Outreach and Support
St. John Parish reaches out to meet the needs of others for food, clothing and shelter. Assistance extends to those in our parish, our community, the nation and the world. Activities include monthly food drives, clothing drives, Christmas Toy Drive, Christmas Baskets, support for Habitat for Humanity, Share-A-Lunch and drives for situations involving natural disasters or crisis situations. St. John also assists the agencies listed here with financial contributions and donations to meet basic needs.
Catholics United for the Poor
C.U.P. is the umbrella for nine agencies who are aware of the problems of the poor and who respond to the needs of the community: Bethany House, Tender Mercies, Mary Magdalene House, Our Daily Bread, Over-the-Rhine/Walnut Hills Kitchen, and the St. Vincent dePaul Society.
Bethany House is a temporary shelter for homeless women and children. We help them by donating individual toiletries to be given to the women as they arrive. We have also purchased nightwear and sent money for special projects.
Mary Magdalene House
Mary Magdalene House is a bath facility for the homeless. We support them with monetary donations and gifts of soap, shampoo, laundry detergent and men's underwear and tube socks.
Our Daily Bread
This organization provides one good meal a day to shut-ins who would otherwise be without.
Tender Mercies provides permanent and transitional housing to those people who have special needs arising from homelessness and mental illness.
Catholic Worker Home
St. Francis/St. Joseph House of Spirituality provides spiritual nourishment for men in the form of temporary shelter, food, clothing, etc.
Reach Out Lakota
Reach Out Lakota is a localized, ecumenical organization backed by many of our community churches, businesses and schools. It was founded in 1992 to provide families with the essentials and necessary guidance until they are capable of caring for themselves. Volunteers, food and clothing donations are always welcome. Reach Out Lakota is located just north of our parish property on Station Road and can be contacted at 779-7515.
Food Drives - Reach Out Lakota Supply Sunday
On the first Sunday of the month each St. John family is asked to bring an item of non-perishable food, or a toiletry, cleaning or paper product to Mass. These items are donated to Reach Out Lakota.
Justice and Peace Commission
Our parish has a Justice and Peace Commission. Its purpose is to implement Catholic Social Teaching through the avenues of: charity, education and social action. The commission also serves as an advisory panel to the Pastor and Pastoral Staff on matters concerning "justice issues" impacting parish life and policies. The commission meets monthly. If you would like to participate in this vital ministry, contact the Parish Office.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical, Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Habitat builds simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with deserving, hardworking, low income families who are required to put 500 hours of ‘sweat equity' into building their own home. The home is sold to the partner family at cost, with the mortgage payments coming back to Habitat to be reinvested into building more homes. Habitat gives deserving families "a hand up, not a hand out." Want to help? Contact Jerry Barney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Francis Soup Kitchen
The St. Francis Soup Kitchen in Over-the-Rhine is a facility that serves meals to the needy in that area. Young people and adults from St. John volunteer each month at the soup kitchen, serving meals and cleaning up.
St. Leo the Great Parish
A vibrant, diverse, urban Catholic parish community living the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, St. Leo’s serves a diverse group of parishioners that includes recent immigrants and refugees. Young people and adults can volunteer at this parish in a number of ways, including teaching ESL, serving in the food pantry, and tutoring students. For more info, click the link above.
Matthew 25: Ministries
Matthew 25: Ministries is an international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization helping the poorest of the poor locally, regionally, nationally and internationally regardless of race, creed or political persuasion. Located in Blue Ash, Ohio, Matthew 25 has a variety of volunteer opportunities. Click the link above for more info.
Serve City is a ministry of area churches in Hamilton who help the homeless in various ways. From helping in the food pantry to serving meals, volunteer opportunities are numerous. Click the link above to get involved.
Little Sisters of the Poor
The Little Sisters of the Poor have been a part of the Cincinnati community since 1868. At St. Paul’s, Archbishop Leibold Home, the Little Sisters, with the help of devoted staff, offer a home and care to the needy elderly of every race and religion. The vital support of many businesses, groups, and individuals assure the continuation of our mission. Please click the link above to see how you can help.
