Need ideas for works of mercy

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I’m trying to convince my Bible study group to get involved in performing the Corporal Works of Mercy. My reasoning is that there is not more powerful witness we can give to the Christian faith. My problem came when they asked, “what do we do?”

I drew a blank. “Uh, we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the sick,” etc.

But really, WHAT DO WE DO?

I live in the poorest area of the country. There is work that needs to be done. I was just wondering if you all had any ideas on where to start?
If there is a food pantry or homeless shelter in your community, they probably need volunteers; if not, your donations would be welcome!

You could always visit sick people in hospitals and nursing homes, and no doubt your parish could use more eucharistic ministers for the sick and shut-in.
Many things brother, many things.

Round up some money, go out and buy food (sandwiches, etc.) and hand them out. 😃

You can also go out as a group, break up maybe into 2’s (Jesus seemed to like this one) and walk in different directions. Talk with and help everyone who seems needy (homeless). I’m not saying evangelize them, well yeah but, I mean stop…kneel down…and chat about whatever. Listen to them if they talk, respect and lift up the dignity they have as human beings created by God. That’s alot more that what money can do.

Go to a Nursing Home (get permission from there first), speak with the Chaplain there about how and when your group can visit and/or what the needs are.

Hope it helps.
How about starting a prison ministry? Tough work, but Jesus liked the idea.
Don’t forget about the spiritual works of mercy as well – we can be merciful to someone’s soul as well as their body. The spiritual works include: instructing, advising, consoling, comforting, forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently! This is truly a way of life, not just a one-time act.

How about reaching out to those who are elderly or ill at your parish – do they need help with yard work, grocery shopping, rides to appointments?

Many parishes have people who help with bereavement and often there is training available through the archdiocese.

Hmmmm, instructing. Know any parishes that DON’T need more religious ed teachers or youth ministers?! What about helping with adult education or RCIA?

Just a few more ideas! Applause to your group for looking for more ways to LIVE THE FAITH! There is always more we can do!

Check out Catholic Charities in you diocese. There are many different programs within Catholic Charities: shelters for homelessmen/women, women in transition, women and their children, mentoring for teen mothers-to-be and childcare programs. There are also many seniors who need assistance with basic chores so that they can stay in their homes.
Of course don’t forget just basic in-kind donations. We have a group of ladies that meet once a week to make quilts for one of the shelters.
  • LauraAnn
A priest in our Kansas City area many years ago had the idea that we could serve the areas poor by serving a hot lunch every day to anyone that came. It took a little planning but worked out really well. First off they found a Church that was out of use and converted it into a kitches and dining hall. Then asked all of the KC parishes if the could prepare and serve one meal a month. The response was overwhelming and thousands have been fed. The idea is to get lots of involvement, we have several protestant churches helping out now too!
I remember several touching stories I heard while working there but one of the most memorable came from a man that I had befriended on our day to serve, He confided in me that he really didn’t need the free meal that although he was by no means wealthy he could afford food…The reason he came nearly every day was so he would have someone to talk to. He made me wonder how often I had I had negelected the real “needs” of those around me.
How about buying copies of pocket Bibles and hand them out to college students, homeless and others?

I was given a pocket Bible in the military and that encouraged me to read the Bible!

Pray for the dead and for the conversion of sinners. Especially people in the main stream media (press, politicians, big business leaders, movie stars,). Volunteer for a Pro-Life group.
“Whatever you do to the least of my bretheran, you do to Me.” Look for Jesus first in your own home and family. Ask Jesus what He wants you to do. Then listen to Him.
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