Volunteers packing vitafood at an event.
More than 500 volunteers helped make the April food packing event a huge success.

Catholic Parish Provides an Inspiring Example of Mobilized Faith

Cross Catholic Outreach is grateful for the compassion that Saints Simon and Jude Catholic Church in The Woodlands, Texas, has displayed for impoverished families around the world. It is inspiring to witness how much this community cares for our brothers and sisters in need — particularly those in the Diocese of Suchitepéquez-Retalhuleu, Guatemala.

On April 2, 2022, for example, the parish hosted a food packing event to prepare meals for hungry children and families living in this poverty-stricken area of Guatemala. The community’s joyful faith shined brightly as 520 parishioners gathered to pack 100,440 Vitafood meals — specially formulated meals designed to meet the needs of the malnourished. Volunteers carefully prepared each meal pack, layering soy, then vegetables, and lastly, beans and rice. Their attentiveness ensured that our Guatemalan brothers and sisters would receive highly nourishing meals — an answer to prayer for families facing hunger. Ron Villere expertly coordinated the event, along with support from other faithful leaders.

Father Pat Garrett was joined by Father Tom Edelen, an outreach priest with Cross Catholic Outreach, in greeting families and making everyone feel welcome at the event. Father Pascal Kumanda, C.I.C.M, another outreach priest, also served at the event and spent the weekend celebrating Mass with the parish. By hosting outreach priests, Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church has invited its parishioners into a deeper understanding of the hardships faced by poor families — and it has empowered them to put their faith into action through powerful opportunities to serve. At the time of the writing of this article, another food packing event is already being planned for March 2023. It is expected to provide about 120,000 more meals for those in desperate need!

In addition to feeding the hungry, Sts. Simon and Jude Parish has also impacted lives through the Box of Joy ministry. Last year, the parish sent 4,417 Box of Joy gifts to bless poor boys and girls at Christmas. These shoebox-sized gifts were thoughtfully stuffed with toys, treats, clothing, essential items, school supplies, meaningful notes of encouragement, rosaries and The Story of Jesus books. These donations helped us make our first-ever Box of Joy shipment to the Diocese of Suchitepéquez-Retalhuleu, bringing great happiness to precious children who may never have received a Christmas present before.

Cross Catholic Outreach is honored to partner with Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church in serving the needy. We pray for continued blessing over their parish community and hope that many more parishes will follow their example of commitment, generosity and mobilized faith. Working together in Jesus’ name, we can honor Christ’s call to serve the poor and transform many lives!

Discover how your parish can get involved at CrossCatholic.org/church.