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Ministry for the Poor

"Go to the poor: you will find God."

(St. Vincent de Paul)

The Ministry of the Poor was created by the Pastor, Father Peter Nguyen, in November 2023, in accordance with a recommendation of the Parish Council. The discussion document relied upon by the Council in formulating its recommendation to Father Peter is available upon request by any interested person. Father Peter agreed with the recommendation without qualification.

The biblical foundation for this Ministry lies in the Words of Christ and His Way of Life.

In Matthew 25, 31-46 Christ said:

“ … 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. Whatever you did for the least of my brothers you did for me … what you not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me … and these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life …”

And, in Luke 21, 1-4, the Words of Christ and the context within which He was speaking, are described as follows:

When he looked up (having denounced the Scribes for their hypocrisy), he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.

Those Words and the Life of Christ are the inspiration for the Ministry, and all of the people working through, or with, it in the Vernon Area.

There are several components of the Ministry.

  • Permanent food boxes are situated in all of the parishes – St. James, OLOV and St. Benedict’s. Your donations are appreciated.

  • Volunteers to move the donated food to the recipients are required. Speak to one of the contact persons, if you are interested.

  • Recipient organizations, or people in need, have been identified by the contact persons, and approved by the Pastor. Any such organization or person is encouraged to seek help through this Ministry. All requests will be treated respectfully and in confidence, if that is requested by a person, and is feasible in the circumstances.

  • Extra donations of food may be received on Special Occasions, such as Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. Announcements of these events will be made from time-to-time, in the parishes and on this website. Your generosity on these Special Occasions is also appreciated.

  • Anyone interested in sponsoring a refugee, personally or through a sponsorship agreement holder such as the Diocese of Vancouver, may be assisted by the contact person(s) of this Ministry. Some parishioners have experience in such sponsorship in the recent past – they, too, may be of assistance to anyone contemplating such a sponsorship. Our parishes are alert to, and sympathetic with, the plight of refugees and migrants in desperate circumstances throughout the World.

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