The Church provides three pillars that uphold our efforts to follow Jesus more closely during these 40 days of Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
Fasting often takes center stage during this Holy Season, but almsgiving, defined as “donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity,” is also an essential part of our Lenten observance and of the Christian life in general.
Scripture reminds us of this: “Give alms from your possessions. Do not turn your face away from any of the poor, so that God’s face will not be turned away from you. Give in proportion to what you own. If you have great wealth, give alms out of your abundance; if you have but little, do not be afraid to give alms even of that little.” (Tobit 4:7-8)
If you have not yet made almsgiving part of your Lenten practice, there are many ways to do so in the Diocese of Allentown. Here are three:
- Volunteer at a Catholic Charities soup kitchen in Allentown or Pottsville: Cook and serve meals at noon on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays in Allentown. Serve dinners weekdays or at lunch on Sundays in Pottsville. Volunteers are particularly needed Mondays and Fridays 9:00a.m. – 1:00p.m. in Allentown. To learn more, visit https://www.catholiccharitiesad.org/volunteer/, contact Bob Olney at 610-435-1541, ext. 327, or email email@example.com.
- Visit the elderly at Holy Family Senior Living in Bethlehem: For more information please call the Volunteer Office at 610-865-5595 ext. 522 or visit https://www.holyfamilysl.org/contact/.
- Support special education: The John Paul II Center for Special Learning offers crafts made by the students on their website (https://johnpauliicenter.org/projects-with-purpose/). The St. Joseph Center for Special Learning (https://stjosephctr.com) and the Mercy School for Special Learning (http://mercyschool.org/) accept online donations.
Your parish bulletin is another great resource for finding almsgiving opportunities close to home.