Around 1973, a group of parishioners at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Palo Alto, formed a group to get together, enjoy a simple meal of soup, and raise money to feed the undernourished. Thus, S.O.U.P. (Sharing Ourselves with Undernourished People) began. The group continues, now part of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, meeting twice a month, except during Lent, when they meet weekly. Parishioners come with a bowl, a spoon, and perhaps some bread or crackers. Three people bring a large pot of soup to share, and a few bring a bottle of wine or juice. After the meal, there is an opportunity for announcements, often a joke is told, and one of those attending leads us in reciting grace. Each family puts a check or cash into a box, representing the money they would have spent at the market or dining out that night.
Meeting from mid-September to mid-May, the group deposits the funds with the parish, and at the last soup of the year, votes on how to distribute the funds raised that year. In recent years, the money contributed during Lent has been sent to the Jesuit Missionaries in San Francisco, for the use of Father Jack Donald, S.J., who grew up, and whose family still lives, in our parish. Father Jack has been working as a missionary in Honduras for the last 10 years. The balance of the fund was divided last spring among the following: Urban Ministry (Palo Alto), St. Anthony of Padua Dining Room (Redwood City), Ecumenical Hunger Program (East Palo Alto), L.O.V.E./ Fr. Ed Figueroa (Brazil), and the St. Joseph the Worker Day Worker Center (Mountain View).
Hotel de Zink
This is a joint effort of the churches in Palo Alto to provide shelter for the homeless during the winter months.
St. Vincent de Paul Society
Our contributions to our struggling brothers and sisters.
YOU DID IT AGAIN – WITH ST. VINCENT DE PAUL You have "Fed the hungry-clothed the naked-sheltered the homeless" with your contributions to your parish St. Vincent de Paul Conference. With the donations you gave last year, you saved several families from being evicted from their homes; you gave shelter to many families (and individuals) that have no homes. You have paid all or part of many utility bills. You also provided families with clothing and with layettes for new babies. You provided food from our Parish Pantry and from the market. You filled prescriptions for the sick and other medications. You have helped people get to work, or a job interview, with gas or critical repairs for their cars. Your conference helped many, many people with the funds that you provided. And we're back each time there's a fifth Sunday in the month asking you to do it again! Please be generous in the fifth Sunday collection. The needs are great.