FALMOUTH — “A surplus of generosity from our wonderful parishioners is a great problem to have,” said Fr. Phil Tracy, pastor of the Parish of the Holy Eucharist, “and our Social Justice & Peace Commission looked to share the bounty.”

Like many Maine parishes, the Parish of the Holy Eucharist (Holy Martyrs of North America Church, Falmouth; Sacred Heart Church, Yarmouth; St. Gregory Church, Gray; St. Jude Church, Freeport) conducts a special holiday program each year to support local families and food pantries at Christmas. This year, the giving from parishioners was so generous that the parish’s Social Justice & Peace Commission, which oversees the program, ended up with a surplus of $9,000.

“The commission recommended that we give the money to support Catholic Charities Maine’s Relief & Hope Services to help serve those in need in our communities who have immediate needs in a time of crisis,” said Fr. Tracy.

Relief & Hope aims to help Mainers get back on their feet should they face situations not addressed by assistance from other agencies or community resources.

“Jesus encourages us to go out and meet those in need of shelter or, in times of crisis and fear, affirm their worth and guide them towards assistance to the challenges they face,” said Michael Smith, chief program officer for Catholic Charities Maine. “These parishioners answered that call.”

For more information about Relief & Hope Services, including ways you can receive or offer help, call 207-523-2770 or 1-800-781-8550. You can also email psm@ccmaine.org.