Raleigh Parish Blog Shares ‘Fruits of Ministry’

Rebecca Doel Around the Province

RALEIGH, N.C. — A quick glance at the tags in the right-hand column of the “Good News” blog from the Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi paints a picture of the lively, diverse parish: care for creation, community garden, family life, marriage enrichment, youth ministry.

The blog, launched in February with the objective to “share the fruits of ministry at St. Francis of Assisi,” is a collaborative effort by several parish staff members and parishioners. New posts tend to be added at least weekly, describing the varied events happening at the parish where Mark Reamer, OFM, is pastor.

Youth Ministry
Middle and high school youth from the parish gathered May 15 for the “Everyday Topics” series with a focus on music and how it can be a way to express emotion, faith, spirit, beauty or sadness.

Award-winning musician David LaMotte led the discussion and performed three original songs for the young audience.

Job Connections Ministry
The parish’s popular Job Connections ministry will be hosting a talk by Mike McGrail titled “Assessments and Profiles in the Hiring Process for Job Seekers” at 8:30 p.m. on June 22.

On the parish website, the ministry describes itself as “an instruction and support ministry providing encouragement, information, networking, spiritual guidance, and job search skills training in a Catholic Christian setting” for “men and women in job transition.” In addition to biweekly presentations on various topics, Job Connections offers resume reviews, job search skills training, and counseling for families coping with job loss.

Past presentations have included “Managing Your Career,” “Working with Recruiters” and “The Spiritual Side of Career Development.”

OutRaleigh Participation
Last month, Mark was among more than a half-dozen religious leaders who welcomed participants to the inaugural OutRaleigh festival, a celebration of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

At the May 14 event, he shared the parish’s mission statement, which reads: “We are one family living in community confronted, challenged and comforted by the Word of God, reaching out to all persons and their families,” emphasizing that “all” excludes no one.

Mark also spoke about the U.S. bishops’ pastoral statement “Always Our Children” and a program by the same name developed by the St. Francis GLBT Ministry. OutRaleigh was “the first of several outreach efforts the (parish’s GLBT) ministry makes each year to the Triangle’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” according to parishioner Chuck Small. Upcoming efforts include a table at the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in August and the Gay Pride Parade and Festival on the East Campus of Duke University in September.

— Rebecca Doel is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province. Vicky Wolak contributed to this article.