Footville and Evansville parishes promote Year of Mercy Print
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

FOOTVILLE -- St. Augustine Parish in Footville and St. Paul Parish in Evansville joined efforts to promote Pope Francis’ “Year of Mercy.”

Throughout the year, both parishes have undertaken various charitable works and promoted evangelization, educational, and spiritual outreaches to inspire everyone to live their faith and to act on the Corporal Works of Mercy.

Shelter the Homeless

The parishes lived out the Corporal Work of Mercy -- shelter the homeless -- by involvement in Food for the Poor, an international missionary organization.

The parishioners were challenged to collect $3,200 to build a home for a family in Nicaragua. St. Paul’s religious education classes had a successful “Change-ing Lives” Campaign to raise the money for the house project.

Also, through Food for the Poor, a matching fund was available, so the $3,200 went to build two homes for two families. Extra funds collected will purchase school supplies, goats, clothes, and fruit trees.

Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Clothe the Naked

In June, FairTrade Divine Chocolate bars were sold with the proceeds of $341 going to the Janesville GIFTS Men’s Shelter. This project helped not only those at the GIFTS Shelter, but also the third-world farmers/producers of the chocolate bars through the FairTrade Organization.

A collection of personal items and clothing were taken to the GIFTS Shelter. Special collections were donated to local food pantries: CUP (Churches United for People) and the Evansville Ecumenical Care Closet. Monthly “Special Needs” collections are distributed to those in need within each community.

Evangelization, education

Personal prayer life was encouraged and promoted through numerous seasonal booklets, flyers, and mailings. Educational publications on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy were distributed monthly.

Parishioners prayed for the Holy Souls in Purgatory during the month of November, prayed the Rosary prior to Mass, recited the Chaplet of Divine Mercy during and after Lent, and sent evangelization “Invitation” cards to local businesses and acquaintances.

Although Pope Francis concluded the Year of Mercy on November 20 (the Feast of Christ the King), St. Augustine and St. Paul Parishes continue to promote mercy within themselves, their families, their communities, and their world. As Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7).

Other activities

Parishioners of St. Paul have also distributed Senior Christmas Gift Baskets with the Council of Catholic Women (CCW), decorated the church for Christmas, made Christmas food and toys baskets with the Knights of Columbus and AWARE, and helped with the CCW Poinsettia Project.

Parishioners of St. Augustine have participated in a Mitten Tree, Toys for St. Vinnie’s Kids, CUP/local food pantry donations, and St. Vincent de Paul’s food and toy distribution.

St. Augustine, Footville, and St. Paul, Evansville, invite all Catholics to participate in their church services, liturgies, and devotions for the Advent and Christmas seasons. Eucharistic Adoration is on Wednesday, Dec. 21, from 3 to 8 p.m. at St. Paul. Stop in and take a few quiet minutes with the Lord.

Private Sacrament of Penance is at 4 p.m. Saturdays at St. Paul. The Rosary is offered on Sundays at 8:10 a.m. at St. Augustine and on Mondays at 8 a.m. at St. Paul.

All religious education students will present a Christmas Pageant at St. Augustine Parish on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. St. Paul Parish will perform a Children’s Nativity Pageant on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, at 4 p.m. prior to the 4:30 Mass.

Christmas Eve Masses are 4:30 p.m. at St. Paul and 7 p.m. at St. Augustine. Christmas Day Masses are at 8:30 a.m. at St. Augustine and 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul.

Pope Francis hoped 2016 would be “steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and women, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God!” His message to us continues to be: “Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.”