Once again we are reaching out to all who have donated to our ministry in the past to ask you once again to become a sustainer.
Sustainer donors are transformational donors who have committed to support our ministry to the “least, the last, and the left out” using any regular frequency (monthly, quarterly, or annually) they choose. The most important part of your sustained giving is that it is continued giving.
Sustainer donors give at various levels — from $5 to $100+ per month — but their collective impact provides the backbone of support that we need to be able respond to anyone who asks for our help.
The most exciting part of this appeal is that it only takes five minutes to make a $5 per month pledge. Go to our website, www.urbanmissionaries.com where you can use your credit card or PayPal, or have it moved from your checking account to ours on a regular basis. We think it could not be easier.
Remember, someone is counting on you. Become a sustainer today!
Sustainer is about making a commitment. For example, we have had a relationship with St. Jude – St. Aloysius Parish that goes all the way back to 1993. That’s right, 30 years. For the last 30 years, someone from St. Jude’s drops off redeemable bottles and cans as well as small household items, they do this month in and month out!
We have published a letter sent by Fr. Peter White, Pastor of St. Jude-St. Aloysius Parishes to all the members of the parish, in 1993. We thought you might enjoy reading it, below.
Heart to Heart by Fr. Peter White
Valentine’s Day means many different things to people. To the parish family of St. Aloysius -St. Jude in Leicester, Valentine’s Day 1993 was very special. Deacon Walter Doyle visited our parish that weekend, wearing his heart on his sleeve and exposing his love for his ministry with the Refugee Apostolate. He came to invite the parish to make a covenant with the Refugee Apostolate.
He invited people interested in his ministry to join him in the lower church hall after Mass and it was in this sharing that the birth of a new ministry for our parish began.
The parish had already shared in Deacon Doyle and his wife Kathy’s ministry through the Giving Tree program at Christmas time. But this was a once-a-year project. We were now being asked to become Partners in Poverty throughout the year, to become involved week after week.
We started with a drive for redeemable cans and bottles the following weekend. Deacon Walter had told us that three cans were worth one pound of food. Our people have been bringing these cans and bottles for over five years almost every week.
Along with the cans and bottles, there began to come good, usable clothing for men, women and children. People were encouraged to bring items which might help a refugee family set up an apartment in which to live. The response has been amazing.
We had to form two teams to handle all of the donations on a weekly basis. One team cleared our church hall every weekend after the last Mass and brought everything to the rectory garage. A second team cleared the garage every week and brought the items to the Refugee Apostolate in Worcester.
Mary and Al O’Leary are the directors of this ministry and they have a wonderful group of people working together with them. News travels, and over the years, people not even in the parish have heard of this ministry and left donations in the rectory garage during the week. Yes, there have been times when getting my car into the garage has been a challenge! As pastor, this ministry has filled my heart with joy. It is this kind of ministry that is so important and so Christian. As I look back on over five and one-half years, the spirit of St. Valentine is its driving force. For this ministry was born out of love and is being lived out of love. It has been a ministry that has helped us grow as a parish to become friends of the poor. Perhaps this is what Our Lord meant on the twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time where we find in Luke’s Gospel the words: “Make friends for yourselves through your use of this world’s goods, so that when they fail you a lasting reception will be yours.”
Father Peter H. White
P.S. We at the Urban Missionaries of Our Lady of Hope would like to note that Mary and Al O’Leary continue to bring in St. Jude – St. Aloysius donations to us to this day. Mary and Al, thank you.