By Sean Ryan - 11 November, 2016
The Redemptorist community in Limerick City has launched its annual Poor Campaign in association with the Saint Vincent De Paul (SVP).
The annual campaign, which was started over 34 years ago by the late Fr Gerry Daly, has grown year on year. This week, the rector of Mount St Alphonsus, Fr Seamus Enright CSsR, asked the public to donate food items for families in need of support over the Christmas holiday season.
Fr Seamus Enright, rector of the Redemptorists, told the Limerick Leader newspaper that almost 7,000 hampers worth in excess of €120,000 were distributed in Limerick last year.
People can donate non-perishable dry foods, cash, or toys for children.
“It’s a big undertaking, but people have always been very generous to us. A lady called in recently to donate toys, and brought her children to Smyth’s toystore first to get them to pick out the gifts for others that they would like to receive themselves. A man, in Dublin, who is unable to get to mass, watches our masses online and he sent us a cheque of €500 for the campaign, so we are very thankful,” said Fr Enright.
Any proceeds not spent on hampers go to the Free Dinner Trust, which hosts a full dinner each Sunday in the gospel hall on Mallow Street for anyone in need of a meal.
St Clement’s College and St Nessan’s Community College in the city, and St John the Baptist Community School in Hospital, County Limerick, are among those who regularly donate hampers to the appeal. The transition year students in St Clement’s College help with packing hampers in the run-up to Christmas.
Donations can now be dropped into the office attached to the church, or to the SVP, which distributes the packages, on Hartstonge Street.
The annual Redemptorist Poor Campaign is the social justice wing of the Redemptorist ministry in Mount St Alphonsus, and offers support to vulnerable families and individuals on a weekly basis. The campaign also sponsors a professional counselling service for those who may not normally be able to afford such a service.
In an effort to raise funds for the venture, the Redemptorist community is also encouraging groups or individuals to organise a raffle, a coffee morning, cake sale or any event of their choice. All contributions, no matter how small, are most welcome. Donations, marked Poor Campaign, can be left into the monastery office.
Recently, the Redemptorists in Limerick also raised €6,755 for an orphanage in Thailand, which was founded by American Redemptorists.