Greetings from St. Ignatius Loyola Parish!
As members of a Catholic parish grounded in Ignatian Spirituality, we are each called to unite hearts and minds in the spirit of Jesus Christ through serving those most in need in our community. The historic times we live in have brought the needs of the marginalized to the forefront of our minds this last year. The challenge of meeting these needs is great, but the parishioners and ministries of St. Ignatius have risen to the occasion.
Food insecurity has skyrocketed due to the economic impacts of COVID-19. According to the California Association of Food Banks, the number of people needing food assistance in our state rose 73% over the course of the pandemic. The Christmas Feed-A-Family initiative met this moment by providing over 300 holiday food baskets to local Sacramento families.
The pandemic forced a rethinking of how the Feed-A-Family tradition could continue in a safe and effective way. A highly contagious virus meant there would be far fewer helping hands to prepare food baskets and uncertainty surrounding how the level of donations might be impacted by a fundraising strategy that would be implemented almost entirely online. However, the St. Ignatius community adapted quickly. Knowing that canceling the event was not an option, our community united in the spirit of Jesus Christ to ensure the tradition would continue despite many questions and challenges.
St. Ignatius parishioners and school families have always been key contributors in ensuring the Feed-A-Family event is successful, but this year the community stepped up in a big way. The generous donations of food and funds, over the course of three weeks, resulted in a large storage container being filled to the brim with non-perishable food items. We are incredibly grateful to all of our parishioners and school families who gave so generously.
In addition, countless parishioners volunteered to help with advance preparations and on distribution day. We were saddened we could not welcome volunteer participation due to Covid restrictions but extremely grateful and heartened by the outpouring of support from those willing and eager to help. Instead, roles traditionally held by parish volunteers were taken on by our 8th grade students. Within the safety of the school bubble, they gathered and sorted the food from the food drive and assembled boxes for distribution.
As the virus spread and the local situation became more dire, it was determined out of an abundance of caution that only a small number of parish staff would work the distribution day event. A drive through method was used to protect the health of the recipient families and parish staff volunteers. Recipients were instructed to drive to the Parish Center where a staff member, following safety protocols, placed a food box into their vehicle. While the event was scaled down in comparison to previous years, our commitment to serve those in need in our community was as great as ever.
So many from across our community acted as stewards by donating their time, talent and treasure to support this cause. The Feed-A-Family initiative is a testament to how our parishioners continue to support our ministries at St. Ignatius despite the tremendous uncertainty of our present moment. The COVID-19 pandemic has required each of us to adapt on the fly, often demanding that we do so with patience and flexibility. It is a comfort to know that our community pulls together and adapts in ways that reaffirm our mission to support one another while continuing to live out the Gospel values of service, justice, peace and love.
If you are interested in learning more about the Mission and Outreach Program, or any of the many ministries at St. Ignatius, you can find more information on our website by clicking here .
Should you wish to support the work and mission of St. Ignatius Loyola Parish through a legacy gift, please contact our Advancement Administrator, Sue Kneer, at 916-482-9666, ext. 234, or visit our planned giving website at www.stignatiuslegacy.org . There you will find information about ways to give as well as a free Wills Planner and Estate Planning Guide.
In Mission Together,
Advancement Office, St. Ignatius Loyola Parish