SPREAD HOPE, NOT FEAR
As members of the St. Anthony community, we are faithful to God’s promises, and together we will keep finding ways to remain faithful. Our world is in need, and it is an open door to share His love.
No matter how uncertain or scary this season may get, fear doesn’t have the final say. Our hope in Christ Jesus, and we are called to share His love with others. In the upcoming weeks and months, we plan to do just that as more and more people in our community are in need.
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Diane has been a member of the parish since 1982. Her cup overflows into many ministry areas, and she serves wherever help is needed. Her current role in the Community Cafe is an amazing example of what it means to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, spreading hope as his dynamic disciple.
Diane’s long history of service includes a variety of roles, both large and small, that have made a big impact on our parish and our community. These roles include things like membership on the Pastoral Council 2008-16 and the Capital Campaign for the Parish Center 2011–14. She has been a Sunday School helper, a coordinator and volunteer for the Homebound ministry, a helper to her husband as Treasurer for St. Vincent DePaul, an organizer of school supply backpack drives, and an active member of the Catholic Daughters at St. Anthony. We should all be so generous with our time and talents!
Today we are celebrating her role helping to coordinate the St. Anthony Community Cafe, which feeds hot fresh meals to the hungry every Sunday evening in Jack Ryan Hall on our campus. Diane started serving the Community Cafe in 2008 and has overseen it’s growth from a basement pantry operation with a few volunteers to a full-grown dinner service with 8-9 crews of volunteers and partnership with the Oregon Food Bank to provide 100+ meals each week. She is responsible for all of the food acquisitions and communicates with the Captains of each crew to suggest a menu and determine extra supplies needed from local stores.
Diane says, “The Community Café has always welcomed anyone who has come for a meal with compassion, dignity, and respect. We serve in the spirit of social justice and charity. Anyone needing a meal is welcome to come to the location we are serving starting at 5:30 pm and they will receive a meal for everyone in their family.”
Since the Covid-19 crisis began in March, the team has transitioned to serving to-go meals for people to take home. They currently serve 50-100 guests with 1-2 meals each week as supplies allow. Many of their guests have become regulars, and relationships play a key role in the purpose of the ministry. Diane and her crew provide a welcoming environment as part of the Community Cafe mission statement. The guests express great appreciation and often let the chiefs know they prepared a wonderful meal. Some of their dinners include hamburgers, pasta and meatballs, tacos, pulled pork sandwiches and chicken orzo casserole.
Does this sound like something you would like to get involved in? The Community Cafe needs your help. Please consider joining a food crew or donating to offer financial support. Everyone has been impacted by Covid-19 and resources are shrinking. In recent months, there has not been enough food to provide meals for everyone who comes, and more crew members are needed. Please consider donating to help with the purchase of packaging materials, bread and fresh produce items in the quantity of 100. Food crews also need more people with food-handlers licenses who would like to help prepare meals.
Please consider getting involved today!
REACH OUT IN LOVE
Karla is a 10-year member at St. Anthony, and she is mostly involved with the parish’s Hispanic community. She and her husband have servants’ hearts. They have demonstrated stewardship in action as a regular part of their lives. Karla has helped with Spanish faith formation classes, offered help with Spanish/English translation, and participated in family prayer groups. Her husband has cooked for countless parish events and retreats. Karla also developed advanced skills in discipleship training by working in a ministry called Disciples Today, Apostles Tomorrow with Deacon Gutierrez several years ago.
With all of this experience at her fingertips, Karla was quick to act when she saw needs arise from wide-spread confusion during the Covid-19 pandemic. Her vision was to personally connect with each family in our parish Hispanic community and to provide a chance to talk, a safe space to ask questions, and offer counseling and support. In that process, she and a team of callers discovered even greater needs and struggles with things like job loss, sickness, depression, fear, lack of resources and families overwhelmed and not able to participate in church activities. Many of the families were afraid to ask for help and did not know where to look for help.
What resulted was the creation of a new ministry called Reach Out In Love. It is a dedicated team of several women who are providing answers and support for our Hispanic community on a daily basis. Many of them have gotten MACG Social Leadership Training. One member, Irma Valdovinos, connects the parish with free medical and dental services. Others collect donations and continue to call, reaching out to keep personal connection. Deacon Marco and Fr. Scott Baier have also been integral supporters of the ministry team, helping each step along the way.
Their stories of need, help and hope are many. Several people have responded generously in beautiful expressions of love and support. The goal of Reach Out In Love is to share love where it is needed most, and to be the hands and feet of Christ in service to our Hispanic community. If you would like help, there are many ways to offer support. Please consider donating toys, food and household items for families in need. You can also donate funds to help these families pay for medical procedures and other emergency needs to survive. If you have tech skills, help is also needed to communicate to the community online and through social media.
FOOD BOX SUMMER
Eric and his wife Jean have been members of St. Anthony for 23 years, and they have been serving our church community with help and support from the beginning. Over the years, Eric has helped by becoming a charter member of a committee to upgrade campus-wide computer systems, serving as Eucharistic Minister for many years, helping with repairs and installation for Stations of the Cross and many other activities.
This year is no different. Despite the many changes and uncertainties bright by Covid-19, Eric has continued to offer his time and talents wherever they are needed. Having summers off as a Bus Driver during the school year, Eric stepped into a full-time volunteer role managing and distributing free food boxes from our campus. This program was in conjunction with the USDA and Pacific Coast Fruit Company, handing out hundreds, and sometimes thousands of boxes per day to people in need.
Eric’s role included supervision of the whole process. Four days a week he would arrive early and leave late after the last volunteer had gone home. Eric would set up supplies, signage and equipment for volunteers every day. He oversaw traffic flow and parking logistics, managed inventory, and made arrangements for safe storage to preserve leftover boxes.
This is what Eric has to say about the experience
“I was initially hesitant to take on this task with what was going on in my life but once I took it on I really enjoyed it. It is clearly about the people and their needs. It is a basic of our faith to help others in need. The feedback I got from the customers and St. Anthony leadership was extremely rewarding.“
Eric also shared that the most rewarding part of this experience was communicating with the people as they drove through the line and getting to know the volunteers. They would talk to him about how the program helped them in a time of need, and how being a part of the program affected them personally.