One Christmas giving ministry that was developed nearly 40 years ago receives requests from the Society of St Vincent de Paul, area churches, referral agencies, Deepwood, which aids people who have developmental disabilities, and nursing home residents who do not have families. During Advent, parishioners pick a scroll and purchase gifts, which are then distributed.
This year, more than 2,000 gifts were collected to assist more than 235 needy families and individuals. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the process was revised to ensure safety by adding an online component for picking gifts.
Many ministries at the parish, including St. Gabriel School classes, Christ Child and Good Shepherd, participate by adopting a family or organization. They “adopt” the whole family, buy and wrap the gifts, which are dropped off at the parish for distribution.
St. Gabriel also participated in Project Angel Tree, a program for children who have an incarcerated parent. The children were provided with a gift in the parent’s name along with a card that the parent helped compose. In addition, children receive a Bible from Project Angel Tree.
“We have a very generous parish. It’s not just a few—it’s the whole parish community pulling together,” said Father Fred Pausche, St. Gabriel pastor. “The overwhelming generosity amazes me. I am also thankful to the volunteers who make all of this possible. It’s the true spirit of Christmas that helps us prepare our hearts for Jesus.”
In addition, St. Gabriel will offer a live Nativity this year, with the times coinciding with weekend Masses. The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 19, with Mass at 5, followed by a broadcast of Christmas reflections and music on your car radio in parking lot only at 101.9FM at 6:30 p.m. The live Nativity will be displayed until 7:30.
On Dec. 20, the live Nativity will take place 9:4 a.m. to 1 p.m., while a recording of the reflections will be broadcast on 101.9 FM.
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