As Christians here at Holy Spirit Parish, “we choose with Jesus Christ to reach out to the poor, the hungry, the sick, the lonely, those in jail and whose lives are broken. Through this ministry the vision of Christ may strengthen them and raise them in God’s spirit”. (Parish Mission Statement)
To implement that mission we offer committees …
–to serve the poor, helpless and powerless
–to change any unjust aspects of our society which causes people to suffer
–to provide opportunities for all parishioners to participate in the total Social Ministry of the church
–to educate our parishioners in concerns of peace and justice, especially as known in the teachings of the Pope and our bishops
PUT YOUR FEET TO YOUR FAITH!
FOOD PANTRY & EMERGENCY AID … A ministry, in collaboration with city agencies and other faith communities, providing emergency food, assistance with rent, utility bills, and similar needs. Note: In order to protect the privacy of our outreach staff/volunteers, their names and home phone numbers are not to be given to those seeking assistance. Messages will be left at the parish office.
Contact: Abby Causey (757) 468-3600, ext. 105
HAITI MINISTRY … To stand in solidarity with the people of Haiti through establishing and maintaining a twinning relationship with Our Lady of Mt. Carmel of Saut D’Eau Parish, Haiti; whereby, we share our diversity, exchange visits and produce meaningful fruit and growth in both parish communities.
Contact: Ann Mckee or Mike Quinn
HOLIDAY PROJECT … During the Easter and Christmas holidays, various parish groups coordinate the receiving and distribution of donated food items and Christmas gifts from parishioners for the needy of our parish and the local area in collaboration with VBDHS (Virginia Beach Department of Human Services).
Contact: (757) 468-3600
LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY … Faith based legislative advocacy is a non-partisan, issue-oriented effort to promote human dignity and to protect creation by shaping public policy. Members educate the parish, the public and legislators on a wide range of issues based on a consistent ethic of life following Catholic Social Teachings; avoiding partisan politics. Under the direction of the Diocesan Office of Social Ministries and Virginia Catholic Conference, this ministry seeks to effect policy changes at critical times in the legislative process through letter writing, phone calls and personal contact with public officials.
Contact: (757) 468-3600
Virginia Catholic Conference
RESPECT LIFE Committed to protecting all life through legislative advocacy, education and informal efforts to foster understanding and concern.
Contact: Katrina Cruz (757) 468-3600, ext. 108
FEEDING THE HUNGR Holy Spirit parishioners purchase ingredients for, prepare, deliver and serve dinner on scheduled Mondays between January and October at the Judeo Christian Outreach Center’s Community Dinner. Those served are homeless and working poor persons of Virginia Beach.
Contact: Mary Ellen Williams
JUSTFAITH The JustFaith programs: Good News People, JustFaith, Engaging Spirituality, Justice Walking and Just Matters are offered here at Holy Spirit and throughout the community. People who participate in these formation programs hear the Gospel, become connected to their parish and form community in a new way. They are inspired to work for change, becoming people who are committed to justice, the needs of the poor and vulnerable and they act to make the world better.
Contact: Kathy Early
Abby Causey 468-3600 ext. 105
FAIR TRADE This gives small farmers and crafters the opportunity to earn a fair price for their labor, get access to credit and training, and develop mutually beneficial, long term relationships with organizations and people who are dedicated to the principles of human dignity and economic justice. Holy Spirit participates in Catholic Relief Services Fair Trade Coffee Program and serves coffee at mass and at parish functions. To raise awareness about fair trade, periodically, the parish will sell coffee and chocolate at cost.
Contact: Abby Causey 468-3600, ext. 105
SPIRIT HOUSE, INC. Spirit House provides transitional housing for homeless women with mental disabilities. Referrals are made from Mental Health/Substance Abuse Division of Supportive Residential Services of the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services. The house accommodates three persons and one resident director. Volunteers assist the director in a variety of ways.
