Justice, Peace, and Human Development Commission

How we serve others

Ministering to the needs of others ...

Holy Cross is a parish community of faith, of action, and of hope. It is where the gospel is proclaimed and celebrated; where believers are formed and sent to renew the earth; a place where God's people meet Jesus in word and sacrament; and come in touch with the source of the Church's life. We believe that it is the task of every parishioner to answer their Baptismal call; the gospel's call to conversion; change our hearts and our lives; and to follow in the path of charity, justice, and peace.

The Peace, Justice, and Human Concerns Commission provides ongoing stewardship opportunites so that parishioners can answer the call to use their talents and express their faith in concrete acts of charity and justice. Below are some of the components of "Holy Cross Cares." Check this webpage often, as the lists of stewardship opportunities will be growing. For more information or questions contact Ava Thompson, coordinator, at socialaction@holycrossdurham.org.

Canned/Packaged Foods Ministry

Holy Cross partners with Catholic Charities in Durham to provide canned and packaged goods, garden produce, and other household supplies for distribution to families in need in the Durham area. View the list in the column to the right to see what items are requested. Donations can be placed in the collection bins in the Gathering Space the first weekend of the month, Tuesdays through Fridays from 8 am to 3:30 pm, and before or after Mass. The Holy Cross Community Garden grows produce that is harvest ever Tuesday evening and donated to Catholic Charities; households with their own gardens are also welcome to donate a portion of their harvest to Catholic Charities.

Casserole Ministry

The first weekend of the month, this ministry provides a stack of new, empty aluminum roasting pans with recipes and leaves them on a table in the Gathering Space. Parishioners are invited to take one or more of the pans home, prepare the casserole using the attached recipe; then to return the cooked dish the following weekend and place it in the chest freezer in the Parish Kitchen. These prepared dishes are then donated to the Urban Ministry's Community Café.

Backpack Buddies

Holy Cross partners with Interfaith Food Shuttle and Porch-Durham to provide about 538 backpacks with food for the weekend to children most in need at DPS six elementary school; and food pantries at four middle schools, four high school, Durham Technical Community College and three other facilities.

Community Garden

The Community Garden contributes a steady supply of fresh produce for those receiving services from the Durham office of Catholic Charities, from spring and into the winter months (thanks to the long North Carolina growing season!). All Holy Cross parishoners and others in the area who like to garden - or want to learn - are welcome to join in this ministry that provides exercise, a chance to be outdoors, and vital nutritious food for those in need. Households with a garden at home are welcome to donate extra produce to the weekly collections for Catholic Charities (harvesting is typically done on Tuesday evenings and delivered each Wednesday by 9 a.m.). Individuals or households can also rent a garden plot for the season, for their own use. Those who 'rent a spot' are also asked to help with the main garden. For more information, Anna Rzewnicki, the Holy Cross Community Garden coordinator. 

Quilting Ministry

Members of this ministry meet once a month to cut quilt squares, assemble and sew quilts using donated material, new and recycled from donated clothing. Completed quilts are blessed and distributed to those in need. Meeting times are posted in the bulletin and on this website. For details, contact Cherrie Siewert or Lorie Crump. 

Thanksgiving and Christmas Food/Gift Support

Holy Cross parishioners donate funds that allow this ministry to purchase scores of turkeys and fixings for Thanksgiving food boxes distributed to households in need identified by Catholic Charities. A similar collection occurs at Christmas, allowing for the purchase of gift cards for distribution to families in need. Art and Brenda LaPerre and their family coordinate this service. 

Families Moving Forward

Holy Cross partners with other area churches and Families Moving Forward once a quarter to provide a meal for families and enrichment activities for their children as they stay in temporary housing. If you would like to volunteer, contact socialaction@holycrossdurham.org.


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