Saint Anthony Parish is keenly aware of the need to look beyond ourselves to help the needy in our community, our diocese, our nation and throughout the world. We have an active Social Justice Committee co-chaired by Rich Fowler and Frank Allen. The parish serves the poor in many different ways.
The Social Justice group emphasizes Education (deepening awareness within our parish of social issues);Witness (supporting nonviolent actions intended to convey concern over social justice); Liturgy (seeking ways of incorporating social justice themes into worship of the Catholic community); Advocacy (expressing the Catholic social teachings on public issues); and Community Service (following the teachings of Christ by giving of ourselves).
The following are various programs or organizations present in our parish in fulfilling our Christian duty of helping the needy. If you want to support any of the following program a coordinator is listed in each including their contact information:
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international, non-profit Catholic lay organization that provides social services to people in need. The Society derives its inspiration from the philosophy and works of its patron, St. Vincent de Paul. The Society, whose members are known as “Vincentians”, has over 1 million members in 140 countries throughout the world. Locally, the Sacramento District Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul covers 40,000 square miles with 45 Conferences and more than 700 volunteers. St. Anthony’s Parish has a Conference of St. Vincent de Paul and we help families in need. We want to thank those who have donated to the Conference. We are working on developing a newsletter to inform everyone how we are helping those in need in our area, if you would like to receive this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org We meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. Please join us if you would like to get involved or just want more information. We can be reached at 916-204-7942 or call the Parish office at 916-428-5678. For more general information on Saint Vincent de Paul, please visit the website at www.SVDP-Sacramento.org.
SSIP Food Locker:
St. Anthony is a participating, paid member of this interfaith project to provide food for the hungry of South Sacramento. The parish conducts three to four food drives a year, and helps to staff the food locker located at Bethany Presbyterian Church on 24th Street close to Fruitridge Road. Please call Frank Allen, 392-8180, if you would like to help out at the Food Locker.
Emergency Food Closet Ground Breaking
On Sunday afternoon October 3, a groundbreaking celebration for a permanent building for the emergency food closet was held at Bethany Presbyterian Church. Members of many of the seventeen member churches were present to grab shovels and start the dirt flying for the foundation of the new building. The South Sacramento Interfaith Partnership (S.S.I.P.), a nonprofit corporation with seventeen member congregations, was formed forty years ago. Today it sponsors the food closet to aid needy families. In recent years the food closet has literally operated out of a closet, a small room in the back of the church. Even in such a small space it helps nearly 4,000 needy families every month. Now it will have its own new permanent building on the church grounds. Before the ceremonial gold shovels came out, funds were raised to completely pay for the project. Funds came from a variety of contributors. Among them was Rich Fowler of St. Anthony parish who raised over seven thousand dollars with his Ride Against Hunger project. At the SSIP spring dinner Rich pledged to ride his bicycle from coast to coast. He proposed to ride sixty-seven miles a day because he is sixty-seven-years-old, and he asked for individual donations of sixty-seven dollars. On July 31, Rich and his riding buddy, Joe Ossman, having started with their rear wheels in the Pacific in San Francisco, dipped their front wheels into the Atlantic at Portland, Maine.
Read about their experiences at www.richsrideagainsthunger.blogspot.com. Your donations are still welcome! On October 3 the food closet had a new beginning as the diggers reached for their shovels. Among them were Dave Anders, the architect, Keith Rauh, the contractor, and Charlie Brown and Frank Allen who are the SSIP building team. In this bleak economy many area families are hungry. The food closet always needs your help in both contributions of food and money. If you can help, especially as we approach the holiday season, give the staff a call at 428-5290.
The parish supports the Life Center by participating in the annual Mother’s Day Rose Sale and by contributing a table of attendees to their annual major fundraiser dinner. The children in our faith formation classes raise money for the Life Center every Lenten season through the baby bottle program.
St. Anthony Parish hosts three to four homeless families four times a year for a week in the Religious Education Center to help with this interfaith outreach project. The parish provides breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week as well as volunteers to help the children with homework, play games with them, and to generally provide fellowship with these families who are in temporary need of shelter and care. If you would like to help with the Family Promise outreach, please call Connie Koppes, 391-1810.
Adopt a Family:
St. Anthony participates in this project by providing Christmas gifts to needy families referred by local Social Services organizations. Watch the Sunday bulletins or call the parish office by mid November to “Adopt a Family”.
The parish sponsors a monthly collection for much-needed items at this daytime shelter for women and children in Sacramento. The parish also staffs Maryhouse’s breakfast program five times a month, and gathers baby formula on a weekly basis for the shelter. Watch the weekly bulletins for items needed.
Get on the Bus, St. Anthony Parish provides breakfast and snacks for the diocesan children and sponsors who are bused to Chowchilla for the annual Mother’s Day visit to their incarcerated mothers. Many diocesan offices of Social Service Outreach provide this service throughout the state. Usually the Thursday or Friday before Mother’s Day, the parish is busy by 6:00 a.m. preparing a hearty breakfast for these travelers. Please watch the Sunday bulletins or call the parish office if you would like to volunteer for this outreach project.