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. Staff Director of Outreach is Elena Doyle
Members of this committee support a variety of programs throughout the year that offer hope and encouragement to those in need. Some programs included are:
Fredericksburg Schools Meal Back-Packs
Nursing Home Visits
Shepherd (human trafficking awareness)
Stella Marina Project (medical kits-Haiti)
Time: Various times throughout the year as needed.
Coordinators: Elena Doyle
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: LeeAnn Pompeii
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: Gustavo Guzman and Tuan Nguyen
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 Hamann
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
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: Christy Escher
St. Vincent de Paul Society
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an all volunteer mission. We give financial aid families for help with rent, utilities, medicine, transportation, clothing, furniture as well as food. In addition, we help families with counseling and other non-financial support. 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. 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: Bill Smith