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Delivering food, shelter, and hope to the poorest of the poor
As part of its mission to mobilize the global Catholic Church to transform the poor and their communities materially and spiritually, Cross Catholic Outreach builds bridges between U.S. parishes and Catholic ministries in developing countries. Working together, these two groups are having a tremendous and transformative impact on the poor families in dozens of countries.
Holy Apostles Catholic Church in Meridian, Idaho, is one of our most faithful supporters, and its active parish stands as a powerful example of what can be accomplished through prayers and a generous heart. With its membership of 3,000 families, Holy Apostles also stands as a beacon of Pope Francis’ call for new evangelization in the Church.
Led by Father Len MacMillan, Holy Apostles Catholic Church averages 100 people per year in its RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program. Additionally, its religious education program complements its grade school, St. Ignatius Catholic School, which was built three years ago and has a student body of 400 boys and girls. St. Ignatius students participate in Cross Catholic’s Box of Joy program, an outreach launched several years ago to deliver boxes filled with toys, clothing, school supplies and a rosary to needy children in developing countries.
Holy Apostles has also partnered with Cross Catholic by hosting an Outreach Priest each Lenten season for the past 15 years. Parishioners translate the sacrifice and almsgiving of Lent into a practical expression of mercy, compassion and love as they respond each year with immense generosity to Cross Catholic projects.
Holy Apostles also provides its parishioners with opportunities to put their faith into action by going on a mission trip. This experience gives parishioners a hands-on opportunity to witness the good work of our in-country ministry partners while participating in practical acts of service. Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the parish traveled to Belize to serve alongside Cross Catholic Outreach’s ministry partners. Participants said the experience energized their faith, and they couldn’t wait to share stories about the places they visited and the people they met when they got home.
Not only has Fr. Len visited Belize, he has also served the poor as an Outreach Priest with Cross Catholic Outreach before leading parishioners at Holy Apostles. During his time as an Outreach Priest, he was so inspired by the good work of Cross Catholic Outreach’s ministry partners that he wanted to share it with his parish.
“My parishioners have grown in their faith through this relationship with Cross Catholic Outreach,” said Fr. Len. “This partnership has helped them look beyond the parish boundaries to see the work of the global Catholic Church as it ministers to all the faithful — especially those most in need.”
Holy Apostles continues to grow and be blessed through its commitment to follow the social teachings of the Church. Its parishioners continually reach out with selfless works of mercy through their own food pantry, their work with the Knights of Columbus and St. Vincent de Paul Society, and the countless acts of kindness they engage in every day.
Holy Apostles Catholic Church’s dedication to helping the world’s poor provides a great role model for other parishes interested in putting their faith into action. Perhaps your parish is ready to add these and other missions of mercy. By becoming more engaged in the work of the global Church, you and your parish can fulfill Jesus Christ’s great commission and demonstrate the transformative power of his love. Our Lord can use you to bless and change lives in both the United States and around the world!