Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 05 August |
The Commemoration of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major

‘This was a chance to highlight our deacons’

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 08/19/16

Deacons at work in Santa Clarita, California:

Every Sunday in July, Deacon Jay Reiser greeted Our Lady of Perpetual Help parishioners after Sunday services and collected donations for the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry. Hundreds of churchgoers participated, stopping to chat with Reiser and offer canned and boxed foods. Each week Reiser called on parishioners to donate a different type of item. One weekend it was boxed macaroni and cheese, jars of peanut butter, another canned meats. One weekend featured boxed cereal. More than $5,000 in both monetary and food donations were collected throughout the month. “People were so excited, they asked why we don’t do this every month,” said Reiser. “Collections at the food pantry go down during the summer, so this is often when the need is the greatest.” The food collection program was a part of a larger outreach program launched by Our Lady of Perpetual Help for the summer, dubbed “Summer in His Service.” Beginning in July, each month one of the church’s deacons leads an outreach effort. Reiser spearheaded the canned food drive. Deacon Dick Karl attempted to gain more church volunteers. Deacon Kevin McCarthy rounded up volunteers for a beach cleanup day. “This was a chance to highlight our deacons and let parishioners work alongside them,” said Margaret Shapiro, campaign coordinator for the parish. “We wanted to find a way to impact the parish and Santa Clarita and have a global impact.” Shapiro came up with the idea to have each of the deacons lead a project for the church, not only as a way to outreach into the greater community, but also to give parishioners an opportunity to meet the deacons and get to know them beyond seeing them assist at church services.

Read on.

Photo: Martha Garcia

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
Philip Kosloski
Most priests can’t absolve these sins
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
Cerith Gardiner
Nightbirde’s beautiful message as she drops out of TV show
Gianmarco Tamberi AND Mutaz Essa Barshim
Cerith Gardiner
This Olympic event captures the true meaning of the Games
See More