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“Smell like the sheep"

Posted: October 24, 2014

Pope Francis has called all of us to, “smell like the sheep” in The Joy of the Gospel. He has also implored the world-wide gathering of Bishops at the Synod to do the same thing. What does this mean at St. Patrick’s?

Each week, we have pastoral ministers that are out in the field providing a, “listening presence” to those who are struggling with illness, grief or loneliness. This is one of the, “quiet” ministries that happens, “behind the scenes.” Often, people do not discover this gift until they are confronted with a crisis or death of a loved one. Fr. Tim drops everything on a moment’s notice to administer Last Rites to individuals who are dying. He spends many days offering pastoral support to individuals who are struggling.

Our front office staff is on the, “front lines” daily responding to calls. This vital service connects people in our community with our church. We are grateful for the many ways that our volunteers, “smell like sheep.” 

On a recent Monday night, I was greeted with the smell of a home cooked meal as I descended the steps of Holy Rosary’s basement. A dedicated group of volunteers had already made the meat loaf and mashed potatoes for our monthly Loaves & Fishes meal. We served over 150 hungry people that night! Our dedicated clean-up crew also scrubs down pots, pans, trays and mops the floor every month! Meals are also delivered on a monthly basis to home-bound and disabled members of our community thanks to our dedicated drivers in the Meals on Wheels program.

Next month, we will have an opportunity to respond to the growing number of hungry people in our community with our Thanksgiving Food Drive for VEAP. St. Patrick’s has a long tradition of generously supporting the food pantry at VEAP and Caring & Sharing Hands. Many families’ budgets do not stretch until the end of the month. Food from the food pantry bridges the gap!

The RCIA program is one of the many ways that we are expanding our work by inviting individuals to join us. This year-long spiritual journey ignites a deeper awareness of the Catholic Church and creates an opportunity to become a full member of our community! 

Our Pope encourages us to look at our lives as Catholics as a, “field hospital” where we minister with compassion, love and our sleeves rolled up! If you would like to read the, “Joy of the Gospel” written by Pope Francis, we have copies available at St. Patrick’s. Feel free to stop by to borrow a copy. It is a compelling read! If you would like to get involved with our work, please contact us! And, we are always grateful for our dedicated volunteers who make all of our ministries possible!

--Maura Shnorbach