Three years ago, our confreres from the Province of Our Lady of the Angels in the USA (OLA) began serving St. Anne’s Parish in Columbus, Georgia, USA. There, they found a vibrant faith community that expressed its faith by assisting the poor of the region. St. Anne’s Outreach Center, with over two hundred volunteers, distributes food packages to the needy (especially now during the pandemic), gives clothing to those who need it, assists with medical needs, and helps those who are behind on their rent or utility payments. In this past year, one of the benefactors helping the Center continue its work has been the Anthonian Association in the United States.
One of the creative ways the Outreach Center responds to the needs of the community is by providing suitable clothing to those who have found a new job (the newly employed are often unable to afford such suitable clothing until after they have received their first paycheck). When the Outreach Center assists with the rental needs of its clients, it negotiates with the landlord in order to find an equitable solution to the problem. Moreover, it provides budget training for its clients. The Center has an 88% success rate for clients being able to keep their present housing after six months.
The friars at St. Anne’s Parish are proud to be able to work with Katie BYERS, the director of the Outreach Center program, and with all of the generous parishioners (and non-parishioners) who are responding to the call of Christ to practice corporal works of mercy.
Friar Jude WINKLER, Assistant General for the CFF Federation