MACHIAS — A tradition in Machias of offering kindness and support to many in need during Advent will not be among the efforts postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a wonderful way for our parish to reach out to those in need and help them have a warm and joyful Christmas in the giving spirit of Jesus,” said Fr. Philip Clement.

Fr. Clement, the administrator of St. Peter the Fisherman Parish, speaks of the parish’s annual Community Christmas Giving Tree program, an initiative that has provided a brighter Christmas season for countless area residents over the years.

“The Community Christmas Giving Tree program is all volunteers who are committed to providing Christmas for children of low-income families, adults with developmental disabilities, and the elderly in need in Downeast Maine,” said Fr. Clement.

The parish even opens its hall in Machias to allow for the program to have a centralized place to organize and arrange for the distribution of gifts.

“This year, I am asking the parish to extend its outreach even further by providing more needed items for families, especially since this has been a very trying year for many people,” said Fr. Clement.

The items in need are:

·    Children’s clothing: long sleeve tops/shirts and pants for both boys and girls, sizes 4T, 5T, 6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, 13/14.

·    Adult clothing: long sleeve tops/shirts and sweatpants in adult medium, adult large, and adult X-large for teens and older adults

·    Sweatshirts all sizes  

Those who can participate are asked to bring the items to the parish churches at Mass times. Currently, Masses are offered at Holy Name Church on 8 Free Street in Machias on Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m.; Sacred Heart Church on 14 Hamilton Street in Lubec on Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. and Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.; and St. Michael Church on 51 Elm Street in Cherryfield on Wednesdays at 9 a.m., Fridays at 8:30 a.m., and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. In addition, participants can also drop off donations during the weekly Mass held at St. Timothy Church on Catholic Cemetery Road in Campobello Island on Saturdays at 4 p.m. (Atlantic Time).

Those wishing to donate can also arrange to drop off clothing at the rectory in Machias by calling (207-255-3731.