Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Please take a moment to catch up on parish news regarding our outreach to the needy during this time of pandemic.

When everything was on closed down, we also closed Mother Teresa House and the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry. Our clients for those services were also in lockdown, but many of the needy were receiving extra food stamps and financial assistance.

Now that the food pantry is open again, we are finding increased need. Thank you for your continued contributions of food and many thanks to Pauline Bellavance and the members of St Vincent de Paul Society for stocking the food pantry each week and keeping it open on Saturday mornings to assist those who need some extra help with groceries. Fortunately, the food supplies are generous and we are able to help a good number of people.

Mother Teresa House continues to be closed because of COVID-19 concerns, but Chris Loewer is helping people by responding to phone calls. He also works with Pastor Johnson (Church without Walls) to visit the homeless and needy in our area, listening to their concerns, taking them emergency food bags, and directing them to the different caring services in the community for their particular needs. I would like to remind you that there are two ways to contribute to the work of Mother Teresa House—either through designated gifts to the parish or through the new local charity MercyWorks.

Please remember that Mother Teresa House and the St Vincent de Paul food pantry are our official ways of helping those who are in need of assistance in our community. Using these two channels of assistance is the way we can organize and control the help we give. I know our people are generous and big hearted, but please do not offer personal assistance to those in need when they approach you on campus. If you are approached, don’t give the needy a rude brush off, but rather, give them a kind word and say you are not able to give them cash or purchase a hotel room for them. If you offer the needy a handout or offer to pay for a hotel room the word gets around and very soon we are swamped with more people than we can realistically help.

Instead, after offering a kind word refer them to the ushers or the clergy. The ushers and office staff are trained to assist people in need. We listen to their stories and direct them to the food pantry and Mother Teresa House. We also have emergency food bags for those who are in immediate need. If you wish to get involved with Our Lady of the Rosary’s work in the community, consider joining the volunteers at Mother Teresa House, joining the St Vincent de Paul Society or making a regular financial contribution to Mother Teresa House.

We are committed to do all we can to help those in need here in South Greenville and we are looking for realistic ways to expand this work through MercyWorks. Some good things are in the pipeline and we’ll keep you updated as we continue to do God’s work of mercy in this place.

Your Pastor,

Fr. Longenecker