Drivers, Special Needs
Periodically an elderly person or someone needing hospital treatments will need a ride to their appointment. At times, other needs will arise, such as bringing a meal in times of illness.
Christmas Toy Drive
At the liturgies on the weekend closest to St. Nicholas Day, we ask the children to bring a gift-wrapped toy to share with a needy child. These are distributed primarily to the mission in Campton, KY and to Reach Out Lakota.
Christmas Food Baskets
Every November, families, groups and individuals from St. John sign up to provide Christmas Food Baskets for needy families. In 1999 alone we helped over 300 families from Reach Out Lakota, Avondale Food Pantry and St. Michael Center (Lower Price Hill) have a better Christmas. These boxes are collected and delivered in December. Parish members help with the sign-ups, delivery and buying/packaging of food items.
St. John Parish holds Spring and Fall clothing drives each year. These drives primarily support our mission in Campton, Kentucky.
Share-a-Lunch was created to offer the patrons of St. Francis Soup Kitchen in Over the Rhine one extra meal per month to take with them as they leave the facility. The kitchen serves one meal on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week to the needy in the area. It is our hope to give them a little something to tide them over at a time of the month when funds for food may be running low. We also supply lunches to Reach Out Lakota. Parishioners may bring non-perishable food, beverages and/or paper good donations to the Pavilion on the fourth Sunday of each month. Volunteers are also needed to help prepare, pack and deliver the lunches. Program information will be published in the bulletin. Parishioners of all ages are welcome to participate. Please contact Diane Claytor at 779-6895 with questions.
In 2014, we created a new ministry at St. John called the Meal Ministry. Our “Meal Ministers” are people who make meals for members of our parish and community who are going through a tough time and could use a few homemade meals. In addition to helping families in need, this ministry also makes meals for Father Don to take home every Thursday. We use a simple online sign-up tool that our Meal Ministers utilize to choose when and for whom they cook. The online site also explains any special food needs and gives delivery instructions. If you are interested in helping with this ministry, please contact Joan at 513-777-6433 ext. 124 or email@example.com. More importantly, if you know of a local friend or family member who could use the assistance of our ministry, please send Joan a note or give her a call. A warm meal delivered to the door is a personal and meaningful way to reach out to someone in need. Many of us know someone who may be experiencing a hardship because of the holiday season. We can take a meal to them! Just give us the name and we will do all of the work.
Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, St. John parishioners have the opportunity to help provide a holiday meal to the less fortunate. The meals are served at Our Daily Bread in Over-the-Rhine. Parishioners can buy a turkey, make a turkey and/or gravy, or donate money to help purchase side items. Look for details in the bulletin in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving and Christmas for information on how to be a part of this wonderful ministry.
Come Home Program (Ministry to Returning Catholics)
This process is for persons who have been away from the Church, alienated or hurt by the Church or have simply drifted away. The process is flexible and hopes to meet the needs of the individuals who come. Also welcome are those who have never physically left the Church, but still feel apathetic or alienated.
Sessions are held on a “as needed” basis. Contact Caitlin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Bereavement ministers assist families at the time of the death of a family member. Assistance is given in planning the funeral liturgy and follow-up calls made to the family. Parish members also help by providing lunch for the family and their guests at the parish on the day of the funeral, if the family so desires. Help is needed both to set up and serve these lunches and to provide food. Contact Scott Steinke at email@example.com or 777-6433, ext. 115.
Companions on the Journey, a grief support group, meets twice a month to offer support to anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one. We welcome help from anyone who feels called to this ministry. Meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Contact Ron Meyer at 376-1277 or Kathy McConnell at 560-6151 for more information.
There are times when each of us needs the care of another person-a friend to walk with us in times of crisis or change. Stephen Ministers are laypersons who have undergone an extensive training program to provide one-to-one Christian care to those experiencing all kinds of life needs. This is a confidential ministry. Those receiving care can be assured that their identity will remain private. Training sessions for new ministers are held each year. For more information, contact Scott Steinke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 777-6433, ext. 115.