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Father Wilson's Bulletin Article

March 26, 2023

Almsgiving at Home

By Father Tom Wilson, Pastor
A recent survey by a local consulting firm reported that 47% of families in the Lakeville School District describe themselves as “under financial stress.” To put that into perspective, that number was 49% in 2009, the height of the worst economic recession since the 1970s. 
At first glance, the number shocked me. However, it made sense when I compared that to our outreach funds. The financial stress families have been experiencing is made evident in our parish-based Hunger Relief fund. The fund has been drawn down from over $20,000 last summer to just under $10,000 today.
Lent is a time of almsgiving, specifically to a charity whose mission is alleviating the hardships of the poor. There are multiple places we can do almsgiving; locally, nationally, and internationally. If your Lenten almsgiving is not yet complete, directing some of it toward home would benefit many people in the surrounding area.
If you are unfamiliar with our Hunger Relief Fund, it is a restricted fund in the parish that is used for getting food to people with food challenges and emergencies. The most well-known projects it funds are Loaves and Fishes, where a team of parishioners serves meals once a month at Hope Presbyterian Church in Richfield and occasionally at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Bloomington. It is also used to help fund Dinner on the Hill. All Saints also participates in the Open Door Summer Lunch program for children in the south metro area. Numbers are climbing in these outreach activities.
We are also called to serve our brothers and sisters throughout the archdiocese, both Catholic and not Catholic, through the annual Catholic Services Appeal Foundation (CSAF). CSAF is an independent foundation set up to assist ministries in the archdiocese that serve the poor, vulnerable, students, schools, and others in need in areas more economically disadvantaged than we are in the south metro. It is a direct response to Jesus’ call to serve the poor and afflicted. These ministries are all in the category of programs that no single parish can do on its own.
As of now, we are considerably behind in our goal to contribute 5% of our annual Sunday giving to the CSAF. The sooner we can hit that goal of $127,000, the better.
Economic stress is real and present not only in our own community but also in the greater metro area. Assisting people struggling is not just a good idea, but an obligation in our call as disciples of Jesus Christ. Most of us have few if any opportunities to do this work directly in our daily lives. Our Hunger Relief Fund and the CSAF are good and convenient ways to respond to our call to almsgiving close to home this Lent.
Read more about the Hunger Relief Fund on page two.