Pastoral Outreach

Saint Vincent de Paul Society: Founded in Paris in 1820, this lay organization found a home in Southbridge in 1955. Previous conferences at Sacred Heart, Notre Dame and Saint Mary Parishes have combined into one Conference for Blessed John Paul II Parish. It continues to reach out to our community and its various needs providing emergency assistance, organizing a food pantry, delivering flowers at holidays, and fundraising for these needs. To join, call Tom O’Brien at 508-765-0722.

Food Pantry: Our food pantry operates under the auspices of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. Food is distributed on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings. Volunteers help to stock the shelves of our new pantry, assisting patrons with groceries to their vehicles and picking up monthly allotments at the Food Bank in Shrewsbury. Other volunteers help by picking up bread, shopping locally in bulk for needed items, and collecting other donations from local sources. To volunteer, please call 508-765-0245 and leave a message Nelson Boiteau.

Senior Supplement Program: Begun in April of 2010 this is a program that provides basic necessities including food staples, meat and dairy items, and other essentials along with a $10 gift card to anyone over 65 who qualifies. The program operates the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. Participation is by appointment only. To volunteer, contact Len Lazure at 508-764-4071.

Giving Trees: For Advent and Lent, we invite families to help with their sacrifices and generosity at these special times to help assist those in need in our area. The weekend before Thanksgiving, our Advent Giving Tree is installed. We accept requests from needy families for a new item of clothing for children under age 14; these requests are placed on tags that make up our Giving Tree in church. A family adds the item to their shopping list and returns it wrapped for gift giving with the tag attached to the present. Volunteers can assist by: taking requests during scheduled times, sorting the packages or delivering gifts in time for the Christmas holiday. During Lent, the tree holds tags with a variety of items that are used to fill special Easter baskets for the women and children of Abby’s House and Visitation House in Worcester. These items are collected through Lent. The week before Holy Week volunteers are needed to assemble the baskets and deliver them to Worcester in time for Easter. To volunteer for either of these projects, contact Elaine Black 508-764-4476.

Holiday Flower Delivery: Join our Saint Vincent de Paul Society in delivering flowers to our parish shut-ins the Saturday before Christmas and the day before Palm Sunday. Flowers are provided. To assist call Jim Keyes at 508-764-2040.