Justice and Peace
Social Outreach Ministry
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me." Matthew 25:35-36
Justice and Peace Update For March 19th CLICK HERE
Our ministry is guided by the Church’s "Catholic Social Teaching" (ref: USCCB website) and the "Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching". We currently sponsor and support many outreach and service programs, some of which like our food pantry and Snack-Bag Ministry operate year-round, others, like our Christmas Giving Tree program are seasonal. Our ministry is always in need of committed volunteers to help. The Justice and Peace Ministry committee meets on the 3rd Monday of every month at 6:30pm. **At present we are meeting a mix of virtually and in person. For more information about our meetings and our ministry, please contact the Justice and Peace Committee using the form HERE
Our Justice & Peace Committee meets at 6:30pm on the 3rd Monday each month virtually via Zoom. Please join us as we work together to be a voice for those without a voice and to reach out helping those in need in our community and world. If you would like to attend our meeting, please email email@example.com for a link to our meeting.
COLLECTION MINISTRIES : At various times during the year, we focus our efforts on a specific need / issue in our community by collecting specific items. Reaching out to those in need by providing these much-needed items as well as opportunities for our parishioners to give. In addition, during times of need due to crisis, natural disasters, and other emergencies other collections may be added. Below are some of the regular yearly collections we host:
August - School Supplies
September / October - Winter Clothing Drive
May - Baby Items
The following list highlights some of our current ministries and outreach programs:
Food Pantry : We collect, purchase and distribute food to individuals requesting assistance on Wednesdays from 10:00am to 1:00pm. For more information, please contact the Justice and Peace Committee using the form HERE
Snack Bag/P.I.N. Ministry : Each week we deliver seventy-five snack bags to PIN Ministry a Virginia Beach based orginization that provides food, clothing, shelter, and free medical care for people that are either homeless or extremely poor.
Each Snack Bag contains:
*A granola bar
*A fruit cup
*A meal replacement: tuna pouches or snack kits, only pop-top cans (the homeless usually do not have can openers) chicken noodle or other soup, beanie weenies, beef stew, Chef Boyardee types.
We pack into gallon Ziploc bags which work great. We provide plastic silverware and napkins for all bags.
Some people like to make it a family activity and make up the bags themselves and this is wonderful. Others choose to buy some of the listed items having us make up the bags and this is wonderful also. Items / bags can be dropped off to the Food Pantry Bin located in the Commons at St. Mark anytime the church is open.
Advocacy : Currently we are working to help educate and raise awareness regarding HUMAN TRAFFICKING. We are working to focus awareness via bulletin announcements, our bulletin board located in the Great Hall and various activities. Please contact the Justice and Peace Committee using the form HERE
Maison Fortune Orphanage : We work to build our relationship, share spiritual and material resources through our formal "twinning" with Maison Fortune Orphanage in Hinche, Haiti. **We are currently working to rebuild our bond and revitalize our awareness in this ministry please contact the Justice and Peace Committee using the form HERE
Prison Ministry : Program is largely built around visits to Deerfield Correctional Facility celebrating a Mass and conversations with the Catholic inmate community. The visits are usually every other month. Contact: Deacon Mike Johnson, 479-1010
Holiday Baskets : We collect gift cards at Thanksgiving and Christmas to provide a holiday meal to in need parishioners and families served by Catholic Charities, Samaritan House, Community Services Board and Refugee Resettlement with a special holiday meal. Contact: Joyce Gridley at 675-6486
Christmas Giving Tree : We collect gift cards, clothing, and toys to help in need parishioners and families served by Catholic Charities, Samaritan House, Community Services Board and Refugee Resettlement helping them to have a merrier Christmas. Contact: Joyce Gridley at 675-6486
Catholic Worker Breakfast Line, Norfolk : Every Thursday morning, a group of parishioners meets pre-dawn in the parking lot of St. Mark's, to travel to Sacred Heart Church in Norfolk they prepare and serve breakfast for the homeless. Contact: Lita Razon, 467-3936