Contact: Sharlotte Cocson (757) 468-2090
1435 Pecan Court (adjacent to the church property)
PASTORAL CARE MINISTRY This is an outreach to parish members who are ill, hospitalized, grieving the loss of a loved one, lonely, aging, homebound or in nursing homes. Pastoral care is a sharing of one’s time, self and faith with those who are suffering some kind of “brokeness”. God desires us to be whole and to be healed, and Jesus frees, heals and makes people whole through us. This ministry is a direct response to the
Gospel message: “For I was ill, grieving, lonely, dying.. afraid.. and you visited me”. (Matthew 25:36)
Men and women who are interested in Pastoral Care Ministry participate in formation sessions to prepare them for this very important work of the church. They learn how to minister to those suffering and to their families, to listen to others and to share the Eucharist with all who are unable to participate in our community celebration of Eucharist. The Helping Hands Ministry prepares food and hosts receptions after funeral liturgies.
If you would like to request this ministry for yourself or someone else, please contact the office manager, Christina Kantirakis, at 468-3600, ext. 102. A pastoral care minister can visit and bring Communion either on a temporary or long term basis. If you are entering the hospital, please call the office and inform them. A pastoral care minister can be assigned prior to your admission. If the admission is an emergency, please have someone contact the parish office as soon as possible.
Contact: Christina Gettys (757) 468-3600, ext. 102
Betty Schroeder (Funeral Reception Ministry) (757) 427-2423
FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP We have received so much from Our Lord – life, faith, freedom and family. Along with these gifts, we’ve also been given the responsibility to be faithful and faith-filled stewards of our finances. Explore the connection between faith and finances in your own life with “7 Steps to Becoming Financially Free”, a 7 week scripture-based practical study program which aims to help achieve balance between faith and finances and help us become better stewards of our God-given resources. In this program, we will learn how to develop a healthy, wholesome and holy attitude when it comes to managing our money. The program will be held intermittently during the year and will be announced in the bulletin and during Mass. Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes and will take place on a weeknight for 7 consecutive weeks. Sign ups will be held in the commons.
Contact: Fina Lania (757) 468-3600, ext. 117
PARISH ECUMENICAL REPRESENTATIVE To provide leadership and information for the parish on ecumenical activities, statements, events and concerns, and to organize participation in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and other annual ecumenical events.
Contact: Dottie Latham 486-7455
Legislative Advocacy – A lobbying group of concerned Catholic citizens and others whose objective is to educate parishioners, the public and legislators about issues concerning the poor, the handicapped, the elderly, etc. Under the direction of the Diocesan Office of Justice & Peace, this ministry seeks to effect policy changes through letter writing and the circulation and presentation of petitions.
Respect Life – A ministry committed to protecting life through legislative lobbying, education and informal efforts to foster understanding, concern and action by parishioners.
Holy Spirit’s Haiti Ministry is dedicated to the mission and goals of the Richmond Diocesan Haitian Twinning Commission: 1) To develop a meaningful relationship that consists of reaching out to the twinned Parish in a respectful, spiritual and cultural exchange; and 2) To learn more about each other and render mutual support and assistance, on spiritual and physical levels.
The Haiti Ministry of Holy Spirit Catholic Parish was first formed in May 1997, following a visit to Haiti by then Parish Pastor Monsignor Thomas (Tom) Caroluzza in January of that year. The twinning of Holy Spirit Parish with our Lady of Mount Carmel of Saut D’Eau was proclaimed at Sunday masses on June 8, 1997. The first visit to our twinned Parish by two members of the Ministry occurred during March 1999. Since then, many visits have occured, to develop the relationship with the clergy and Parish teachers and students at the Parish schools that we support. In October 2010, Pere (Father) Wilcoxon Sainvil, pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, was able to visit Holy Spirit and spend time with the parish as well as concelebrate mass with Fr. Tim, our pastor. In December 2015, Fr. Wilcoxson was transferred and a new pastor was installed he is Pere (Father) Bernadin Desras (Fr. Bernard).
Currently Holy Spirit Parish has taken responsibility for paying the salaries of 29 teachers and 6 directors in 6 parish schools located in the following villages: St. Thomas Aquinas School, Grand Hutte; St. Benoit, LaBoule; Notre Dame d’Altgrace, Rechimon; St. Scholastica, Mont Terrible; St. Michel, Brillant; and Our Lady of Fatima; Wille Bon Heure. As of February 2012, all teachers’ salaries have been sponsored through our Haiti Teacher Partnership Twinning Program.
In the past, our Parish provided an annual Sea Container shipment of school supplies, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, hygiene items, sewing supplies and fabrics; now those resources can be found in Haiti! We are also committed to praying for our Twin personally and through the Prayers of the Faithful at weekend masses.
