Almsgiving does not mean simply giving money, but a giving of mercy, giving of oneself in service and love.  Sometimes it means a real giving of one’s self through service to your family, friends, and community in friendship, mercy, and kindness, and this is not always easy.  It can be much easier to serve a stranger or someone who is just an acquaintance.

Here are some suggestions for the practice of almsgiving during Lent:

The seven Corporal Works of Mercy are found in the teachings of Jesus and give us a model for how we should treat all others, as if they were Christ in disguise.  Pick one or more of these and do it during Lent.

  • Feed the Hungry.  Every month, parish members are asked to prepare a pre-cooked but frozen casserole which is delivered to So Others Might Eat (SOME) for distribution.  Volunteers are needed to prepare and freeze casseroles and leave them at church on or before the 3rd Thursday of each month (February 15 or March 15), or drive the collected food to SOME on the collection day. You may make any casserole you wish that would fill a 9 X 13 inch pan. Pans and suggested recipes will be distributed at the Parish Lenten Mission on February 11, or you may pick up one in the vestibule of the church.


  • Give Drink to the Thirsty.  Keep an extra bottle or two of water in your car to offer to any homeless person you might encounter, or a road repairman, or a mailman on his rounds.


  • Shelter the Homeless.  Saint Andrew Apostle has a team to support Habitat for Humanity in the local community. You do not need to have any building skills to sign up, just a willingness to learn and work. You need to be at least 16 years old. Typically, the work involves helping a needy family in the local community live in a nice safe home to live in. The family will be working along side us so you will get a chance to meet them.  The next work date is Saturday, March 10.   More information is <HERE>.


  • Visit the Prisoners. Volunteer or donate to Catholic Charities’ Welcome Home Reentry Program. This program helps prevent returning citizens from falling back to previous mistakes by helping them find and follow a path to a new career. They do this by creating a support network centered around volunteer mentors who work closely with returning citizens.  More information is <HERE>.


  • Visit the Sick.  Saint Andrew’s prepares and serves dinner quarterly for about fifty patients and family members staying at the five Fisher Houses at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  The Fisher Houses at Walter Reed and other military and VA medical centers provide lodging for military and veterans’ families where they can stay while they receive medical treatment. This is a nonprofit organization outside of the Department of Defense that depends on donations and volunteer support.  We will prepare and serve dinner again soon.  If you would like to help, more information is <HERE>.


  • Bury the Dead.  Send a card to someone who has recently lost a loved one. Through our prayers and actions during these times we show our respect for life, which is always a gift from God, and comfort to those who mourn.  You may also request a Mass intention for the deceased and a card will be provided that you can send to the loved one indicating the date and time the Mass will be celebrated. Contact the rectory to learn how to request a Mass intention at Saint Andrew’s.


  • Give Alms to the Poor.  Donate money to organizations that have the ability to provide support and services for those in need. Saint Andrew’s supports Mustard Seed Communities in several ways throughout the year.  Consider making a monetary donation to support the work of our next Jamaica Mission Team who will be completing construction of four homes for special needs adults this Lent, February 17-24. Information is <HERE>.  Saint Andrew’s also invites you and your family to participate in a Lenten Giving Jar program with donations given to Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.  More information is <HERE>. Finally, take the opportunity to enjoy food, fellowship, and musical entertainment on Friday, March 9 while supporting the Catholic Relief Services’ ongoing efforts to provide hurricane relief to those whose communities were devastated by the recent storms.  Information is <HERE>.



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