FROM the PAST:
Since the early days of St. Francis de Sales Church (est. 1903) the needy have found a place of welcome and assistance. For decades no records were kept of the untold hundreds who asked for and received services from the church. After the establishment of the Altar-Rosary Society in 1928, the women of the parish made outreach their special concern. In 1960 the outreach services of the Catholic community became affiliated with the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Some may remember this service from purchased homes in the area. In 1997 the current site of St. Vincent’s was opened dispensing food, clothing, and some furniture to the needy. In 2014 this is now a shared ministry of both parishes, the Holland Catholic Community.
St Vincent de Paul Center is located at 170 W. 13th Street (across from St. Francis de Sales Church) Hours are on Monday and Wednesdays - 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm and on Saturdays at noon-4:00 pm. Donations of canned corn and green beans, or peanut butter and jelly, rice or spaghetti and sauce, and any other healthy foods are appreciated. Some donations are collected when attending weekend Masses at St. Francis de Sales and at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Churches. During good weather the Center also accepts donations of furniture which are in good condition; call Sr. Noella at 616-392-6700. Clothes can also be delivered to the Center and then made available for a small donation to any who come to the Center. Your donations of food, clothes, furniture and money make this ministry possible. In asking for small donations from clients they also help the Center continue to provide fresh produce and meat along with nonperishable food. Thank you to each of you who are donors for your generosity to St Vincent de Paul Center! Together we feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Phone: 394-0676
NOW and INTO the FUTURE:
The next step for each of us is to ask, "Why are there poor people in such a rich country? How can we take action to end hunger in this country and in the world?"
One answer is offered by Bread for the World. You can access some information on this organization on this web site. An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Service is the web site, Catholics Confront Global Poverty (CCGP). It represents the official voice of the Roman Catholic Church in the US on policy issues related to improving the lives of poor and vulnerable people worldwide. You can sign up for action alerts on their site.