Works of Mercy Examples and Ideas

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					The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy Fulfilling the Works of Mercy for each of us is a lifelong commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Matthew 25:32-46 tells us that when we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, take care of the sick, and visit the imprisoned, we care for Christ himself. The Corporal Works of Mercy recognize the sacredness of human life. We learn through fulfilling these Works of Mercy for others that we are our brother's keeper. Our feelings of love for our brothers must be accompanied by acts of charity The Spiritual Works of Mercy recognize sin, ignorance, doubt, sorrow and other human conditions where we need to reach out in faith and love to others. How many times did Jesus rebuke with love, counsel, teach and help those who did not know Him? As an ongoing part of our religious education program, we are instituting Works of Mercy at all grade levels 1-8. Each class will be required to perform a project based on the Work of Mercy assigned to their grade. Some wonderful projects have already started. A third grade class is “praying for the living and the dead” by making prayer blankets and giving them to someone who they will pray for. A group of fifth graders made cards and they were mailed to a number of sick parishioners to “visit the sick.” And a group of sixth graders are becoming pen pals with a young girl in Columbia, South America – “Welcome the Stranger.” We are also asking each family to participate in a Work of Mercy that is appropriate to the grade of one of their children. If you have three children, pick one Work of Mercy to complete. This will be an ongoing program so next year, you pick a different one based on your children’s grade levels so you and the children will have the opportunity to experience all of the Works of Mercy. Because we are each individual in our spirituality and personalities, you and your children may have different favorite Works that you have done. But hopefully each of you will find one that becomes near to your hearts and will become a lifelong work you wish to continue in the name of Jesus Christ. Enclosed in this folder are several pieces of information. One is examples of Works of Mercy and organizations that you can contact. On the reverse side of this letter is the breakdown of Works of Mercy by grade leve. You can use those pages for ideas of the Works assigned to a particular grade. And of course, any ideas you have to share would be welcomed and appreciated. Another enclosed item is a Work of Mercy booklet. We ask that you and your family write about your Mercy experience. Young children can draw about their Work of Mercy. And then please hold on to the booklet and the folder. As we mentioned, this will be an annual project and you will complete another Work of Mercy next year. We will invite the children to bring their folders into class whenever your family completes their Work of Mercy to share what you have done. We will post them on the bulletin board and then return them to you so your family can see each year the wonderful Works you have done in the name of Jesus Christ.

Please see reverse side for more information.

Works of Mercy by Grade Level Feed the Hungry - Gr 1 Clothe the Naked - Gr 2 (Spiritual Work of Mercy) Pray for the Living and the Dead - Gr 3 Give Drink to the Thirsty/(Spiritual Work) Bear Wrongs Patiently - Gr 4 Visit the Sick - Gr 5 Welcome the Stranger/(Spiritual Work) Instruct the Ignorant - Gr 6 Visit the Imprisoned/(Spiritual Work) Forgive Injuries - Gr 7 Bury the Dead/(Spiritual Work) Comfort Those Who Mourn - Grade 8 Each grade has been assigned a particular Work to complete. We encourage you to perform others also. This list will remain the same so that as the children move from year to year they will do a different Work over the 8 years of religious ed. Hopefully by Confirmation they will be actively participating in a Work or Works that uses the gifts and talents that will be sealed within them by the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. We will provide you with ideas on projects. We have a new book on the Works of Mercy and a collection of newspaper and magazine articles on various projects. Please contact us for ideas.

Please see reverse side for more information.

Samaritan Center House at 807 Francis House Unity Kitchen Hillbrook Detention Center

472-0650 475-6570 475-6761

US Armed Forces Church World Services Catholic Relief Services American Red Cross Ronald McDonald House Circle Of Hope 622-7954 Jail Ministry Alliance program of Catholic Charities Hometown Heroes 452-1115 Operation Gratitude

Daily meals for the homeless and hungry Jackie A home for independent elderly Residence for the dying Feeding the poor Place for boys and girls ages 10 through 15 who have gotten in trouble Help the overseas armed forces

Help victims of disasters Louise Donahue – a Halfway house

ARISE, ENABLE Big Brothers Big Sisters The Daily Dose The Syracuse Post Standard lists call for volunteers Volunteer opportunities thru the United Way Sarah House United Way Emergency Services at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Assumption Church Food Pantry Heifer Intl. www. Camp Good Days

Supplies for soldiers Supplies for soldiers Help the disabled

Please see reverse side for more information.

