WINDHAM — Bishop Robert Deeley and Bishop George Nkuo, bishop of the Diocese of Kumbo in Cameroon, will concelebrate a special Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, located on 919 Roosevelt Trail in Windham, on Sunday, July 30 at 10:15 a.m. All are welcome. Bishop Nkuo is in Maine visiting the priests from Cameroon currently serving in our state.
During the Mass, the Matthew 25 Award will be given to the Social Justice and Peace ministry at St. Anthony of Padua Parish, of which Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church is a part. Currently, the ministry feeds the homeless through the distribution of bag lunches, feeds immigrants through the delivery of perishable and non-perishable food, hosts a Thanksgiving Food Drive and Christmas Giving Tree, organizes weekly meals for the community with other area churches, and much more.
“The ministry serves anyone: homeless, families, immigrants, those who call the parish, recipients at food pantries, and all races, nationalities, religions, ages, and ideologies, regardless of faith affiliation,” said Christine Lynch, a volunteer with the ministry. “God provided our eyes to see and hands to do God’s work and a heart to love those who have challenges. We will ‘feed the lambs’ as long as we are able.”
The ministry is using the award money to purchase a freezer to store more perishable food for those served in its homeless and immigrant outreach programs. Bishop Deeley will also present ministry representatives with a stained-glass plaque during Sunday’s Mass.
Matthew 25 Awards are given to Maine parishes for exemplary efforts that directly serve vulnerable people in need in their community. The awards are intended to expand the capacity of a parish ministry to serve people or to help develop a new social ministry. The awards also recognize parishes providing “charitable service” as defined by Pope Benedict XVI in his encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est” (God Is Love). He listed three specific qualities of a Church-related charitable service: it responds to immediate needs and specific situations with genuine love and heartfelt concern; it is independent of parties or ideologies, but sees with the heart where love is needed and acts accordingly; and it is love given freely. For more information, visit www.ccmaine.org/parish-social-ministry/matthew-25-project.