The entrance to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church features flags of many nations and a “BIENVENIDOS” welcome banner.
A recent Sisters of Mercy Newsletter presents a lesson in solidarity among those on the margins. In this case, it involves the parishioners of our parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Charlotte, North Carolina and the House of Mercy project of the Sisters of Mercy
Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Giving Sets the Bar for Generosity
In 2010, Sister Jill Weber (a Sister of Mercy and House of Mercy Board Member) sent a letter to local Catholic churches requesting support for House of Mercy’s Walk for AIDS. Reverend Father Vincent Finnerty and Adilia Rodriguez, Coordinator of Catechism for youth at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church (OLGCC), responded to Sr. Jill’s request for help.
Supporting the Sisters of Mercy’s AIDS ministry seemed a great way for church youth to learn and practice spiritual and corporal works of mercy. OLGCC church members raised $2500 for our 2010 Walk for AIDS and participated as a team. Since 2010, OLGCC Walk Teams have raised $37,984 to help care for our low-income residents living with AIDS.
“I look forward to serving on the House of Mercy Board to continue the great work of this AIDS ministry.”
Rev. Vincent Finnerty, CM
The members of Our Lady of Guadalupe are not wealthy, in fact, many have immigrated to the U.S. from other countries in hopes of building a better life; others are first generation born in the United States.Their generosity stems from a strong commitment to mercy, justice, and community.Father Finnerty is a new House of Mercy board member bringing experience working with AIDS patients in Mexico and Charlotte and a big heart.
The first Sunday of each month is “Mercy Day” at OLGCC where those in need can pick up food collected throughout the month by church members.
At the start of Lent, catechism students receive a card to collect coins. Each youth is encouraged to donate a quarter per day during Lent as a gift to those who need care at House ofMercy. With over 400 youth ages 5 through17 participating in religious education OLGCC, those quarters add up!
OLGCC Walk for AIDS Teams have placed first or second in fundraising at the last eight Walks and have had the biggest contingent participating. It is great to have so many youth involved.
“Helping House of Mercy is an amazing opportunity for youth to learn the practices of Jesus Christ, and to serve the needy, the ill, and the elderly.”Lorena Bernal and daughter Raquel Mera (age 15).
Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church members put their faith and values into action as described in their catechism textbook, “We are called to promote the common good and to care for those most in need by participating in social, economic and political life, using the values of our faith to shape our decisions and actions.”
The support given to House of Mercy by this parish and by all of our volunteers is a living testament to mercy in action. On behalf of the staff and residents at House of Mercy, we express our special appreciation to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church:
“Nuestros corazones están llenos de gratitud.”
PS I personally was struck by the simplicity and practicality of the wish list from the residents further on in the Newsletter.
RESIDENCE WISH LIST
These items are needed at House of Mercy and can be dropped off at 304 McAuley Circle in Belmont on the Sisters of Mercy campus (or call 704-825-4711).
Donated meals and drinks: bottled juice, soda, Kool Aid, Crystal Light, tea bags, Gatorade