Works of Mercy Examples and Ideas What great ways can you think of to perform a Work of Mercy? Grade 1 Feed the hungry - Bring canned goods to our monthly food collection. They are donated to the Cathedral Emergency Services that helps the poor and hungry in downtown Syracuse. We also have regular collections for our own food pantry. Don’t just give up the old stuff or what you don’t like. Part with or buy some of your favorite foods to share with those less fortunate. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen - Samaritan Center or a home for the elderly, House at 807, Rescue Mission. Send food to Assumption Church’s food pantry. Make sandwiches for Assumption’s Sandwich program. Bake cookies and send them to Assumption or the Samaritan Center. Send some to a nursing home or Assisted Living home for a snack for the residents. Make a meal for Ronald McDonald House residents. Send homemade cookies to a student you know in college. Make meals for Sarah House, a home for people from out of town who are here because they or someone in their family is ill and being treated at an area hospital. Tear off a Scan Away Hunger ticket at an area supermarket. Buy a Fries for Friends book at Carrols Corporation Burger Kings. Make a dessert for the Samaritan Center. In your own house, save some pizza or favorite snack for a family member who can’t be there when you the rest of the family is eating it. Make the CROP Walk a family fund raising activity to help the hungry. Grade 2 Clothe the naked - Clean out dresser drawers and closets twice a year (beginning of each season) and take the clothes to St. Vincent de Paul, the Rescue Mission, the Clothing Go-Round in Baldwinsville or Salvation Army. See if your school knows of any families that need clothes or donate to the Red Cross. Buy socks and underwear for people in homeless shelters like Unity Acres and the Oxford Inn. Send them warm winter clothes - jackets, sweaters. If you knit or crochet, make some hats and gloves and scarves. Start a shoe driver for a country where there is a need – Iraq, Afghanistan. Look for clothes on sale or non-name brands for yourself. Donate the money you saved to an organization that helps people in need - American Red Cross, Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, Christmas Shoe Boxes. Do you knit or crochet? Make hats or gloves for Rescue Mission, Samaritan Center, Unity Kitchens, Oxford Inn. Grade 3 Pray for the Living and the Dead - Make a prayer list of people that you know are sick and pray for them every day. Pray for the people listed in the Church bulletin. Pray for your friends’ relatives that have died. If you hear about something tragic or sad on the news, pray for the people involved. During your mealtime prayers be sure to pray for those you know who are sick. Make a prayer blanket or card or some object that can be given to a person who would be comforted by knowing that someone is praying for them. Make a prayer calendar with people and things to pray for each day. Make a prayer card to remind you to pray for someone. Make a butterfly tree and make butterflies out of popsicle sticks and construction paper. Put the names of someone who has died on the “butterfly” and pray for them. Find out some way you can assist at Francis House, a local home for those who are dying. Pray for our seminarians and priests.

Please see reverse side for more information.

