Help the Poor
Helping the poor is a primary joy of both the Church and of individual Christians. The 25th chapter of the book of Matthew makes it crystal clear that at the end of time, what have done to help the poor, and also what we have done to the poor, will be judged by Christ.
St Vincent De Paul
The Epiphany St. Vincent de Paul Conference is our lead organization that helps people in financial difficulty. The most important need of the group is financial donations to help the poor. An offering is collected each month at Epiphany to benefit this purpose, usually the last Sunday of the month. There is a monthly envelope in your collection envelopes for SVDP.
If you are in need of financial help, or if you would like to volunteer to help in some way, please contact them at 722-2110, etc. 115. The Epiphany SVDP services help people living within the boundaries of Epiphany parish (Wilshire, Meridien, County Line, NW 170). We help Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
St. Vincent de Paul also supports several front line organizations helping the poorest of the poor, including the Jesus House homeless shelter, Sister BJ's Pantry (outreach to the homeless), and the Blessed Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House (delivers food).
Frank Kopp Food Pantry
The parish maintains the Frank Kopp Food Pantry to provide groceries for people in need who live within the parish boundaries, Catholics and non-Catholics. One weekend each month, parishioners are invited to bring groceries for the Pantry. There are large wooden bins in the gathering space for those donations. The Pantry is named after the man who started the service and kept it going for many years, Frank Kopp. To request food assistance, call the Church office, extension 110
The Community Service board has several drives throughout the year to collect important items for those in need. At Christmas and Thanksgiving, they provide baskets of festive holiday foods, including a turkey or ham, and coffee. See their page at this website for more information.
Blessed Oscar Romero Catholic Worker
This organization, founded by our music director Bob Waldrop, delivers food to people in need who don't have transportation. Each month they do about 350 deliveries. They are always in need of people to help bag the groceries and do the deliveries. Except for November and December, they do the deliveries on the third and fourth Saturdays of the month. Meet them at the Dorothy Day Center, 4909 N State, which is at the SE corner of St. Charles Borromeo Parish. October through May they start bagging groceries at 9 AM. June through September, because of the heat, they start at 8 AM. During November and December, they do all of the deliveries on one day each month. The holiday deliveries are announced in the parish bulletin. Usually they are the Saturday just before the major holiday. The group also needs financial donations to help in their work. Checks, made payable to Catholic Worker, can be left at the parish office or mailed to Catholic Worker, c/o Epiphany Church, 7336 W Britton, OKC OK 73132. For more information, call Bob Waldrop at 405-200-8155.
“Our mission is that of being of immediate but effective service to the homeless in all their needs, material and spiritual, until they can find some others who can help them in a better and more lasting way.”
Sister BJ’s Pantry, named after its visionary Sister Barbara Joseph, and opened March 3, 2006. The pantry currently serves over 400 men, women, and children a week. Anyone in need is welcome. Pantry patrons include people who are without shelter and many who are struggling with poverty and loneliness. Some are struggling with addictions or with mental illness. Most have suffered degradation through their lifestyle or through experiences with community or family. People do not have to sign their names when coming to the pantry. There is no application, survey, or registration to complete in order to participate in the life of community at the pantry. Jesus Christ says He has “come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” That abundant life is for everyone. It is the hope of Sister Barbara Joseph and her fellow-workers that all who come to the pantry experience the God-given dignity and value in being human, created in the image and likeness of God.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the Poor
2443 God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those who turn away from them: "Give to him who begs from you, do not refuse him who would borrow from you"; "you received without pay, give without pay." It is by what they have done for the poor that Jesus Christ will recognize his chosen ones. When "the poor have the good news preached to them," it is the sign of Christ's presence.
2444 "The Church's love for the poor . . . is a part of her constant tradition." This love is inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes, of the poverty of Jesus, and of his concern for the poor. Love for the poor is even one of the motives for the duty of working so as to "be able to give to those in need." It extends not only to material poverty but also to the many forms of cultural and religious poverty.
2445 Love for the poor is incompatible with immoderate love of riches or their selfish use:
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have killed the righteous man; he does not resist you. James 5
2446 St. John Chrysostom vigorously recalls this: "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs." "The demands of justice must be satisfied first of all; that which is already due in justice is not to be offered as a gift of charity"
When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.
2447 The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God: