Each year here at Sacred Heart we try to participate as a parish in a project outside of the church. In my first year, we helped Interfaith prepare some apartments for transitional housing, and last year we helped put a well in Bethlehem. We participate in these outreach efforts as a way of remembering that we are called to serve one another and that the Church is much larger than just our community here a Sacred Heart. Typically we dedicate the month of January to speaking about this project, catechesis about serving one another, and opportunities for people to donate financially to the project if they choose to do so.
For a variety of reasons this past year, that January push never materialized. I was a little bothered that it never happened, as I felt somewhat personally responsible, and was about to start kicking myself when the Lord in His mercy spoke through one of the parishioners. An opportunity came up to participate with Habitat for Humanity in building a house in the area. As a parish, we will have a chance to get involved in a variety of ways. During the month of July we will have our “House” in the back of the church for those who may want to contribute financially. As always there is no expectation that anyone give financially, but for some this is the best way to give of the gifts God has bestowed on them.
We will also have the opportunity to give of our time in the actual building of the house on one of the “build days” the parish has been assigned. We, along with a number of other organizations, will come together in helping to do the manual labor necessary for the construction of the house. Each group has been given a couple of days on which they provide labor for the day. The actual work we will participate in is sort of a grab bag, because the needs of construction don’t follow a strict schedule, but we do know that whatever we are asked to help with will be meaningful and appreciated. We will be having a number of informational sessions about the project as well as parish updates periodically to see how we have made a difference as a parish. It should prove to be a worthy task.
Fr. Joseph Altenhofen