Published March 21, 2019 | En Español
ATLANTA—Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and School ended a year-long celebration of their joint 60th anniversary with a day of service that brought more than a dozen charitable projects and over 400 volunteers of all ages onto the Briarcliff Road campus on Saturday, March 9.
The day of service was the suggestion of Carmen Graciaa, the long-time director of faith formation at IHM School.
According to the parish’s pastor, Msgr. Albert Jowdy, the idea was immediately and enthusiastically embraced by the entire community.
“When I look back over the shared 60-year history of this parish and school, there are few characteristics that stand out as boldly as the commitment to outreach, so it just seemed fitting that our anniversary celebration should end with a day dedicated to service,” said Msgr. Jowdy.
The largest of the charitable undertakings was Catholic Relief Services’ “Helping Hands” project, in which 100 volunteers packed 10,000 meals to be shipped to the nation of Burkina Faso, where the residents are suffering through a humanitarian crisis.
Sixty volunteers painted canvas panels for the Foundation for Hospital Art. The panels will brighten hospital walls wherever they are needed. In partnership with St. Joseph’s Mercy Care, volunteers assembled 500 hygiene kits and 300 bag lunches.
Other charities served included Northside Hospital’s NICU, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Women Veterans Social Justice Network, Central Night Shelter and the One Leash Project of the Atlanta Rescue Dog Café.
Under the banner “60 Years of Discipleship, One Year of Celebration,” the anniversary observance began with a Mass with Archbishop Gregory last October and included a series of concerts in recognition of the parish’s long-standing commitment to music in worship.
Immaculate Heart of Mary was established in 1958 by Bishop Francis Hyland, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta. The new parish was carved out of the territories of Our Lady of the Assumption in Atlanta and St. Thomas More in Decatur. The first pastor named was Msgr. Cornelius Maloney. He quickly set out to build the original church, rectory and school.