During the season of Advent, we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ. The culmination of our waiting is the joyous celebration of Christmas where we exchange gifts with one another and spend time with family and friends.
Unfortunately, some people in our community have little to celebrate at this time of year, in particular, the homeless. Sadly, homelessness is a growing problem in our towns and cities. The cold winter weather makes their plight even worse.
As a Parish, how can we respond to the needs of our homeless sisters and brothers?
The Welcome Organisation does wonderful work to alleviate the suffering of the homeless population in the greater Belfast area. It operates a high tolerance/low threshold Drop-in Centre, where homeless people can access a warm meal and hygiene facilities, as well as help and support to get back on their feet. It also operates an Outreach programme, 24/7 – 365 support services and crisis accommodation for the homeless.
At a recent meeting our Parish Pastoral Council proposed that this Advent, our Parish might acknowledge and support the wonderful work that the Welcome Organisation does, by having a collection for it.
At all the Masses on the weekend of the 17th December, the 3rd Sunday of Advent, we are asking parishioners to contribute items that the Welcome Organisation needs. These include:
- SLEEPING BAGS
- FOOD AND DRINK (ANY OF THE FOLLOWING):
- COFFEE | SUGAR | SALT | PEPPER | VINEGAR | CANNED VEGETABLES | SAUCE MIXES – CURRY, GRAVY | COOKING OIL KETCHUP | MAYONNAISE | CEREALS – CORNFLAKES, CRUNCHY NUT, CHERRIOS, ETC.
- KITCHEN ITEMS (ANY OF THE FOLLOWING): COFFEE SHOP-STYLE DISPOSABLE COFFEE CUPS WITH LIDS | MUGS | CUTLERY | LAUNDRY TABLETS | BLEACH | TEA TOWELS | TIN FOIL | CLING FILM
- CLOTHING (ANY OF THE FOLLOWING): UNDERWEAR | JOGGING BOTTOMS | HOODIES JEANS (MENS 32 AND 34, WOMENS 10 AND 12)| T SHIRTS | FEMALE PYJAMAS | WINTER COATS | TRAINERS BOOTS
- MISC: RUCKSACKS | TOWELS | VOUCHERS FOR COFFEE SHOPS/CLOTHES SHOPS | CINEMA VOUCHERS
There will also be a monetary collection at the Church door at all the Masses on that weekend, for those who would prefer to make a donation of money.
The appeal will close after the 12pm Mass on Sunday 17th and refreshments of tea, coffee and biscuits will be available in the Parish hall afterwards. Everyone is welcome.
Please give generously to this appeal.