High School Group Service Projects this year will be a Soup kitchen in November and Project Linus in January.
Junior High Group Service Project this year will be Pumpkin Painting & Candy Bag Making for the Food Pantry in October and Potted Planters for the Nursing Home in April.
Post Confirmation Group Service Project this year will be Eva's Village Soup Kitchen in February.
(Flyers can be viewed by clicking words that are underlined and in blue. Thank you)
Every Christian has a calling and a responsibility to serve as a living example of Jesus’ teachings - to serve one another. For Christians, young and old, service should be an attitude, a way of life. It is important not only to listen and understand the Word of God, but also to apply the lessons learned, through daily life and service to others. This is essential to living as a Christian and following in Jesus footsteps. In our formation programs here at Holy Trinity we use the Works of Mercy as our guide to being of compassionate service to others and in selecting our service projects.
The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy
Fulfilling the Works of Mercy for each of us is a lifelong commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Matthew 25:32-46 tells us that when we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, take care of the sick, and visit the imprisoned, we care for Christ himself.
The Corporal Works of Mercy recognizes the sacredness of human life. We learn through fulfilling these Works of Mercy for others that we are our brother's keeper. Our feelings of love for our brothers must be accompanied by acts of charity.
(1) Feed the hungry.
(2) Give drink to the thirsty.
(3) Clothe the naked.
(4) Shelter the homeless.
(5) Visit those in prison.
(6) Comfort the sick.
(7) Bury the dead.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy recognize sin, ignorance, doubt, sorrow and other human conditions where we need to reach out in faith and love to others. How many times did Jesus rebuke with love, counsel, teach and help those who did not know Him?
(1) Admonish sinners.
(2) Instruct the uninformed.
(3) Counsel the doubtful.
(4) Comfort the sorrowful.
(5) Bear wrongs patiently.
(6) Forgive offenses.
(7) Pray for the living and the dead.
Works of Mercy Examples and Ideas
What great ways can you think of to perform a Work of Mercy?
Feed the hungry - Donate canned goods for our food pantry. We also have regular collections for our food pantry called Food Drives. Don’t just give up the old stuff or what you don’t like. Part with or buy some of your favorite foods to share with those less fortunate. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen. Make sandwiches for our sandwich program. Bake cookies and send some to a nursing home or Assisted Living home for a snack for the residents. Send homemade cookies to a student you know in college. Make meals for people with someone in their family who is ill or has just passed away. Make the CROP Walk a fund raising activity to help the hungry.
Clothe the naked - Clean out dresser drawers and closets twice a year (beginning of each season) and take the clothes to St. Vincent de Paul or Salvation Army. Buy socks and underwear for people in homeless shelters. Send them warm winter clothes - jackets, sweaters. If you knit or crochet, make some hats and gloves and scarves. Look for baby clothes on sale and donate them to mothers who need assistance. Participate in Project Back Pack or the Giving Tree.
Pray for the Living and the Dead - Make a prayer list of people that you know are sick and pray for them every day. Pray for the people listed in the Church bulletin. Pray for your friends’ relatives that have died. If you hear about something tragic or sad on the news, pray for the people involved. Make a prayer blanket or card or some object that can be given to a person who would be comforted by knowing that someone is praying for them. Find out some way you can assist at a local hospice or hospital. Pray for our seminarians and priests.
Give drink to the thirsty - Watch for ways to save water or keep it clean. Be environmentally aware. Use water saving gadgets in your shower or toilet. Set up a lemonade stand and send the proceeds to Catholic Relief Services. Hand out water at a race or walk that raises money for a charity. Bring in juice for the pantry collection. Give someone who is sick some Holy Water and let them know you will pray for them. Help someone who is “thirsting” for a friend or someone to talk to.
Visit the sick - Send cards to friends or relatives who are sick and in the hospital. If possible, make them a homemade card and hand deliver it. Be part of a group that visits the sick. Many nursing homes get visitors over the holidays. Call the nursing home office and find out who doesn’t get any company. Offer to visit them regularly. Make or buy some note cards for someplace like Runnels and leave them with stamps so people who are staying there can send letters home.
Shelter the homeless/Welcome the stranger - Have a garage sale of some of your furnishings that are extras and donate to Habitat for Humanity or a homeless shelter. If power goes out in a part of the city and you have it, offer a friend a place to stay until it comes back on. Welcome parishioners at the beginning and end of mass. Welcome a new student. Provide items for the Humane Association or SPCA. Send cards or gifts to new neighbors or parishioners. Help build a house with Habitat for Humanity. Let your house be a welcome place for a friend who may not have a parent home after school. Bring in baby gifts for a new mother who is in need. Have a baby shower. Donate items to Catholic Charities. Contact the library and see if they would like some book for underprivileged children. Participate in the Giving Tree here at Holy Trinity and adopt a family in need for Christmas and make their Christmas and yours a lot brighter. Send Christmas, Easter, any type of card to the servicemen overseas.