If you would like to become part of Holy Spirit’s Haiti Committee, please call 468-3600.
Prison Ministry is one of the most challenging out reach ministries. In fellowship at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center on Wednesday (men) & Tuesday /Sunday (women) evenings, the ministry provides weekly Bible studies for both men & women. The atmosphere is spiritually rewarding & individuals come to feed on the word. Sessions are structural from a variety of biblical lesson plans. Further the study presents group discussions & offers one an opportunity to express their commitment to Christ. Lay Leaders provide a variety of religious material to include large print Saint Joseph Bibles, Living Faith daily readings & other religious literature. Individuals who attend come from all Christian faiths, ethnic backgrounds & cultures. Prison Ministry, an opportunity to evangelize by walking with JESUS in bringing others to Christ. Matt 25, 36.
Affirming God’s love through weekly visits to the local correctional center to offer support and spiritual guidance to inmates through prayer and scripture sharing in collaboration with Correctional Department guidelines. Bible study and reading materials are provided and distributed.
Contact: Dave Laurence firstname.lastname@example.org
What is JustFaith?
JustFaith is a small group program of spiritual growth and challenge sponsored nationally by Catholic Charities USA and locally by the Office of Justice and Peace and Sowers of Justice of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. In the words of Jack Jezreel, founder and director of JustFaith:
“JustFaith is a justice education/formation program that provides an opportunity for parishioners to study and be formed by the justice tradition articulated by the scriptures, the Church’s historical witness, and Catholic social teaching. It seeks to integrate personal spirituality and social ministry, to empower participants to develop a passion and thirst for justice, and to express this passion in concrete acts….”
“JustFaith classes meet weekly for nine months, employing books, videos, lecture, discussion, prayer, retreats, and hands-on experiences. The intent is to provide a tapestry of learning opportunities that emphasize and enliven the remarkable justice tradition of the Church. Participants are exposed not only to a substantive and demanding course of study but are also afforded the privilege of becoming a community with other participants and sharing a journey of faith and compassion that is both life-giving and challenging.”
What will I get out of JustFaith?
Of course, as the saying goes, “you get out of it what you put into it.” But the experience of participants suggests that people get a lot out of JustFaith. People say that they grow spiritually, get closer to God and closer to God’s people, especially the poor and the vulnerable. Most participants find JustFaith a challenging experience that opens their eyes and hearts to the cries of God’s people and the call of the Gospel. JustFaith groups become small faith communities that nurture and challenge their members. Friendships develop and deepen.
What is the time commitment?
JustFaith is a very rewarding experience spiritually, but the time commitment is substantial. There are 30 weekly meetings of 2 to 2 ½ hours (with a few weeks “off”), generally running from September to May. The reading takes 2 to 4 hours per week. Plus there are two overnight weekend retreats (often done at a local parish, but sometimes away at a retreat center). These retreats run from Friday evening to Saturday evening or Sunday morning, depending on the group. There is also an opportunity for interaction with a local low-income community and three hands-on experiences that engage participants with persons living in poverty. These opportunities take place outside the normal meetings.
What does JustFaith cost?
Individuals pay a fee of $120 per person; this fee includes a registration fee, materials, possible speakers and two retreats. In addition, the cost of books is estimated at $115 to $125 over the course of the year. Scholarships are available and assistance with the cost of books is available on an as needed basis. No one is turned away.
Where can I get more information?
Many parishes and regions have JustFaith contacts. In Tidewater you can contact Tim McCarthy by phone at 486-3375 or email at email@example.com. You can also contact Stephen Colecchi at the Office of Justice and Peace of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond at 804-359-5661 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the national web site of JustFaith at www.justfaith.org
Spirit House is a transitional house for homeless persons with mental disabilities. Referrals are made from the Mental Health agencies, especially Comprehensive Mental Health, Virginia Beach City Government Agency and Eastern State. The house accommodates four persons and one resident staff person. Volunteers assist the staff person in a variety of ways. Training for volunteers has been provided by the staff of Comprehensive Mental Health of Virginia Beach. Continuing education of staff and volunteers will be provided.
Contact: Sharlotte Cocson – 468-2090