition to two team leaders. We welcome financial contributions for food and supplies welcome.
Coordinator: Patti Kaila, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mission: To serve the ‘poverty of hope’ of the imprisoned by offering spiritual support and emotional assistance to inmates of the Rappahannock Regional Jail or other prisons depending on need. Our pen-pal program allows our volunteers to engage in positive and loving communication that extends Christ’s forgiveness, love, and hope for a better future with a focus on the dignity and respect of the individual. We also have a pen-pal program focused on death row inmates.
Time: Monthly (1-2 hours).
Talent: Willingness to share your faith in written letters. NOTE: All members of this ministry MUST complete a training session. All privacy is respected and all communication sent/returned via St Mary to maintain complete anonymity between our volunteers and the inmates.
Coordinator: Jim Shall, email@example.com
Manna Project (Food Bank)
Two food drives resulted in the collection of almost 4,000 lbs of food and over $ 10,000 to benefit the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank.
Mission: To coordinate food collection at St. Mary for delivery to the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank.
Time: Major collections are made twice yearly. 2-3 hours.
Talent: Willingness to help with food collection and delivery, some physical labor may be required.
Coordinator(s): Susan and Mike Hamann, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Micah Ecumenical Ministries
Micah Ministries is a Christ-centered community response led by Fredericksburg area churches to serve our neighbors in need of shelter and related care. Micah 6:8 challenges us to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. Several programs within Micah are listed below.
Cold Night Shelter
Mission: To provide a warm, safe environment for homeless individuals on all evenings of the cold weather season.
Time: November-March 1st. St. Mary team will be assigned one evening per week and teams will be scheduled for each week to serve 2 ½ – 3 hours.
Talent: Help make-up beds, bring socks and snacks. Welcome guests and assist in check-in.
Coordinator: Greg Wheatley, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through the organization of Micah Ministries there is a free hot meal served each evening by various churches for those who are in need in the Fredericksburg area. St. Mary Church is one of the churches whose volunteers cook and serve dinner not just for the homeless of our community but also for anyone who needs a hot meal and some fellowship, including the lonely, the widowed, and struggling families. In the past year 5,416 meals were served at these community dinners.
Mission: To provide a meal to those in our community in need of food or companionship.
Time: St. Mary provides meals on the 1st and 5th Monday of every month at St. George’s Episcopal Church. We work in shifts, set-up, serve, clean-up. 1-2 hours.
Talent: Friendly and compassionate. We serve, eat and visit with our guests.
Coordinator: Torie Baldwin
Parish Outreach Committee
Our ministry has implemented many new initiatives this past year; monthly visits to nursing homes, hand-written cards to recipients of a sacrament, inaugural year of the SHARE program. a parish nature hike, and support of Catholic Charities, Mary’s Shelter and St. Vincent de Paul.
Mission: To lead the parish in increasing awareness of Catholic social teachings; motivate parishioners to reach out in service, justice, advocacy and solidarity.
Time: Monthly meeting the 1st Saturday of the month at Wegman’s Central Park at 8:15 top floor. Efforts discussed during meeting require participation during the month.
Talent: Compassion, determination.
Coordinator: Connie Wiley, email@example.com, Beth Merriman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mission: To volunteer with Catholic Charities in their ministry to sponsor refugee families and help them acclimate to our culture and area.
Time: Interested volunteers might provide a consistent presence in the lives of these family members, help children with tutoring and homework. Adults need help grocery shopping and budgeting, among many other things. Also, the parish is active in supplying Catholic Charities with furnishings and household items for new arrivals.
Talent: You need patience, and a willingness to meet whatever needs arise.
Coordinator: Carleen Delio
St. Vincent de Paul Society
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of St. Mary and St. Jude Conference is entering into its 36th year of serving this community. We are an all volunteer mission. Last year we gave financial aid to over 1,200 families with rent, utilities, medicine, transportation, clothing, furniture as well as food in excess of $85,000. In addition, we helped families with counseling and other non-financial support. 40 families were helped at Christmas as well. Our store provides us with the funds to operate our charity. It is open six days a week from 10am-4pm, and is manned by all volunteers. Our inventory is all donated. At this time we have 74 members in our society that volunteer at the store and with interviews and counseling every Thursday night at 6pm at St. Jude’s Activity Center. In the coming year we hope to increase our use of e-Bay and Craigslist for store goods. We are also working on helping our clients make real systemic changes in their condition and thus improve their lives. This is a large operation requiring many talents but the spiritual rewards are great.
Mission: The Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers tangible assistance to those in need on a person-to-person basis. The thrift store located in the Olde Greenwich neighborhood of Fredericksburg sells clothing and household items and the Society provides funds for those struggling financially.
Time: Whatever you are able to give.
Talent: Sort clothes, cashier, pick-up and deliver furniture. Ability to interview applicants seeking financial assistance. Friendly demeanor and compassion for those in need of help.
Coordinator: Carol Byram