St. Mary Parish helps a number of local organizations that provide assistance to people living in Hudson itself, and in Summit County. Below are some of the programs of outreach to the community (along with Peter Maurin Center and St. Vincent de Paul ).
Habitat for Humanity
Did you know that St. Mary Church is a standing member of the Hudson Habitat for Humanity Coalition? The Hudson Coalition is dedicated to building at least one Habitat house in Northern Summit County each year and has done so since 1991. The Hudson Coalition seeks broad Hudson community involvement in providing simple, decent housing for people in need.
Each year, from May through December, St. Mary assumes a major stewardship for the construction of a Habitat for Humanity house. We provide overall fundraising and construction management, organize volunteers, and see the project through to completion and transfer to the new owner. Our Coalition is a partner with Habitat for Humanity of Summit County. The Summit County organization has built more than 122 Habitat houses in the last 15 years. St. Mary Parish and the Hudson Coalition has built 14 of these homes! Contact Jeff Collier at 330.650.2739 for more information.
The Hunger Group at St. Mary Parish
The Hunger Group of St. Mary Parish has been active since 1988. We began by collecting non-perishable food items and donating them to area hunger shelters, as well as families in our own community of Hudson. We also began to volunteer to help St. Bernard/St. Mary Parish in their ministry of providing a bagged lunch each day and a hot meal in the evening to inner city Akron residents.
St. Bernard/St. Mary Lunch Program:
Our group meets once every month to make sandwiches here in our kitchen, which are distributed on the day St. Mary has committed to feed the visitors that come to the St. Bernard/St. Mary Hunger Center in downtown Akron. We also have parishioners that make desserts in their own home for use on this day. Besides sandwiches and desert, the visitors also receive a piece of fruit, a bottle of juice, and a cup of coffee.
If you would like to join in this ministry, your help can be used in the following ways:
St. Bernard/St. Mary Hot Meal Program:
Our parishioners also prepare a meal for 250 Akron residents and serve the meal at St. Bernard/St. Mary Church twice each year. Some volunteers prepare food or desserts in their home and other volunteers serve the dinner at St. Bernard/St.Mary Church.
This ongoing collection of groceries helps those in need the Hudson area. We partner with the Hudson Food Pantry, which is under the direction of Hudson Community Services Association. Donations of food items, as well as the list of most needed items can be found in our brown narthex.
For more information about any of these outreach efforts, please contact JoEllen Collier.
Fair Trade Bazaar
St. Mary Parish hosts a Fair Trade Bazaar once a year. Admission is free, and vendors sell fair trade merchandise from all over the world. In addition to purchasing many great unique items, you can become educated about and support the plight of people from these various parts of the world.
Sweet Dreams Collection
Each year there is an opportunity to donate pillows, sheets and other bedding items to assist refugees who have been relocated to Northeast Ohio from various parts of the world.
Migration and Refugee Services (MRS), a department of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland, has been resettling refugees in Cuyahoga County since 1948. As the largest resettlement office in Northern Ohio, we expect to resettle over 350 refugees and asylees this year. MRS is one of 108 affiliates of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB). USCCB has a cooperative agreement with the United States to resettle refugees who have been legally admitted through the federal Refugee Admissions Program. These individuals have fled their home countries in fear of persecution because of their ethnicity, nationality, social group, religious affiliation or political beliefs.
Haven of Rest Ministries
In November, our Parish School of Religion (PSR) collects Halloween candy, which is donated to Haven of Rest Ministries in Akron to stuff stockings for their “Happy Birthday Jesus” party.
Twice a year, the St. Ann’s Women’s Circle collects in season clothing to be taken to Haven of Rest in Akron.
Servants 4 Christ
Each summer, teens in our Lifeteen program spend one week on a service retreat to make a difference in our local community. St. Mary partners with other parish high school youth groups to provide an experience of service for the teens, as well as helping them to discern and process the service they do and integrate it into their spiritual lives so that their formation will be as Christian disciples. The service provided includes things such as: painting, yard and home cleanup, small building projects, etc. Contact the Lifeteen Office at ext. 253 for more information.
St. Al’s Parish Outreach
St. Aloysius Catholic Church’s food pantry generally operates on the fourth Saturday of each month. The pantry receives food from the Cleveland Food bank as well as local donors. On average about 650 families each month are provided with a three day ration of food for their family including meat, vegetables, dry goods and bread. The St. Mary’s Life Teen program is a big supporter of the food pantry at St. Al’s. Volunteers come from many parishes throughout the Cleveland Diocese including from St. Al’s parish. Catholic Charities supports the St. Al’s food pantry with an annual monetary donation to help purchase more substantial meats during the holidays for the guests.
Volunteers meet at St. Mary’s at 7:00am and begin with prayer as a group before heading out to St. Al’s. We arrive at St. Al’s around 8:00am and break up into teams helping setup for the distribution. The setup typically includes bagging dry goods, preparing meats, setting up tables and organizing the vegetables and specialty items. Distribution to the guests begins at 9:00am where some volunteers help distribute the food and carry the groceries to the guests cars. We also get a brief opportunity to talk to the guests and get to know them as we help them with their goods. The distribution ends at 11:00am when we head back to Hudson.
During the Christmas distribution, the St. Mary’s Lifeteen program and Seton Catholic School donate a U-Haul full of unwrapped toys that allow pantry guests to receive presents for children in their immediate family. It’s a wonderful display of love that comes directly from Hudson families!
St. Aloysius Catholic Church is located at 10932 St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland. If you would like to join us one month, you can just meet in the upper parking lot of St. Mary Parish at 7:00am on the fourth Saturday of the month (reminders are usually found in the Lifeteen section of the weekly parish bulletin).