Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


St. Benedict Church Gives Through Lenten Projects

Published April 15, 2004

St. Benedict Church focused on two particular projects during the Lenten season to support the disciplines of penance, reflection and fasting, as the parish prepared for Easter Sunday.

The Women’s Guild of St. Benedict encouraged penance through charitable works with an Easter Basket Giving Project. Donations from the parishioners were solicited to assemble Easter baskets for needy children and hospitality bags for the elderly sponsored by six different charitable organizations. The organizations included the Gift of Grace House in Virginia Highlands, a home run by the Missionaries of Charity sisters who care for women suffering from AIDS and their children; San Felipe de Jesus Catholic Mission in Forest Park, a small mission that serves the predominantly Hispanic community in the South Atlanta area; Nicholas House on La Vista Road and Boulevard House, two transitional shelters for needy families working toward financial independence; The Place at Exit 16 on Georgia 400, an organization that provides financial counseling, meals, groceries, shower and laundry facilities, and other supplies to the needy of Forsyth County; and North Fulton Community Charities, a group of charities serving the those in need in North Fulton County, including children and elderly shut-ins.

Each Easter basket created by the guild included a storybook, a coloring book, crayons, (or a crossword puzzle book for teens), a stuffed animal, a prayer card, and, of course, a chocolate Easter bunny or cross and other candy. The hospitality bags included breakfast bars, peanut-butter crackers, tea bags, assorted greeting cards tied with ribbon, a card from one of the preschool children and some candy.  Under the guidance of co-chairs Lori Allan and Natalie Taylor, over 500 baskets and 40 hospitality bags were assembled and distributed thanks to the generosity of the parishioners and the efforts of the Women’s Guild members.

In observance of the practice of abstinence from meat on Fridays during Lent, the Knights of Columbus and Women’s Guild teamed up to hold a Lenten Fish Fry each Friday evening in the St. Benedict Parish Life Center. The menu included baked or fried fish, macaroni and cheese or French fries, coleslaw or applesauce, hush puppies, cookies, clam chowder, cheesecake and pie. Ken Brooke, Grand Knight, and the other members of the Knights chapter handled the food ordering, cooking and cleanup while Renee Santacroce, vice president of membership, and the rest of the Guild were in charge of setup, ticket sales at the door, and food service. Other parish groups and individuals also helped out each week to serve the dinners. With 200-400 people attending each Friday, the fish fry dinners proved to be a success.