All too often established churches are seen as out of touch with the needy and poor in their community. My church, St. Michael's Catholic Church in East Longmeadow, is certainly not one of these.|
On a recent weekend, our pastor, Rev. James Scahill, requested that next weekend we bring in food for The Open Pantry emergency food pantry that was in great need of food. Our parishioners filled up The Open Pantry truck with 5100 pounds of donated food and $10,000 in cash donations. This compares very favorably with a local TV station's much advertised food drive that netted 6,000 pounds of food for the same period!
St. Michael's has participated since the beginning of the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen, preparing and serving a monthly meal. We also served as a host for the Open Pantry Warming Place overnight shelter for the homeless during the program's duration. Twice a year, we hold a clothing drive for the Grey House and fill a truckload of new and good used clothes. Our church also has an emergency food pantry for those in our congregation in need. Also we have a Supermarket Food Card program where one can by food cards at a supermarket and donate them to be given to those in need of food. Recently we have begun the Sandwich Kids project where pre-school chldren and their parents make upwards of 400 sandwiches that are brought to the soup kitchen.
I am especially proud of the youth in our parish who assist the elderly in cleaning their apartments, bring them homemade greeting cards, and at Christmas go caroling in the senior housing areas...
I am very proud to be a member of St. Michael's, a church that truly cares.
Roman Z. Artuph Jr.
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