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How can St. Mary’s Outreach Program help me? Members of this ministry are dedicated to providing assistance (strictly confidential) to persons and families in our parish and in our community that are experiencing short term difficulties meeting their daily living needs. These needs include everything from food, medicine, rent and utilities, to help in finding appropriate social services available in the community. We also provide a willing ear to listen and can make referrals for spiritual counseling if requested by our client. Everything is strictly confidential. No one, other than ministry caseworkers will know that you reached out for help. A parishioner’s name and situation stays within the closely monitored intake procedures of St. Mary’s Outreach Program.
What is the purpose of the St. Mary’s Outreach Program? The central purpose of this ministry, besides the obvious one of providing material support to those in need, is to live the Gospel by performing acts of Christian charity with humility and respect for those we serve. These acts provide our members with many opportunities to develop spiritually in fellowship with other St Mary’s Outreach Program members and through our contacts with those we help. The ministry’s membership is currently only for adults, although a Junior, working in support of the overall mission of the ministry, is possible in the future.
How are requests for help made and how are they handled? The work of the St. Mary’s Outreach Program involves evaluating the requests for assistance that are received by parish office staff, who immediately assign a caseworker. The assigned caseworker will interview the person requesting help and decide if assistance can be provided by St. Mary’s either directly, or in coordination with another charitable organization, such as Catholic Charities. The Society has written policies and procedures developed over time by the members and elected leaders. The work is very rewarding and is a great source of personal and spiritual growth!
What do I do if I am interested in learning more about St. Mary’s Outreach Program or in joining this Ministry? The team meets once a month on the 3rd Wednesday at 7 P.M. in the Red Building behind the church. Cases are discussed at the meeting, but members consult with each other on difficult cases whenever the need arises. If you are interested in finding out more about the St. Mary’s Outreach Program, please contact one of the following Program officers, who can be reached by calling the parish office 301-627-3255 or you can email the Program’s President (see below). No obligation is necessary if you call to learn more about our fulfillment of God’s work. In addition, on a limited basis, we can really use volunteers who are in professions for which a caseworker may seek advice. Again, the ministry keeps the names confidential, but may need to reach out to an accountant or family therapist, substance abuse professional, etc., to seek advice on a particular case.
St. Mary’s Outreach Program Officers
Shirley Byrd, President/Treasurer
In summary, call the parish office if you need help at 301-627-3255, want to learn more about our ministry, or want to offer your professional services as the need arises. We thank you and God bless.