Social Ministries

Rev. Patrick J. Kuffner, Moderator

Mary Czachur, Baby Shower 

Mary Czachur, School Supplies Collection 

Therese Hanntz, Pro-Life 

Al Mazzacco, Blood Drives 

Patricia Reents, Giving Tree 

Monique Sasso, Bereavement Ministry 

John Sweeney, Food Collection 

Evangelization Team, Welcoming of New Parishioners


 
 
PARISHES
are
 called 
to reach out to 
the hurting,

the poor, and the vulnerable 
in our midst
in concrete acts of charity.
Just as the Gospel tells us our lives will be judged
by our response to the "least of these"
so too our parishes
should be measured by our help for the
hungry,
the homeless,
the troubled,
and the alienated--
in our community and beyond.
                                                                                                                 
Amen I say to you,
Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine,
You did for me.   -Matthew 25:40
 
 Blessed Mother Chapel1

 


   
MINISTRY TO THE BEREAVED
    
Some newly bereaved persons experience the need to talk about their loss with someone who is willing to lend a non-judgemental ear and some compassionate words.  The Social Ministry Office helps to locate the appropriate bereavement counselor for those who have this need, and to assist them throught this very difficult time.
Interested persons should call 732-356-2111.
    
 
BLOOD DRIVE
 
Twice yearly a blood drive, sponsored by New Jersey Blood Services, is held at the church on a Sunday morning.  The aim is "to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood to local hospitals for all patients in need of blood and blood components (and is) based on shared willingness and responsibility of healthy community members to provide blood for patients."
   
The Knights of Columbus coordinates the drive and provides refreshments and any assistance donors may need.
Because our parish participates in these drives parishioners can receive transfusions free of charge in most area hospitals.
 
The blood drives at Our Lady of Mount Virgin are held in January and July.  Volunteer help is always appreciated...and donors, too of course!
 
 
      
MINISTRY TO THE DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED
 
Our Lady of Mount Virgin Parish is deeply committed to serving the developmentally disabled clients at Green Brook Regional Center and drawing them into the larger parish community.

  • Prayer Service Weekly
Several Parish representatives conduct a prayer service for the Catholic residents of the facility in a small chapel at Green Brook.    
  • Luncheons and Socials
Periodically during the year we host a small group who attend a prayer service at Noon and join us for a luncheon donated and served by parish volunteers.  These volunteers arrive at the church by about 11:00 AM to set up tables and have things ready for our guests when they arrive.  Then there is prayer, song and socializing.  Everything is finished by 1:15 PM.    
  • Correspondence
Some parishioners write notes to clients at Green Brook on occasion: birthday, holidays or for no reason in particular. The clients can`t read, but staff persons read to them, and they take great delight in showing their mail to anyone they meet.   Names of clients-one, two or several - are available at the Parish Office.
   
 
HEALTH FAIR
 
Each Autumn a health fair is held, offering flu shots, various medical tests and blood pressure screening.  Free handouts are available as well as refreshments.  St.Peter`s and Somerset Medical Centers offer the testing, but parish volunteers are needed to set up and clean up as well as to "man" the tables.
 
HOSPITALITY EVENTS
 
A number of times during the year Social Ministries volunteers sponsor a "Coffee and..." as an adjunct to a parish event or to welcome new parishioners.  These are events that call for donated coffee, goodies and paper goods as well as energetic persons to set up and clean up.  Exact dates are published in the church bulletin.  A committee of parishioners organizes the events, mailing invitations, generating donations and hosting on the actual day.

Please consider volunteering for these "hands on" events.  The number : 732-356-2111.

MARTHA`S TABLE MINISTRY
    
Immediatley upon hearing of the death of a parishioner, the Martha`s Table Ministry approaches the family with an offering for the table--a casserole, salad, dessert or the like, or something for breakfast on the day of the funeral.
 
The Martha`s Table Ministry takes its name from Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus in the Gospel, whose faith elicited from Jesus his words of hope and promise of eternal joy: "I am the Resurrection and the Life."
  
The Social Ministry Office welcomes the services of volunteers in order to fulfill this commitment with sensitivity.  Please call 732-356-2111.
  
