JUSTICE AND PEACE MINISTRY
The mission of this ministry is to respond to the needs of the poor, deprived, neglected, oppressed, and sick and shut-ins of the parish and the community at large. This committee also helps parishioners become more aware of the social needs of the community.
The Parish Partnership Program: St. Francis helps to support two mission churches, St. Anthony Catholic Church in Norton, VA and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Church located in Kenel, SD. These parishes provided funds to St. Francis for our new building and we are helping them in return. Full circle stewardship.
Jesse Tree: Christmas is a season of giving, and we strive to share our many blessings with residents of our county who are less fortunate. Each holiday season, we identify families in need of assistance, and we provide Christmas gifts for their family. Outreach volunteers erect a Jesse tree in the church foyer and decorate it with gift tags. Our parish members are asked to take one or more of the gift tags, purchase and wrap the gift, and place it under the tree. The gifts are then sorted and delivered by volunteers.
Food Pantry: We have a Food Pantry Donation shopping cart located in our church foyer where you can make your donations. Non-perishable items are also accepted throughout the year, they can be placed in the small shopping cart in the foyer. Please be as generous as possible in this effort.
In addition to our on-going Food Pantry donations, we provide holiday baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Outreach volunteers purchase grocery store gift certificates to round out the baskets and then deliver the baskets to needy families.
Blood Drives: We sponsor Red Cross Blood Drives each year. Volunteers provide cookies and drinks for blood donors and assist as needed at the blood drive.
Bereavement: When there is a death or illness in the family, we all want to help in some way. This committee organizes support from parish members to provide meals, personal visits and contacts, prayers, etc. for those families who have lost a loved one or have a family member who is very sick or in the hospital. Volunteers are always needed to help provide food and/or visitations. The amount of time involved will vary depending on the circumstances.
Sweet Briar College Catholic Campus Ministry: This ministry provides worship, religious formation, and opportunities for outreach for the Catholic students at Sweet Briar College.
Amherst County Habitat for Humanity: Started in 1990 Amherst Habitat has built several homes with volunteer labor, thus helping many families in need to change their lives, starting with helping during construction. A St. Francis parishioner was the founder of Amherst Habitat and many parishioners have been members of the Board of Directors. Volunteers are always needed for construction and non-construction work.
Prison Ministry: There are Catholic inmates at the Buckingham Correction Center that are in need of our prayers and support in their faith. This ministry includes such continuing prayers as well as controlled visits to the facility. In addition, parishioners are encouraged to provide faith based literature for the inmates. Parishioners who wish to help in this ministry should contact Fr. Lerma.
Migrant Workers: There are several farms located in Amherst County and the surrounding counties where migrant workers are employed and live. Most of them are away from their homes and families for extended periods of time. There is always a need for our prayers and support in their Catholic faith. Parishioners are encouraged to visit the farms to share the rosary prayers and general fellowship. If you wish to help, contact Fr. Lerma who coordinates this ministry.