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.
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/Appeal.
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 Vianney Parish, Fort Kent - Food Drive
The Social Justice & Peace Commission will sponsor a food drive to benefit local food pantries on the third weekend of Lent, March 11-12. Collection boxes will be located in each of the parishes four churches: St. Charles Borromeo Church in Saint Francis, St. Joseph Church in Wallagrass, St. Louis Church in Fort Kent, and St. Mary Church in Eagle Lake.
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.
Turkey / Syria Earthquake Victims
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6 killed more than 41,000 people and leveled homes, apartment buildings, schools, and a cathedral. Both Catholic Relief Services and the Pontifical Mission Societies are partnering with local agencies and dioceses to assist. You can donate to CRS here and to the Pontifical Mission Societies here.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Pontifical Mission Societies continue to support the people of Ukraine more than one year after the Russian invasion. It is estimated one-third of Ukraine's 41 million people have been displaced by the violence. To donate through the Pontifical Mission Societies, click here. To donate through CRS, click here.