“To ignore the poor is to despise God.” Pope Francis spoke these words recently at his Wednesday General Audience. He was commenting on the connection between the mercy we seek from God and the mercy we extend to others. If we wish God to be merciful and generous to us, we must extend that same generous mercy to others, especially the poor and vulnerable. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy we are reminded not only of God’s compassion but of our responsibility to be a compassionate presence in the world.
In light of this call to the works of mercy, our parishes are organizing a mission trip to Appalachia this coming October. We will be partnering with the Glenmary Missions to spend a week ministering the rural poor of Grainger County, Tennessee. We are able to take up to 24 parishioners on this immersion experience trip which will include direct service to the poor in a variety of settings. Father Frank Ruff, a Glenmary mission priest, will be here to talk about his work and the mission trip on Wednesday, June 22nd at 6:00 pm. in the narthex at St. Charles. All are welcome to join us for Fr. Ruff’s presentation, especially if you are interested in being part of the October mission trip.
During the month of June the Salvation Army is conducting a “Soles for Souls” shoe drive. You can bring your old shoes (in any condition) to the Salvation Army during the month of June. Drop off times are Mondays 9-1 and 2-4 and Wednesdays 9-1 and 2-6. Their goal is to reach 5,000 pounds of shoes by the end of June!
Both of our parishes continue to provide meals and assistance at Sojourner House in Eau Claire. Sojourner House is a homeless shelter run by Catholic Charities. If you’d be interested in touring Sojourner House to see the good work that goes on there, join us on Wednesday, June 15. We will meet at St. Peter’s on Hwy Q at 6:00 pm and car pool down to Sojourner House. We can always use more volunteers from both parishes. You can help in a variety of ways. Contact the parish office for more information.
These are just a few of the ways we can respond to the needs of our brothers and sisters. May we each find a way of putting mercy into practice in our lives so as to more fully experience God’s mercy towards us!