PARISH HEALTH AND WELLNESS MINISTRY
  
This ministry of outreach will provide services to address physical, emotional and practical needs that some parishioners may be experiencing with the goal of bringing these areas of life to a high level.  It is made possible by the donated services of nurses within the parish.
 
The Parish Health and Wellness Ministry is not to be confused with nursing services as we perceive them in a hospital or doctor`s office, but as an informed visit by a fellow parishioner who is a trained nurse prepared to provide assistance or information which will enhance the physical, psychological and --yes-- the spiritual lives of those in our parish community.
 
The assistance of our volunteer nurses is available to:
 
  â Young Families
  â Homebound Persons and their caregivers
  â Disabled persons
  â The chronically ill
  â Those just released from the hospital
 
 
Call the Social Ministry Office (732-356-2111) with questions or requests for service.
      

WELCOMING NEW PARISHIONERS 

A committee sends invitatons to new parishioners three times a year, inviting them to be guests of the parish at one of the Sunday "Family Breakfasts" prepared and served by the Knights of Columbus.  The guests are met by the committee and greeted with the gift of a flower. 


 Collections

THE FOLLOWING SECTION DESCRIBES A NUMBER OF COLLECTIONS MADE DURING THE YEAR.  THESE DEPEND ON THE GENEROSITY OF PARISHIONERS IN TWO WAYS:

1. To donate the items requested
2.      A.  To volunteer to organize the events
         B.  Sort and pack the donations
         C.  Deliver items

  
 FOOD COLLECTIONS
 
 
FISH, INC.
       
On the third Sunday of each month non-perishable foods for the needy are collected and transported by volunteers to the FISH Pantry, where they are distributed without charge to families requesting aid.  In November of each year we add to this a "Turkey Roundup", asking parishioners to donate a frozen turkey in addition to the non-perishables.
 
Although FISH, Inc. is located in Piscataway, many recipients of their food packages live right here in Middlesex.
Your generosity as a parishioner is appreciated.
    
 
 
GIFT COLLECTIONS AND DISTRIBUTIONS
     
 
BABY SHOWER
     
Another collection during the year is a "shower" of baby clothes and accessories for the benefit of the Pregnancy Aid and Information Center in Raritan.  Held during Lent, it is a very welcome gift to the small center that does much to encourage poor women to bring their pregnancy to term and be a source of counseling and assistance after the birth.
  
JESSE TREE
 
    
Christmas gifts are purchased and placed under the Jesse Tree for distribution to struggling families and individuals in the area. Parishioners take tags from the tree in the church, purchase the gift indicated and place both gift and tag under the tree.  Volunteers deliver the gifts.
 
At present the Jesse Tree gifts are sent to:
 
 
  â Somerset Home for Temporarily Displaced Children in
             Bridgewater
  â Roosevelt Care Center in Edison
  â SHIP, an outreach and assistance program in Somerville
  â Great Expectations, a residence for single pregnant young
             women in Somerville
  â FISH Hospitality Program for homeless families in Piscataway
  â Ozanam Family Shelter of Catholic Charities in Edison
  â Green Brook Regional Center for developmentally
             disabled in Green Brook

   
THE LINUS PROJECT
  
We welcome hand made, child size afghans to be given to hospitalized children at Somerset Medical Center.  This is an ongoing project which donors enjoy, since it involves them in a good work and also uses up amounts of yarn left over from other projects.  The guidlines the Center suggests are that the afghans be new, washable and made by hand.  They should be worked in baby colors (pink, light blue, yellow and pale green) or bright children`s colors using the softest yarn.  The minimum measurement is 36 inches.  
 
BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES
   
In August of each year an appeal goes out to parishioners to donate school supplies to children living in homeless shelters.  This is a help to their parents, and is a source of delight to the children.
  

THE SOCIAL MINISTRY OFFICE MAINTAINS INFORMATION OF USE TO PARISHIONERS:
  • Applications for prescription drug discounts
  • Applications for PAAD and Senior Gold
  • Forms for Advance Directives for Health Care
  • Where to donate used furniture
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER OR PARTICIPATE  IN ANY PROGRAM, PLEASE CONTACT PARISH OFFICE, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY AT 732-356-2149.