Parishes in the southeast part of Hillsborough County are seeking to expand food distribution to families who are in great need. This is one example of how they are Courageously Living the Gospel.
“This is the dream for our deanery-wide Catholic Impact Initiative, that we can make a difference in the lives of people in our community who are sadly going to bed hungry,” said Father John McEvoy, pastor of St. Anne Parish in Ruskin and dean of the Southeast Deanery.
In order to transform lives through love, Courageously Living the Gospel calls for nine Catholic Impact Initiatives that will fill a need in local communities.
The pastors of the Southeast Deanery met recently to explore the possibility of building a new food bank to serve people in need.
Father McEvoy knows the difference this type of project can make. In 2012, his parish expanded its food pantry with a newly constructed 4,000 square foot building. They are now serving more than 500 families each week, up from 175. They also serve 25-30 homeless individuals each week.
Also, their ministry was recognized by Feeding Tampa Bay and they were awarded a refrigerated trailer with a generator that enables them to pick up donated food from nearby grocers and to take food into areas impacted by natural disasters.
They have 80 volunteers who give of their time, seven days a week. Despite this vibrant ministry, they see the need is growing.
“There are many new people coming to the area and they aren’t always financially secure. I have seen the need continue to grow,” said Paul Wiskotoni, St. Anne’s volunteer Food Pantry Coordinator.
Father McEvoy has asked the pastors of his deanery to recruit volunteers to serve on a committee to determine if a new food bank would be feasible.
Deans have been asked to submit a proposal to Bishop Gregory Parkes for their Catholic Impact Initiative by March 11, 2019.
About Catholic Impact Initiatives
Courageously Living the Gospel consists of nine goals including the following: Each deanery will launch a Catholic Impact Initiative that addresses one local community issue and mobilizes cross-parish creativity to establish desired outcomes. Initiate implementation by December 31, 2019.
These initiatives will be led by the nine vicars forane (deans) of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. The deans are appointed to serve as liaisons between the bishop and a group of pastors in a certain geographic area of the diocese known as a vicariate (deanery). In many ways, they are the bishop’s representatives for coordinating regional collaboration.
About Catholic Outreach
Jesus Christ made caring for the last, the lost and the least a priority in his ministry. This radical love transformed the world in the time of Jesus and it continues to transform the world today.
St. Anne Parish Food Pantry