Grade 4 Give drink to the thirsty - Share your lunch drink with someone who doesn’t have one. Watch for ways to save water or keep it clean. Be environmentally aware. Use water saving gadgets in your shower or toilet. Set up a lemonade stand and send the proceeds to Catholic Relief Services. Hand out water at a race or walk that raises money for a charity. Bring in juice for the monthly pantry collection. Give someone who is sick some Holy Water and let them know you will pray for them. Learn about safe water – – www. – www. – – www. Help somebody who can’t reach a drinking fountain or faucet. Help someone who is “thirsting” for a friend or someone to talk to. Grade 5 Visit the sick - Send cards to friends or relatives who are sick and in the hospital. If possible, make them a homemade card and hand deliver it. Be part of a group that visits the sick. Many nursing homes get visitors over the holidays. Take a group of children to visit outside the holiday times. Call the nursing home office and find out who doesn’t get any company. Offer to visit them regularly. Make or buy some notecards for someplace like Ronald McDonald House and leave them with stamps so people who are staying there can send letters home. Prepare meals for Sarah House or Ronald McDonald House. Find out special needs that Camp Good Days might have. Be patient with a sick sibling. Help take care of them till they are better. Grade 6 Shelter the homeless/Welcome the stranger - Have a garage sale of some of your furnishings that are extras and donate to Habitat for Humanity or a homeless shelter like the Oxford Inn. If power goes out in a part of the city and you have if, offer a friend a place to live until it all comes back. Welcome the families of the sick at Sarah House and Ronald McDonald House. Provide items for the Humane Association or SPCA. Send cards or gifts to new neighbors or parishioners. Help build a house with Habitat for Humanity. Let your house be a welcome place for a friend who may not have a parent home after school. Bring in baby gifts for a new mother who is in need. Have a baby shower. Donate items to Catholic Charities or Onondaga County agencies. Contact the library or a missionary group (like the Maryknolls) and see if they would like some book for underprivileged children. A group of Maryknoll lay people take books to Africa. Adopt a family in need for Christmas and make their Christmas and yours a lot brighter. Set Christmas, Easter, any type of card to the servicemen overseas.

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Grade 7 Forgive all injuries - Anytime someone has hurt you, they say something bad about you, maybe they lie to you. They might hurt you physically. Forgive them. That doesn’t mean that what they do is right. It just means that you know they are wrong and you forgive them so you can be at peace with the hurt. Learn about Capital Punishment. Visit the Imprisoned - Offer to help sell bread for the Jail Ministry program once a month at Church. Purchase some of the bread. (It is very good.) Learn what the Church teaches about Capital Punishment. Contact the Jail Ministry office to see what you could send to those in jail. Maybe get some birthdays and send them a card. Gift bags for the holidays. Help prepare a Christmas meal or gifts for the family of a prisoner who may have little with an imprisoned parent. Louise Donahue runs a Halfway House, Circle of Hope, for men released from jail. Ask her what they may need when they get out to get started again in a new life. Help someone who is “imprisoned” by a disability or handicap. Be a friend or helper to them. Learn about Free the Children created by a young Canadian boy who wanted to help end child labor in foreign countries. Contact Hillbrook Detention Center and see if they have any needs for clothing, books, supplies for the youth that are living there. Visit and see how to help children of prisoners. Grade 8 Comfort the Sorrowful - A friend loses a relative. Someone’s pet dies. Call them and ask how they are doing. Send them a sympathy or thinking of you card. Try to cheer them up. Pray for them and their loved one who has died. Give comfort and cheer to those with sick loved ones. Make a butterfly for someone who has died and give it to their relatives. Find out if there is a need at Francis House to help people whose loved ones are sick and dying. Bury the dead - Call the Catholic Diocese Cemetery and ask if they need help in the fall or spring with cleanup around the cemetery grounds. See if there are any other ways that you can assist near the holidays. See if they need help putting flags out around Memorial Day or Veterans Day. Other Works of Mercy Instruct the Ignorant - If you have a special gift or talent, share that with someone else. Help someone learn to play a musical instrument. Peer tutor at school in a subject that you are good at. Help someone with homework in your best subject. Don’t always make it be your best friend. Share your gifts with someone you don’t know as well. Be the hands of Christ for them. Bear wrongs patiently - Try not to get upset when someone treats you unfairly. Find a good way to work out the feelings you have. Counsel the doubtful - When someone comes to you for advice or just to talk about a problem, be a good listener and say a silent prayer to Jesus asking for his help in telling them the right things to do. Admonish the Sinner - If you know someone is going to do something that is bad or wrong, warn them not to do it. If they have already done it, tell them nicely that is was not a good thing to do so they will choose not to do it again.

Please see reverse side for more information.

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