St. Monica, along with St. Gabriel Parish, have partnered together to serve as a "Host Congregation" for Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis in 2020. Family Promise combats homelessness among families. See their website for more information on all that Family Promise does - the mission and vision for greater Indianapolis: www.fpgi.org
One part of what Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis does is the "Interfaith Hospitality Network." This is the part of the Family Promise work which is accomplished through "Host Congregations" - and the way Parishioners can be involved. In 2020 St. Monica will host in our Parish Outreach Center during the weeks of February 2 - February 9 and May 24 - May 31.
How it works...
Each Host Congregation participating in the Interfaith Hospitality Networkprovides overnight lodging and meals for four families (up to 14 people) for one week at a time. Each congregation takes a turn hosting three or four weeks per year. Network "guests" stay in each congregation from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. daily. Each morning guests drive or ride in the IHN van to the Family Promise Day Center (1850 N. Arsenal Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46218). Children generally then go to school or daycare, while most adults go to work at various locations in and around Indianpolis. The adults who either cannot work or are seeking work meet with a case manager and build skills for lasting financial stability while applying for housing and/or employment.
The volunteers are the lifeblood of the program. Volunteers set up the rooms and beds on Sunday. They cook and serve a meal each night. They provide bag lunches and easy breakfast foods. They plan activities for children and families, and engage with everyone present. They sleep overnight in a fifth room. They drive the guests in the IHN van to the Day Center each morning, and then drive guests back to the congregation each evening. They wash the sheets at the end of the week, they pack up the beds, and they drop the trailer and van off at the next congregation the following Sunday.
Kairos Prison Ministry
Kairos is a Christian, ecumenical, prison ministry in which men and women volunteers bring Christ's love and forgiveness to incarcerated individuals atthe Plainfield Men's Correctional Facility and the Rockville Women's Correctional Facility. The men volunteers are in Plainfield on weekends in April and October and the women volunteers are in Rockville in May and November. Kairos volunteers in teams of 30 to 40 go into the prisons to pray, share the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, and share meals and fellowship with the incarcerated on a one-on-one basis over the course of our days. Then one Saturday a month the volunteers return to the prison to reunion with the offenders to encourage and support their Christian walk. In addition to volunteers being “inside the walls” team members, Kairos Prison Ministry offers the community an opportunity to volunteer to participate in the Weekend from “outside the walls”. The St Monica Community can participate by signing up; to provide prayer support, participating in the CookieBake – making 400 dozen cookies for the Weekends, making posters and place mats, helping at an “outside the walls” kitchen to cook one or more of the meals served to the Weekend participants, or by providing financial support for the Weekends. Since the Weekend is presented as a short course on Christianity much like other 4-day retreat weekends, it is suggested that “inside the walls” team members have completed either a Cursillo or Christ Renews His Parish weekend. For more information, contact: Ana Brown Mitchell at , 317-253-2193, opt. 2 or email [email protected].
The St. Monica-Witherspoon Food Pantry
Non-perishable food items only may be brought to Church each weekend of the month for the support of the St. Monica-Witherspoon Food Pantry. It distributes food at Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, 5136 N. Michigan Road, every Tuesday morning beginning at 10:30 AM. Please donate clothing, furniture and other non-food items to the St. Vincent de Paul Society by calling 317-687-1006 to schedule a time for them to come to your home and pick up your items. We cannot accept anything other than non-perishable food items at the church. To volunteer to help at the food pantry on Tuesday mornings, contact, Dave Drzewiecki at 317-253-2193, opt. 2 or email [email protected].
St. Monica Gabriel Project is ready to provide a mother in a crisis or unplanned pregnancy with the kinds of assistance that she needs in caring for herself and for her unborn baby. Examples include:
- Friendship, emotional support, and prayer
- Rides to appointments
- Material items for the baby
- Pastoral care and counseling
- Resources for medical and prenatal care
- Financial assistance resources
- Resources for housing, education, adoption, and employment
We work alongside the St. Monica Pro-Life Committee and the Knights of Columbus. We are part of a network called the Great Lakes Gabriel Project, which is endorsed by the Pro-Life/Family Life Office of every diocese in Indiana and by the Indiana Knights of Columbus. Website: glgabrielproject.org.
St. Vincent de Paul Society
St. Vincent de Paul is an all-volunteer organization that provides free financial and spiritual assistance to the needy of the parish area. Volunteers are needed to make home visits for needs studies, help collect and distribute goods from the warehouse and work on special functions including Thanksgiving food baskets, the Christmas Giving Tree, the food pantry for the needy in our area. Membership is open to all. Meetings are held the second and fourth Mondays at 7:00 PM. Contact: Mary Sullivan, 317-253-2193, opt. 2 or email [email protected] Warehouse Coordinator: Bernie Hoefer, 317-253-2193, opt. 2 or email [email protected] or [email protected]. To schedule a pick-up of donations, please call 317-687-1006.
St. Vincent De Paul “Changing Lives Forever” Program--WE NEED YOU!
The Society of St Vincent de Paul offers a free program to individuals who want to work toward having a better quality of life. Most people don’t choose to live in poverty but don’t have the tools or education to plan for a new tomorrow. Attendees of the Changing Lives Forever Program will be developing a plan with specific goals for a better future during the 18- week course. They work in groups of 14 and attend a three-hour session once a week.
This year 10 parishes in Indianapolis will be hosting a Changing Lives Forever program which means 140 people will be developing specific plans to change their lives! Upon graduation, they are offered the opportunity to have a trained Mentor to help them with their plan. A Mentor can make a difference when change gets really hard—the difference between giving up or moving forward with hope and faith.
We will be needing volunteers who would like to be a trained Mentor to someone who has graduated. Training involves (2) two-hour classes. Your commitment to the graduate is six hours per month (you set the times) for one year.
For further information about being a Mentor in the Changing Lives Forever Program call either Joe Doll, 317-919-1419 ( [email protected]) or Domoni Rouse, Director of Changing Lives, 317-924-5769 Ext 219 ( [email protected])