Back in 1997, when Msgr. Owens was Pastor, Faith in Action was founded after weeks of discussion, prayer and planning under the guidance of Amy Fleming from the Diocesan Office of Peace and Justice. Originally there were men and women and we met in the Rectory with Father Charles as our Spiritual Advisor.
Early on we engaged in Voter Registration led by Bob Quinn; Raised $1000 to purchase a heifer for Heifer International by selling ‘recipes in a jar’ which many parishioners helped to assemble in the hall. It was a lot of fun and great that we reached our goal. Another project we facilitated was WORK OF HUMAN HANDS at the Craft Fair to aid third world craftsmen earn a fair wage. By this time Sr. Ellen was our spiritual advisor. For many years we alternated between collecting for Mom’s House and Birthright. Now we donate to both of these organizations with the proceeds from our annual fund raiser. Samaritan House Drive was another successful launch with parishioners bringing their household donations to church during the month of September. Now we feel that people bring their items to the Samaritan House location throughout the year. Our members collected after Masses and on their own for CHOW Hunger Walk culminating in the actual walk which was originally held in Endicott from En-Joy Golf Course to North Street and back up Main Street. It changed to Otsiningo Park and then to Binghamton University. We often donated $800 – $900 when this took place in October, but it has now been moved to September and FIA members were reluctant to ask parishioners for monetary donations right after the School Supply Drive. So we also donate to this with money from our fund raiser.
For years we sent monthly birthday greetings, Valentines and Christmas cards to the residents of Renaissance Plaza on Front Street before it closed. We continue to send Valentines and Christmas cards to our parish shut-ins. The Prayer Chain originated in Faith in Action by our member, Pat Glazier, and has grown to more than 56 participants under her leadership and dedication.
Of course the School Supply Drive has been a huge endeavor since 2000 and is still going strong each August. We are so pleased to partner with St. Thomas.
Our largest effort takes place in December when we sell $5.00 chances for the opportunity to win $50 each day in January. There are 1,000 tickets, and would love to sell them all. All of the proceeds are donated to charities locally and internationally (Heifer International). We publish the listing of the recipients the last week of November as we kick off the new year’s campaign at Mass. These tickets have been sold at St. Patrick’s for years and are now also sold at St. Thomas Aquinas. Each of our members sells as many as possible to our contacts outside of our parishes. Shirley McCormack and Mary Normile are in charge of this project.
There are a few who say that FIA doesn’t do anything. However, at our July meeting I asked that question and was told that our members are putting their “faith into action” by volunteering at the Trinity monthly dinners, Showers of Hope, Funeral Luncheons, Lenten Fish Fry. We serve as Sanctuary Helpers, Choir Members, Gardening Angels and volunteers at Catholic Charities, etc. They feel very strongly about this aspect of FIA!
Currently our membership stands at 14 and we would welcome any new members from either parish. We meet on the second Tuesday of the month and have been meeting in the Library at St. Patrick’s School. We also enjoy three annual social events; a picnic in July , a Christmas dinner and a dinner in August at a restaurant.
Please know all are welcome! Call the St. Patrick’s Rectory with your interest. We thank everyone for your support and interest. god bless you all!