Visit the Imprisoned - Learn what the Church teaches about Capital Punishment. Contact the Jail Ministry office to see what you could send to those in jail. Maybe get some birthdays and send them a card. Help prepare a Christmas meal or gifts for the family of a prisoner who may have little with an imprisoned parent. Find a local halfway house and donate bus cards to prisoners looking for work. Send phone cards to those detained in immigration centers. Help someone who is “imprisoned” by a disability or handicap. Be a friend or helper to them. Learn about Free the Children created by a young Canadian boy who wanted to help end child labor in foreign countries.
Comfort the Sorrowful - A friend loses a relative. Someone’s pet dies. Call them and ask how they are doing. Send them a sympathy or thinking of you card. Pray for them and their loved one who has died. Give comfort and care to those with sick loved ones. Be present at wakes and funerals as a show of support.
Bury the dead - Call the Catholic Diocese Cemetery and ask if they need help in the fall or spring with cleanup around the cemetery grounds. See if there are any other ways that you can assist near the holidays. See if they need help putting flags out around Memorial Day or Veterans Day.
Instruct the Ignorant - If you have a special gift or talent, share it with someone else. Help someone learn to play a musical instrument. Peer tutor at school in a subject that you are good at. Help someone with homework in your best subject. Don’t always make it be your best friend. Share your gifts with someone you don’t know as well.
Counsel the doubtful - When someone comes to you for advice or just to talk about a problem, be a good listener and say a silent prayer to Jesus asking for his help in telling them the right things to do.
Admonish the Sinner/Forgive Offenses - If you know someone is going to do something that is risky or wrong, warn them not to do it. If they have already done it, tell them nicely that is was not a good thing to do so they will choose not to do it again. Remind someone who is hurting because of their sin to receive grace and forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation. Extend forgiveness to those who hurt you.
As you can see there are limitless ways to be of compassionate service to others. Be aware and assess the need around you, be creative and use the resources and gifts that you have, be your self and find something that stirs your passion, suits your personality and accents your gifts and abilities. If you do something that excites your heart, you will find that the 16 hours of service that you will need to accumulate over the two years of formation will be a joy.
But whatever service you choose, it should never be rendered for monetary or personal gain, so you should not receive payment, accolades, school credit, etc. for the service projects that you participate in nor should they solely be directed for the benefit of your immediate family.
For those of you who belong to organizations designed to build character through service to the community (i.e. Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts) often times you will be performing service that will qualify as a work of mercy and yes, you may consider it toward your service hours. Student Council, Drama Club, Team Sports and the like do not however qualify as works of mercy.
A List of Popular Service Opportunities
Teacher’s Aide for Faith Formation
Sun 10:15-11:45 Anyone choosing this option must sign up no later than Sept. 17
Contact the Faith Formation Office, Marguerite Lizzo 233-7455, email@example.com
This option is for singers and musician for the Youth Choir/Band who serve at youth masses, first communion masses and the Living Stations.
Contact Sara Hedgepeth at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a commitment to sing with the parish choir at the 10:30 AM Mass on Sunday as well as the major feasts of Christmas and Easter. The choir rehearses every Thursday Night.
Contact the parish Music Director, Roxanne McAlvany at 233-4996
Serve in the sanctuary with the priests during the Eucharistic celebrations. Contact the Faith Formation Office, Marguerite Lizzo 233-7455, email@example.com
Lectors are scheduled to read at the Children’s Liturgy of the Word and Family Masses throughout the year.
Contact Michelle Angelo at 233-7455 or Mangelo@parishmail.com
For those who want to Lector at Youth Masses on selected Sundays
Contact the rectory at 232-8137
Each morning the homeless, poor and unemployed of the area begin lining up at St. Joseph’s Social Service Center in Elizabeth seeking food for themselves and their families. The SANDWICH GROUP is committed to supporting St. Joseph’s one day per month.
When we first pledged our support around 1993, families signed up and began providing the monthly sandwich loaves. Today we average 45 loaves a month, which means that we supply St. Joseph’s with approximately 400 sandwiches each time.
FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT ARE NEW, once a month you purchase a loaf of bread plus the sandwich fixings. Types of sandwiches preferred include peanut butter and jelly, cheeses, ham, turkey, bologna, salami, etc. (without condiments please). Tuna fish and egg salad are not recommended. Wrap each sandwich individually and replace them back into the original loaf wrapper. With a magic marker, label this outer wrapper as to the contents (no names necessary).