Feed Our Neighbor : Parishioners volunteer to prepare and serve a meal via PIN Ministry and Virginia Beach Winter Shelter three to five times a year. Parishioners also donate food supplies. Please contact the Justice and Peace Committee using the form HERE
Migrant Ministry : Alongside more than twenty other Catholic parishes from both the sides of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel we work to serve the migrant workers by collecting and donating resources. The Eastern Shore Migrant Ministry also coordinates with other organizations such as schools, Head Start, the sheriff’s department, health-care agencies, and literacy councils. Services offered to the migrants vary, but volunteers give out items their parishes have collected such as toiletries, clothing, bedding, grocery gift cards, backpacks, and school supplies, as well as rosaries, holy cards, and holy water. Some volunteers drive the farm workers to doctor appointments, grocery stores, and other locations as needed. Contact: Lita Razon 467-3936
PLARN : Join volunteers Thursday mornings in the Great Hall from 9:30 till 11:00am as they turn unwanted plastic bags into bedding for the homeless. No experience required; we will teach you. No commitments and no meetings to attend, just gathering together to work on making PLARN, mats, and sharing community with each other. Contact: Christine McGrath 757-404-7141
Volunteer Month: During the month of April, we work to focus on recognizing Volunteers; including all here at St Mark as well as those who volunteer in the community at large such as Schools, hospitals, EMS/EMT workers, and so many others. We host a Wine & Cheese reception for our St. Mark volunteers. For those outside our walls we bake goodies and deliver them with our heartfelt thanks for all they do to help others to area organizations in the community. For more information, please contact the Justice and Peace Committee using the form HERE
Respect Life: Throughout the year and a special focus during the month of May. We work to raise awareness and offer activities that reflect respecting ALL life from conception to natural death. Activities include our Baby Bottle Drive to support "Hope4Life", Baby Shower (Baby item drive) for Newborns in Need & Catholic Charities, visits to the elderly at Chesapeake Place, reflections from our Prison Ministry volunteers, advocacy items, and Memorial Day remembrance. Please contact the Justice and Peace Committee using the form HERE
Members of Saint Mark Parish attending "40 Days For Life"
Spiritual Adoption Ministry : The foundation for our Catholic Social Teaching is the “Dignity of Life” to help raise awareness, educate, provide prayer opportunities and reflection our Justice & Peace Committee is pleased to announce the implementation of our newest ministry. As an expression of love and respect for the most basic and innocent life our parish will be offering an opportunity for young and old alike to Spiritually Adopt a child from conception to birth. All our parish family will have the opportunity to “spiritually” adopt a child who is newly conceived in August each year. Not all newly conceived babies are allowed to be born. It is these babies you are being asked to “adopt.”
You may choose to “adopt” a child individually or as a family by signing up beginning in August or at any time throughout the nine months. You may choose a name and whether a boy or girl for the child for whom you will be praying, thereby acknowledging the baby’s humanity. You will be asked to pray for your unborn child and for all unborn children for 9 months. We will provide prayer cards, information sheets, trinkets, and monthly updates to help educate and raise awareness for the unborn. All information and materials will be appropriate for all ages. At the end of the nine months in May to honor the month of Mary and Mother’s Day we will host a birthday party that all are invited to share cake and joy for the birth of our spiritually adopted babies.
There are millions of unborn babies desperately in need of your prayers. Won’t you please “spiritually adopt” one and share the love for life that God have given you? Watch the bulletin for more details as we approach our start date. If you would like to be part of our Spiritual Adoption ministry, please see the display in the Commons or the pledge board in the Great Hall. For more information, please contact us using the form HERE
C.A.S.T. (Chesapeake Area Shelter Team) : Provides overnight winter shelter for the homeless for one week, Wednesday to Wednesday, along with meals, resources, security, and fellowship. Contacts: Karina Turkiewicz, 479-2220, Judy Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Karel Weztel at email@example.com