St. John Valley

St. Peter Chanel Parish receives outreach award

PORTLAND and VAN BUREN, Maine — Catholic Charities’ Parish Social Ministry program presented its annual Matthew 25 Award on June 9 to St. Peter Chanel Parish in Van Buren. 

The award includes a $5,000 grant, which will be used by the parish’s outreach committee to fund the purchase of a utility trailer that will allow parish ministries to transport food, household appliances, furnishings and supplies for children’s camps, among other items.

  “The St. Peter Chanel Outreach Committee truly exemplifies the broad outreach we at Catholic Charities Maine strive to cultivate across the state,” said Stephen Letourneau, CEO of Catholic Charities Maine. “They serve as a wonderful role model of what the gospel of Matthew 25 embodies, and I am honored to present them with this award.”  

  St. Peter Chanel Parish includes St. Bruno-St. Remi Church in Van Buren and St. Joseph Church in Hamlin. The parish’s outreach committee, comprised solely of volunteers, serves people in Van Buren, Hamlin and Cyr Plantation through a thrift shop, a food pantry, an emergency needs fund, a mercy meals program to assist grieving families and a free children’s camp program, along with the Angel Network, which assists low-income families with basic home furnishings.

In total, parishioners donated over 6,000 volunteer hours in the last year alone.

  Designed to support parishes in their efforts to serve vulnerable people in need, regardless of their faith affiliation, Matthew 25 grants help parishes expand the capacity to serve more people within a current direct service ministry or to help develop a new social ministry. 

Catholic Charities awarded a total of $11,000 to four Maine parishes this year with grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. Parishes across the state of Maine are invited to apply annually.

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