Mission Moment: A Christmas Collaboration
The lighting in Holy Family mission is dim. The Lafayette, Tenn., church, with its rows and rows of pews, often looks like it is closed during the day, but its muted interior masks a bustling parish. Shortly before Christmas, the building was a frenzy of activity.
In one area, Deacon Jose Pineda counseled a family preparing to enter the Church through RCIA. In the back, the confirmation class addressed Christmas cards that they later personally distributed to residents of a local nursing home.
In the main worship area, a handful of parishioners gathered to sort and wrap presents, assemble cardboard boxes and fill them with bread, milk, eggs, ham, canned goods and boxes of potatoes and cake mix.
To everyone there, the work was routine. They regularly package food for the needy and annually gather presents for less fortunate families, but their collective efforts rival those of a church twice Holy Family's size.
Each Lafayette recipient received at least two large cardboard boxes with food and a garbage bag filled with wrapped presents. Children would soon open clothes, toys and games donated by Holy Family's congregation.
In the lobby, the recipients of Holy Family's generosity lined the hall. They helped the volunteers carry in pallets of food and helped each other cart their boxes and presents to their cars. They spoke amongst themselves about how they used their lunch break to collect these boxes and how these gifts would make the holidays more special for their families.
It was a simple outreach effort, one that took only about six hours to complete, but it endeared at least 30 families forever to Glenmary and its mission.