Deliver your contribution to the Gathering Room in the Parish Center on the 2nd Sunday of each month between 7:30 AM and 1 PM and place them in the coolers.
There is always a notice in the parish bulletin each month with the date or call the Rectory at 232-8137 to confirm the date.
Deacon Keith Gibbons is the coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen, St. Mary’s Parish, Plainfield
Candidates who opt for this service must be accompanied by an adult.
The kitchen is open on Sundays from 2:00-4:30pm.
Contact Sheila 908-755-0417
Hope Heals Cancer Care Ministry
Volunteer for childcare, yard work, special projects and events.
Contact Patricia Martin 233-6151 or email@example.com
Giving Tree & Project Backpack
An annual gift collection in late August/early September of Backpacks and school supplies for children in need and the collecting of new items and gifts for distribution in late November/early December that shares the Christmas Spirit with our needy brothers and sisters in neighboring communities.
Contact Deacon Tom in the rectory at 232-8137 or firstname.lastname@example.org
These volunteers cook and serve meals to the people in need at St. Joseph’s SocialServiceCenter. This is done on a monthly basis.
For more information contact Donna Campanella at 232-8137 or email@example.com
Holy Trinity Food Pantry
Volunteers help sort food and stock shelves. The drives are held in the gym of HolyTrinityInterparochialSchool. Temple Food Drive (October), Boy Scout Food Drive (November) & Post Office Food Drive (May)
Contact Donna at the rectory at 232-8137 or firstname.lastname@example.org for dates and times
The Living Stations (This is 6 Hours of Service)
The Living Stations is a beautiful meditation on the Stations of the Cross. The Stations are set to music by the youth and contemporary choirs and narrated and performed and by the young people of the parish. The stations are performed for the parish on the evening of Good Friday. All roles are non speaking roles, except narrations. (8 Female actresses, 8 Male actors, 2 Lighting Managers and several Greeters) There are two rehearsals that take place on Wednesday nights in the church from 7:00-9:00 PM. The Living Stations is presented in the church on Good Friday at 7:30PM. This is a 6 hours service opportunity.
Contact Patricia Martin at 233-6151 or email@example.com
Applications and interviews for Peer Ministry take place in May and June. Training and team building takes place the third week in June.
Contact Patricia Martin 233-6151 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Faith Formation Office hosts six Family Gatherings in the gym of the school. Volunteers are needed for set up, hosting and clean up.
Contact Christina Kenny Bass at CKenney-Bass@parishmail.com
Other Local Area Opportunities:
American Red Cross http://westfieldnj.com/redcross
November - items are needed to be sent to troops stationed overseas for the holiday season: coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cider mixes, sealed candy, tins of cookies, microwave popcorn, decks of cards, small card & board games, music cassettes, movie videos, paperback books, crossword puzzles, word books and donations to cover the cost of mailing as well as computer boxes, brown mailing paper and mailing tape.
Children's Specialized Hospital http://mountainsidenj.com/csh
Toys, games and clothing for the annual Holiday Toy Drive, given to the special needs children who are treated at the hospital.
Junior Woman's Club of Westfield http://westfieldnj.com/jwcw
November - Coats for annual coat drive, donated to the Westfield Department of Health and Human Services (drop box located at the Westfield Library.)
Mobile Meals http://westfieldnj.com/mobilemealsThis is a great summer service opportunity. 170 Elm Street, Westfield, NJ07090 908-233-6146
Packers work in the kitchen from 9-10:30 AM making sandwiches and desserts and packaging the meal for delivery.
Welcome Wagon http://westfieldnj.com/welcome
Teenagers, with references, for babysitting during Welcome Wagon events.
Service Opportunities will also be e-mailed throughout the year. Those sponsored by Holy Trinity will be so noted. On occasion a community organization will contact our office to advertise for help. Many of these organizations are well known and well respected; however, it is up to the parent to ensure the legitimacy and safety of the project for your son/daughter.
THE SERVICE REFLECTION FORMS FOR JUNIOR HIGH ARE DUE BY APRIL 10 OF YOUR 8TH GRADE YEAR. TO PRINT A FORM, CLICK HERE
THE SERVICE REFLECTION FORM FOR CONFIRMATION CANDIDATES IS SUBMITTED AT THE RITE OF ENROLLMENT WITH YOUR LETTER OF REQUEST TO CELEBRATE THE SACRAMENT. TO PRINT A FORM, CLICK HERE