Lenten Giving Opportunities


Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are the three pillars of Lent. All three are intended to bring us closer to God. Parishes, the diocese, and Catholic Charities Maine offer many different giving opportunities. A few are listed below.

Catholic Appeal

The annual Catholic Appeal supports ministries and programs throughout the Diocese of Portland, including campus ministry, Catholic Charities Maine, Catholic schools, hospital ministry, lifelong faith formation, parish social ministry, and more.  To learn more about how donations to the appeal are making a difference and to make a gift, please visit https://portlanddiocese.org/giving.

Catholic Charities Maine

Catholic Charities Maine carries Christ's work out into the community. The agency runs more than 20 programs, including its food bank in Caribou, its child development centers in Portland and Biddeford, its SEARCH and Independent Support Services programs to serve seniors around the state, its refugee and immigration services to assist those newly arrived in our state, its dental center, and much more.  To learn about its many services or to donate or volunteer your time, please visit www.ccmaine.org.

Catholic Charities Maine Refugee & Immigration Services

Maine’s only refugee resettlement program, Catholic Charities Maine Refugee and Immigration Services (RIS) is dedicated to helping those seeking a new life in America become independent, productive members of our community. Catholic Charities is committed to providing the highest quality resettlement, orientation, employment, and cultural adjustment services to those refugees assigned to its care.

The kindness and generosity of the community is essential to the program's success. Even a small gift of money, goods, or your time as a volunteer can make a world of difference to a newcomer in need of a friend. Learn more about how you can help.

Catholic Foundation of Maine

The Catholic Foundation Maine provides opportunities for people to leave a legacy of giving and support the works of the Church long-term. The foundation provides people with an opportunity to create charitable funds and endowments or contribute to an existing funding. There are dozens of current funds supporting deacons, parishes, seminarians, schools, and much more. Visit https://catholicfoundationmaine.org/online-giving to learn more and see the many ways you can help.


Part of St. André Home, CourageLIVES is a Maine program that assists survivors of human trafficking and exploitation. It includes both residential treatment and outpatient services. And it is the only program of its kind in Maine. To read more about or to support its work, click here. 

CRS Rice Bowl

Each Lent, Catholic families across the country unite to put their faith into action through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Through CRS Rice Bowl, families learn about how our sisters and brothers across the globe overcome hardships like hunger and malnutrition, and how through Lenten alms, we have the power to make the world a better place for all. Read more about how you can participate.

Food Pantries & Soup Kitchens

Many parishes and communities have food pantries to assist those in need or serve meals daily, weekly, or monthly. You will find a list of them here. You can often assist by donating financially, donating non-perishable food items, or by volunteering. 

Sacred Heart / St. Dominic Food Pantry, Portland

Each Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. volunteers assist those in the community by supplementing their food source. Monetary donations can be sent to the Portland Peninsula & Island Parishes pastoral center at 307 Congress Street in Portland, 04101. Please write your check out to SH/SD Food Pantry. Items can be dropped off at Sacred Heart Church, 65 Mellen Street in Portland, on Tuesdays between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. FMI: 207-773-7746..

St. John Paul II Parish, Scarborough - 40 Cans for Lent

Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, parishioners from St. John Paul II Parish in Scarborough will participate in 40 Cans for Lent, a campaign to collected donations for the South Portland Food Cupboard. In 2023, more than 7,000 pounds of food was collected. This year, the goal is 7,600. Donations can be dropped off in the barrels in the narthex of Holy Cross Church in South Portland, St. Bartholomew Church in Cape Elizabeth, and St. Maximilian Kolbe Church in Scarborough from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Food can also be dropped off at the South Portland Food Cupboard, 13 Thadeus Street in South Portland.

St. Martin de Porres and St. Catherine of Siena Residences, Lewiston

St. Martin de Porres and St. Catherine of Siena Residences serve those experiencing homelessness, giving them a place to stay while they connect with services that will help them to improve their situation and move forward with their lives. Residency is by referral only. You can support the residences by sending donations to St. Martin de Porres Residence, Inc., PO Box 7227, Lewiston, ME 04243-7227. FMI: 207-786-4690.

St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen in Portland

The volunteers of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul serve meals to anyone who comes through the doors of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception's Guild Hall, Monday through Friday, from 11:00am to 12:30pm. Clothing is available each Friday. Volunteers and donations are welcome. Call 207-772-1113 if you can help.


If you have just a few hours to give each week, you can make a tremendous difference in someone's life.  S.E.A.R.C.H. (Seek Elderly Alone, Renew Courage & Hope) volunteers are matched with elderly persons, often with similar interests, and spend a few hours each week providing support, companionship, and helping with daily tasks.  Those who volunteer will tell how rewarding it is and how much they look forward to those weekly visits. For more information: [email protected], 207-784-0157, or click here.