By Rebecca Kensil, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – The Stewardship Ministry at St. Mary's Parish held the first Day of Service April 20 to allow parishioners to “live out their faith as stewards of God's many blessings,” according to the day's organizers. Approximately 300 volunteers worked on service projects for three to four hours at locations in Shrewsbury and Worcester.
Kelly Paulina, chair of the St. Mary Stewardship Ministry and coordinator of the Day of Service, explained that a special planning board was formed in January to organize the 20 projects.
“We realized that this was going to be a huge undertaking,” Paulina said.
The parishioners first met at St. Mary's Parish Hall to check in and register for projects. Pastor Michael Rose then held a special blessing and sending forth service mid-morning before teams set out to work on assignments.
Volunteers did service for agencies such as Mercy Centre, St. Anne's Human Services, Youville House, Friendly House, Community Harvest, Habitat for Humanity, and Urban Missionaries.
Drew and Jennifer Klein and their daughter Olivia decided to serve the Mercy Centre.
“It's a great way to give back to the community and help out,” Drew said. “It's always more fun when you do it with a big group. So doing this as part of the parish with the same people we see every week at church and other events and all being out working together makes it all that more fun and rewarding.”
Volunteers also helped some homebound parishioners by cleaning up their yards. Other services were provided to the Shrewsbury Public Library, the Shrewsbury Trail Club, and Friends of Prospect Park.
Meredith and Gary Buono and their daughters Eliana and Sophia decided to serve the Friends of Prospect Park.
“Having a young family in town we want to keep involved in the community activities,” Meredith said. “Prospect Park is really close to our house. We go there to hike often and bring our dogs. We thought it would be a great way to get involved.”
In addition to the projects scheduled for the Day of Service, there were activities for those who could not attend, such as creating cards for homebound parishioners and residents of the Shrewsbury Nursing Home.
“I's overwhelmed by the amount of people who participated,” Paulina said.