In 2018, as we celebrate the amazing achievement of sending 7 million meals these past 7 years to our brothers and sisters in Burkina Faso we are excited to share YOUR stories. You inspire us, you teach us and you have all changed lives of people you will never know. This month, we introduce you to our friends at Ascension Parish in Melbourne, Florida.
Back in 2012, when the Diocese of Orlando hosted the CRS Helping Hands Million Meal Challenge, Ascension Director of Elementary Faith Formation, Betsy Glasenapp was all in. She brought teams to the all day event and they knew immediately this was something they wanted their parish community to be a part of. The churches pastor, Father Eamon Tobin, considers tithing to projects for those in need to be a vital part of the parish plan and yearly he commits 10% of the offertory to just such projects. Whether they are serving the homeless in their own community, families in the Dominican Republic, selling fair trade coffee and oil once a month after masses, or doing a CRS Helping Hands event, you know, if you are a parishioner at Ascension, that you are “called to be a people of the table (the Eucharist) and a people of the towel (those who serve).”
Betsy explained that once they started having the events in their parish (in 2014) they knew this was an event they wanted to have yearly. They had never had an experience where families were able to serve together; where generations got to talk about what it meant to help others and do that while they truly just had fun. From babies to people in their nineties the parish has regularly had 3 generations of families working together, side by side, committed to not only serving those with less, but after each event, figuring out how to do more.
When asked what it means to be a part of the movement to end hunger, and to be a huge part of these 7 million meals Betsy expressed “we found out that we have actually packaged over 100,000 meals at our parish and we were stunned. How blessed we are to serve our neighbors not in our direct neighborhood. We pray that those whose lives we get to be a part of will have a healthy future with the nourishment they need to grown in mind body and spirit so they can offer their amazing gifts back to the world.”
Thank you Ascension parish for your unwavering commitment to take care of those with less and your incredible examples of stewardship!
Learn more about Ascension Catholic Churches parish tithe here: Ascension Parish Tithe