SACO---Bishop Robert Deeley will present a Matthew 25 Award and the accompanying grant to Good Shepherd Parish during a 10:30 a.m. Mass at Most Holy Trinity Church, located on 271 Main Street in Saco, on Sunday, July 25.
Presented by Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry program, a Matthew 25 Award is given to a parish to assist them in expanding their capacity to serve more people or to develop a new social ministry. Ministries that receive the awards must be directly serving vulnerable people in need, regardless of faith affiliation, and adhering to the principles of the Bible verse Matthew: 25 ("I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink...").
Good Shepherd Parish (Most Holy Trinity Church, Saco; St. Joseph Church, Biddeford; St. Margaret Church, Old Orchard Beach; St. Philip Church, Lyman; St. Brendan Chapel, Biddeford Pool) has been awarded a grant of $5,000 for Esther Residence, a home in Saco for women who are leaving incarceration or a treatment program due to substance abuse. The residence is operated by the Good Shepherd Sisters (Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) in Biddeford and provides a safe, nurturing community that is based on respect and dignity.
Women at the residence are homeless, often having been separated from their children. The residents are supported in working towards staying sober, finding full-time employment, attending counseling, and receiving adult education to enable them to transition to independence living so that they can reunite with their children.
The grant will allow for an increase in resident support and education related to parenting and family stressors, which include experiencing profound trauma like separation from children and recovery from substance abuse. Additional outside professional consultation on individual resident cases will be offered.
“Without grant funding, we would not be able to offer this support at this time,” said Sister Joanne Roy, SCIM, director of Esther Residence. “We are grateful.”
“This ministry is most necessary and deserving of support from Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry,” said Fr. Timothy Nadeau, pastor of Good Shepherd Parish. “The effects of this award to Esther Residence will be multiplied so many times over and increase charity among individuals, parishioners, and the diocesan family as a whole. This ministry is a teaching example to those intimately involved and everyone who hears and knows the work done in Christ’s name and heart.”
For more information about Matthew 25 Awards, the many Parish Social Ministry programs assisting throughout Maine, or ways that you can help, click here.