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Outreach

Radical Hospitality Committee working at the annual Advent Brunch.

Our parish strives to live the Gospel through social outreach to family, friends, and all those in need. Help us to nurture, love, and live in the spirit of Jesus Christ at St. Thomas Catholic Church. Jesus embraced and worked for the dignity of every person. He was sent to give good news to the poor, to proclaim release for prisoners and victims, to heal the sick and wounded, and to proclaim God’s favor for all of the people of God.

Faith is not only an individual and private matter. Jesus asked all of us to join him, to become active disciples, to reach out and comfort the alienated and marginalized, to empower and provide for those who have nothing and to comfort those who are hurting.

Opportunities

Advent Brunch

Join your parish family after Sunday Mass on the Third Sunday of Advent in Angela Hall for an Advent Brunch. Don’t miss this Advent opportunity for great food and fellowship! Sign up Sheets will be available soon to let us know that you’re coming. Save the date for this great St. Thomas Advent tradition!

Holy Thursday Potluck

The Holy Thursday evening potluck is a St. Thomas tradition. You are invited to join us as we gather for food and fellowship in Angela Hall. Bring a side dish or dessert to share. Then after the potluck we gather for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper in the church.

 Food Basket Project

A favorite Advent outreach activity at St. Thomas is the preparing of Christmas food baskets for families in need. The project is coordinated by Catholic Charities. The parish commits to sponsoring 50-75 Christmas Food Baskets for families. On the first weekend of Advent parishioners may sign up to sponsor a basket. A list of the needed items and the bags you will use to return the food to St. Thomas are provided. It’s a great Advent activity for individuals or families!

Annual Parish Picnic

Food, fun, and fellowship are the cornerstones of the annual Parish Picnic at Saint Thomas and Our Lady of Lourdes. Each year, the talents of many in our parishes are combined to make a fun afternoon for parishioners of all ages. The afternoon begins with celebration of Holy Mass. Volunteering to help at the picnic is a great way to get even more involved in the life of the parish and get to know your fellow parishioners better!

Prison Ministry

The prison ministry offers prayer and support to Catholic women at the women’s state prison in Decatur. Decatur Correctional Center. The ministry tries to meet the spiritual needs of women by conducting communion and prayer services, Bible Study, praying the Rosary, and offering groups on healing family relationships and seeking God’s help in battling addiction. The ministry also coordinates the parish involvement in the Prison Fellowship’s Angel tree Program that provides Christmas gifts to children of incarcerated parents.

Lunch Bunch

The Lunch Bunch is a group of parishioners that meets on the second Tuesday of the month for lunch and conversation. The group goes to a different area restaurant each month. The location is usually selected by members of the group that are in attendance that month. It is a fun group of people. It is open to all. For information, watch for the announcement in the parish bulletin.

55 Plus Community

The 55 Plus Community provides an opportunity for Senior Adults to meet with their peers to socialize, exchange ideas, along with spiritual and educational enrichment. The 55+ Community at St. Thomas and Our Lady of Lourdes (OLOL) parishes gathers on the third Wednesday of the month. They begin with Mass at 11:30 a.m. in St. Anne’s Chapel at OLOL followed by a noon potluck in the ajacent Enrichment Center. The table service, beverage, and entree are provided; everyone brings a dish to share. A guest speaker is invited each month. All 55 and over are welcome! Read the parish bulletin for information about each month’s 55 Plus Gathering.

Sister Parish in Guatemala

St. Thomas Parish is proud to have a “sister relationship” with Immaculate Conception Parish in Comapa, Guatemala. We have come to know the challenges of life faced by our brothers and sisters in the Third World. The relationship has blessed St. Thomas Parish through learning about our sister parishioners, the faith we share, and the different ways in which we practice it. Since this relationship began in 2001, we have blessed our Central American brothers and sisters of Immaculate Conception Parish with over $100,000 in financial support. Read more about our Sister Parish. The Sister parish Committee meets after 10 a.m. Mass on the first Sunday of the month. You’re invited! Read more about our Sister Parish in Guatemala.

Monthly Bread Sunday to support the Good Samaritan Inn

One weekend each month St. Thomas receives individually wrapped bread and bagels from the Good Samaritan Inn that were donates by Panera Bread. Parishioners make a donation to the Good Samaritan Inn in exchange for receiving the bread. In this way we are able to help the good work of the Good Samaritan Inn in feeding the hungry in our community.

Prison Fellowship Angel Tree

Participating in the Angel Tree Program is a heartwarming experience for parishioners. Through the Angel Tree program, Christmas presents are delivered by parishioners to the children of incarcerated parents on their behalf along with a note from the parent. For the past few years St. Thomas has purchased and delivered 50 presents to children in the Decatur area. Angel Tree presents an opportunity to bring the love of Christ into the home by our gifts, words, and prayers as we share the Christmas message. Would you like to volunteer?

Oasis Cookouts

Our parish hosts an annual cookout for our brothers and sisters at Oasis Day Center for the homeless. This is an opportunity to serve our neighbor with dignity and to be in solidarity with persons who are in great need. The cookout is usually held on a Sunday afternoon. We need help to cook and serve food, to provide hospitality during the event, and to set up and clean up. Read the Parish Bulletin for information about the upcoming Oasis events.

Change for Life! New Life Pregnancy Center

There are many ways to uphold the value of human life year-round. One of the ways St. Thomas upholds the sanctity of human life is by supporting the New Life Pregnancy Center’s Baby Bottle Campaign. From Mother’s Day to Father’s Day we fill baby bottles with spare change, cash, or checks. Donations support programs and materials for those who come to New Life Pregnancy Center for help. You give a future and a hope!

Annual Bread Sunday for Catholic Charities Faith in Action

We will have a Bread Sunday second collection this weekend for the Faith in Action program of Catholic Charities. Our Bread Sunday will be Bread-less! We will not have bread to purchase, just the special collection. The money donated is used to help fund the F.I.A. program which offers volunteers who provide non-medical assistance to homebound seniors to help them maintain their independence, dignity, and quality of life within their home environment. Faith in Action helps seniors 55 and over with transportation, home visits, yard work, reading, etc. Thank you for your support!

Contributions to MAX, DOVE, Catholic Charities, and OASIS

Each month parishioners generously drop money into a Basket for the Needy in the back of church. At the end of the month the total amount donated is shared among OASIS (a drop-in shelter for the homeless), Catholic Charities, D.O.V.E. (domestic violence shelter for women and their children), and MAX Fund. All of these organizations serve clients in great need. All donations are appreciated – big or small; they all add up.

Right to Life

Our parish has a dedicated Pro-Life Outreach Ministry. This group actively participates in the annual Life Chain event in October and the annual New Life pregnancy Center fundraiser. Life issues are among the most important to us as Catholics, and it is crucial that we actively show our commitment and support to promote change in a way that will protect the pre-born and inspire a better appreciation for the value of all life.

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