A message from the parish Society of St. Vincent de Paul

While we are in lockdown it does not mean that the SSVP is inactive. In fact we have been helping the needy in the most practical way we can while observing the rules that are currently in place. As we are all aware the works of Corporal Mercy lie at the heart of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul; to feed the hungry, to shelter the homeless , to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick, to visit the imprisoned, or ransom the captive, to bury the dead. While we may be unable, because of restriction, to cover all of these works it does not mean that St. James’ and St. Matthew’s have been inactive. It was brought to our attention that Broke not Broken had received a significant increase in requests from those who now find themselves in need. From supplying food and help to a few families a week the number needing help has increased significantly, at the same time the supply of donations have also dropped significantly. Churches and other collection points have been inaccessible as collection points and donations had dropped. I spoke with Father Martin and we have now arranged for items to be left at St. James’ Church hall. As per normal the parishioners have been exceedingly generous in their response. To date we have arrange for around 20-30 bags of groceries that have been donated to go to Broke not Broken. Some of the parishioners who have not been able to get out have contacted us and given cash donations specifically for this purpose. For this we are exceedingly grateful and we have used this money after liaising with Broke not Broken to purchase items of which they are in specific need but have not received via donations. This has involved members of the Society doing the shopping for these items, collecting the goods from the Church and delivering them to Broke not Broken. Under the present circumstances this is the least we can do and it fits with the ethos of the Society and the Works of Corporal Mercy, to Feed the Hungry. While normally we would have received contact directly from people and provide help ourselves those requests have not occurred as yet. Therefore it was felt that if we can support the needy in this way it is the right and proper thing to do. When we get back to normal, things will no doubt change back to what they were in the past but under the current circumstances we felt it was only right to offer practical material support so that those in need can receive help. I have to thank everyone for their generosity both materially and finacially. We are also well aware that a significant amount of goods have come from St Matthew’s and have notified Broke not Broken of this and asked that they look favourably of requests from the landward areas of the parish. While we are unable because of restrictions to carry out a lot of the normal visits of the Society there are things that we are doing. One important area is in Masses for those who have died during Lockdown. With normal requiem Masses not taking place we are ensuring that we have Masses said for every soul who dies during this time. They are all in our prayers. Again I cannot thank you enough for all your help and generosity especially in these times when we ourselves may be finding it difficult. Thank You All. Bob Corrieri, President of SSVP St James’ and St Matthews

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