Christian Service Commission Minutes, January, 2018


JANUARY 9, 2018, 7PM

ATTENDANCE: Elaine Cervera, JoAnn Bonahoom, Marcia Ouellette, Deacon Johnny, Kay Torigian, Mary Staeger, Susan Barnett, Tom Lenard, Tina Tisler, Joan Cutler, Jan Weaver and Pat Zitkus

OPENING PRAYER – Deacon Johnny Vanneste

APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Tabled until February meeting


SOUTH OAKLAND SHELTER: Chairperson: Kay Torigan, assisted by Mary Staeger and Susan Barnett

  • Contact at Our Shepherd: Brent (

  • Week of February 11-17 (No meal on Wednesday, February 14)

  • Traditionally Christ Our Light! volunteers serve dinner on Friday and Saturday which would be February 16 & 17. This has not yet been confirmed.

  • Normally 50-60 persons are served. A count will be available closer to the date. Children will also be part of the total.

  • Kay provided a handout about SOS and a suggested dinner menu for the two days that COL will be responsible.

  • This month a poster for sign-up will be available after masses. Kay will provide the poster.

  • It was suggested that volunteers man the sign-up table. Parishioners are asked to sign in only one slot and not to add names to the bottom.

  • It was suggested that another location might be sought to have a second SOS experience since it is so popular with our parishioners


  • Susan Barnett volunteered to chair this event and will provide a Valentine Tree..

  • Mary Ann provides homebound labels so that each homebound parishioner will receive 5-6 Valentines cards with a personal note inside

  • The labels are placed on paper hearts and displayed in the back of church or on the tree.

  • Parishioners pick up labels and mail cards.


Reception chaired by Karen Roush; Boxes to active military by Elaine Cervera and the youth group.

  • Response from the parish was phenomenal. Each soldier on the list received 2-3 boxes

  • A card went into each box that was personally written by teens (only signed their first name)

  • One concern was that too many boxes of donated goods were opened and that the process was a bit chaotic

  • This was a teen project and they tend to do things quickly and enthusiastically   Items are sorted the same night as the packing occurs. No items are ever wasted. If extra items are left they are repurposed to Thanksgiving, Christmas and other agency donations that need these items.

  • 65 Blessing bags were compiled by teens with leftover toiletries which were donated to St. Mary’s and Pope Francis Center’s ministry to the homeless.

  • The opening of too many boxes will be more closely monitored next year.

  • Expected dates next year for boxes: Nov 4 or Nov 11

THANKSGIVING RECAP. (Joan Cutler chaired with Renee Surdu as co-chair)

  • We hosted a very successful Food drive for Thanksgiving. The parish is always extremely generous

  • Issues did arise concerning space and volunteers: Joan would like to reserve the Social Hall for packing of boxes the Sunday before Thanksgiving 2018. Also, a better recruitment of volunteers is needed – more in the bulletin and more announcements from the pulpit (Deacon Johnny will help with this).

  • Suggestion to cancel Coffee & Donuts that Sunday

  • Suggestion to use the Capuchins’ Sunrise Bakery for pies next Thanksgiving

CHRISTMAS RECAP- Chaired by Hank & Maud Plumer and Joann Bonahoom

  • Over 600 gift tags were taken and filled by our parishioners (generosity is amazing)

  • It was suggested that next year we leave some families out for those parishioners that wish to sponsor a whole family. Several requests were made for this.

  • Biggest issue was late returns (some gifts arrive AFTER Christmas) which made for many delivery trips at a very busy time of year.

  • Suggested that due date be included on the gift tag labels, a separate flyer go out with the deadline reinforced, pulpit announcements, and reminders on the monthly calendar.

  • Second issue was a lack of homebound information which made deliveries very difficult or time-consuming. This will be addressed under New Business.



A new committee was called to organize the homebound information for the parish.

  • Information needed: a phone number, address, person who visits, person who brings Eucharist, persons who send cards. Also need to ask the people if they want these services if they are not getting them.

  • Michelle Byrnes coordinates the cards; Joan Cutler volunteered to help with the information gathering.


Next meeting is Tuesday, February 6 at 7PM

Will discuss: Gleaners Telethon volunteers, providing transportation to Mass, Easter, and Wee Care Baby Shower

Respectfully submitted, JoAnn Bonahoom