Social Outreach Ministries
Birthright is a pregnancy counseling service for women who are distressed by an unplanned pregnancy. Its services are free and confidential. Birthright provides pregnancy testing, maternity clothing, layettes for newborns, formula, diapers, referrals to various agencies, encouragement, support and prenatal care at the Birth-Care Prenatal Clinic. Any donations of any type are always welcomed.
Social Concerns Ministry
The Social Concerns Ministry provides opportunities for the parishioners of St. Raphael to assist the less fortunate in the parish and throughout the community. Projects are listed below. Watch the bulletin for more opportunities and information. Volunteers are always appreciated. Remember: Many Hands, Make Light Work Meetings are held the first Thursday of October, November, February and May at 7 p.m. in the library. Help plan, organize and/or find out information about the various Social Concern Ministry programs.
Volunteers are needed to deliver baked goods every day except Monday from Fragapane Bakery and Panera Bread to St. Malachi Backdoor, Westside Catholic Center and St. Augustine Hunger Center.
The Saint Vincent DePaul (SVDP) Society sponsors an annual fall collection for blankets to help needy families including children and the elderly. They are able to purchase these blankets at a reduced rate. “SVDP Blanket Sunday” envelopes for monetary donations are available in the bulletin and at the doors of the church. Please return them to in the collection basket. Children of the parish donate money and color a square. A quilt is designed and put in the Zwilling hallway.
Christmas in July Food Collection
Summer is a difficult time for programs serving those in need. Although hungry people continue to come each day, donations to Hunger Centers are few and supplies run short. The “Christmas in July’’ program attempts to provide the Hunger Centers supported by St. Raphael parishioners with a large donation of food to help them continue operating during the summer. The specific needs of the centers are listed in an insert in the bulletin and on the boxes at the door of the church during the months of June and July.
Helping Hands - Thanksgiving Food Baskets
During November, parishioners are invited to pick a leaf from the tree boards at the doors of the church. Purchase the items listed on the leaves and return them under the tables at the doors of the church. Prepared food baskets (non-perishable items) are always welcome as well. Envelopes for grocery store gift cards for turkeys should be placed in collection basket. Thanksgiving baskets are distributed to needy families in the Cleveland and Lorain areas. Parishioners are encouraged to submit the names of a needy family to one of the priests, a member of the Pastoral, SRS or PSR Staff or a member of the Social Concerns Ministry.
Parishioners and their families have the opportunity to socialize together, strengthening the bonds of community. This function is a donation based event that benefits the “Adopt-a-Family” and “Helping Hands Food Basket” programs. Volunteers of all ages are needed for setup, cooking, serving, and cleanup.
Neighbors Who Care
During Lent , parishioners are invited to pick a leaf from the tree boards at the doors of the church. Purchase the items listed on the leaves and return them under the tables at the doors of the church. Soaps, paper products, personal care items, food (non-perishable) and items for Easter basket.s are needed. Envelopes for gift certificates should be placed in collection basket. Baskets are then distributed to needy families who live or work in the community . Parishioners are encouraged to submit the names of a needy family to one of the priests, a member of the Pastoral, SRS or PSR Staff or a member of the Social Concerns Ministry.
St. Malachi: Sandwiches & Meals
Volunteers are needed to help prepare and distribute sandwiches to “knights and ladies of the road,” Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to Noon and Noon to 3:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 8:30 to 10 a.m. and 10:20 a.m. to 1p.m.
The St. Raphael Pro-Life Committee’s mission is: “To proclaim the sanctity and value of all human life from conception to natural death as a gift from God and the foundation of human dignity.” The committee will promote this mission through spiritual awareness, service and education. The Pro-Life Committee gathers monthly to share pro-life information; to pray for the end of abortion and for those who have been hurt by abortion; and to strive through actions to promote pro-life activities.
Support Group for Women with Cancer
This support group was formed in 2008 for women diagnosed and living with cancer. Whether you are just starting treatment or are a several decade survivor, you are invited to attend. We get together to ask questions, to share information, to pray, to talk and to listen. Our informal gatherings are the first Monday of each month
Each Advent St. Raphael “adopts” a number of area families who are in need. Parish organizations, families and individual parishioners are invited to help others have a special Christmas, which they might not otherwise be able to have. Gift ideas (clothing, toys, etc.) are placed on “Christmas Boxes” near the Church doors. Wrapped donations are returned to the Christmas boxes underneath. The gifts collected are distributed to families in a way that safeguards their dignity. Parishioners are encouraged to submit the names of a needy family to one of the priests, a member of the Pastoral, SRS or PSR Staff or a member of the Social Concerns Ministry. Volunteers are always needed to help assemble the packages for the families and deliver them.
Caring & Sharing
One project for students is helping to prepare sandwiches for the St. Malachi Backdoor Program. Please call for donation information.
Children’s Clothing Drive
Open your heart and your closets and share those items that are clean and useable. Children’s clothing will be disbursed to Birthright, Westside Catholic, and St. Malachi Center.
Christmas Toy Drive
The annual drive for new or like new toys is held in November. The toys are collected for distribution to St. Augustine Hunger Center and St. Malachi Center. Then they are given to parents to provide Christmas presents to their children, which at times they could not otherwise afford to do. Monetary donations are also accepted. Volunteers are always needed to sort, pack and transport the collected toys to the Centers.
Holiday Pumpkin Pies
St. Augustine Hunger Centers and other churches or centers that provide meals on Thanksgiving need pumpkin pies for dessert. Social Concerns Ministry will supply the pie crust, canned pumpkin pie filling — you supply the eggs, milk, spices, time and love. Homemade and Market Day pies are always appreciated.
Hams or Turkeys
Meats such as hams or turkeys are also needed year round. Social Concerns Ministry will pass them along to a needy family or take them to a hunger center.
Monday Meal Prep
St. Raphael Church assists St Malachi’s Monday evening meals by preparing a meal every 2nd Monday evening. Volunteers are needed to make a casserole once a month that will serve 30 people. Recipes will be provided.
St. Augustine Meal Program
Once a month, St. Raphael serves a meal and help is needed. This could be a fun, rewarding day for you or the whole family. Parish organizations have also participated and are always welcome. Help plan, prepare, serve and cleanup for meals from 8:30 am to 12:30 am. Mass is celebrated at 8:30 and 10 a.m. (Mass will be signed for the deaf community); volunteers are welcome to join St. Augustine parishioners and the Deaf community for Mass. All ages are welcome; 20 volunteers are needed for each meal. Dates for the meal are published in the bulletin.
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