St. Mary’s Church continues its mission of giving |

St. Mary’s Church continues its mission of giving

Services are open to all who need them

St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church's food bank is located at its Old Town chapel. Along with food, new and expectant mothers can pick up diapers at the food bank.
Courtesy of St. Mary's Catholic Church

The Christmas season may be over, but the spirit of giving is still alive at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church.

Since March, the church has provided more than $200,000 in food, clothing, diapers and financial aid for local families and expectant mothers, said Killian Beeler, St. Mary’s director of development and communications.

“This was mostly done during the coronavirus lockdown, and includes the money we put to our food bank and the Gabriel Project Ministry, which helps expecting mothers and new mothers in need.”

Beeler said the Gabriel Project wouldn’t have been as successful as it was if it weren’t for longtime parishioner Arlene Helfand, who oversees the ministry.

“She is our unsung hero, and I told her I, personally, have never been more proud to get to work with a nonprofit’s fundraising and engagement than I have this past year,” he said. “I’ve worked with a lot of churches and organizations and St. Mary’s is truly special in the way it responded, and at how much outpouring of support we receive from the community.”

During the advent season in December, the church focused on restocking and distributing clothing, diapers, food and other essential items, according to Beeler.

“There was a great outpouring of support from our St. Mary family and the greater community,” he said. “We were able to provide winter clothes, toys, baby essentials and Christmas dinners for these families.”

The St. Mary’s food bank, which is located at the church’s Old Town chapel, 121 Park Ave., is still busy helping families, Beeler said.

Along with food, new mothers can pick up diapers at the Old Town location, he said.

To ensure families will be able to receive what they need, St. Mary’s is collecting non-perishable food items such as:

• White rice

• Vegetable oil

• Dried pinto/black beans

• Canned tuna

• Chicken ramen

• Macaroni and cheese

• Pasta and sauce

• Canned corn

• Canned fruit

• Vitamins (C, D, and zinc)

• Diapers, especially sizes 4-6

• Toilet paper

While donations can be accepted at the Old Town location, a collection box has also been set up at the cathedral, located at 1505 White Pine Canyon Drive.

In addition, St. Mary’s is accepting financial donations though its website, according to Beeler.

St. Mary’s has always provided short-term basic financial assistance to those in need and will continue to do so as much as possible in this time of crisis, he said.

“These services aren’t just for St. Mary’s parishioners,” Beeler said. “They are available to anyone in the community who needs them, and we are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received since COVID began.”

Likewise St. Mary’s offers a place of solitude during these unrestful times, he said.

“We want to be a place people can come to where all their needs will be met, whether those are physical or financial immediate needs during an emergency, or they are looking for a place for rest, sanctuary or to find God,” he said.

For information about St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church and its programs, visit

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