In the spirit of our parish patron, St. Vincent de Paul, we strive to lovingly serve the poor and those in need. It’s part of our parish mission; and something we do well, said Jenni Vankat, Pastoral Minister and Director of Adult Formation. But our challenge is a lack of space on the parish campus for our outreach ministry and its growth, she said.
One key function of the new Parish Center will be growing, enhancing and expanding our outreach ministry, Vankat said. A section of the lower level of the Parish Center is designated for that purpose, she said.
More space, for example, will allow our small but necessary food pantry to grow into a pantry where guests select the food instead of receiving already prepared bags of food, she said. It also will provide our One Can Help food ministry easier collection and storage for the pantry foods volunteers take to the Juan Diego Center and the Heart Ministry Center, she said.
There is even consideration of an official outreach center with times during the week for people to receive food or crisis assistance, and attend education sessions on budgeting and learning English, Vankat said.
Having dedicated space in the Parish Center for the food pantry and other outreach efforts puts the outreach part of our mission in the forefront, she said.
“Our parishioners will then see that we are living the mission and taking an active part in serving those struggling,” Vankat said. “Our guests can have a dignified space that focuses on assisting them in their time of need.”