Mother of Sorrows parish responded in a very big way when the call went out to support the 'Purple Bag Campaign' for victims of domestic violence. Parishioners filled 220 bags containing blankets, pillows, bath towels, cookware, utensils and many other items necessary for local women and children escaping their violent homes to start a new life.
A 14-foot U-Haul truck was filled to the brim with purple bags and delivered to a storage facility for the Domestic Violence Services of SW Pennsylvania. From there the bags would be distributed to abuse victims as they depart the shelters and begin their new lives. Additional bags were delivered to the Blackburn Center in Greensburg.
Bountiful Buckets for Haiti A heartfelt thanks to the parish for their generosity in filling 397 Bountiful Buckets full of much needed food, personal care and baby items for the displaced people of Haiti. On November 11th our volunteer drivers, Vince and Michael Valeri, left Murrysville in a 17 foot U-Haul truck filled with your buckets and delivered them to the Rays of Hope for Haiti warehouse in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is here that your buckets will be joined with other relief supplies to fill a cargo container headed to Haiti.
Other Help for Haiti
A Mother of Sorrows parishioner has returned home after serving the victims of Haiti. Read about her experience and see photos here!
Help for Fayette County
The Mission of Rendu Services
Rendu Services is named after Sister Rosalie Rendu, a French Daughter of Charity, born in 1787. She dedicated her life to God, served Him and saw Him in the poor of Faubourg Saint-Marceau in Paris. For over 50 years she worked untiringly through poverty, revolution, crime, plague and famine to aid men, women and children to better their lives.
The mission of Rendu Services is to work with and for the people of Fayette County, especially the poor and the marginalized.
They operate a mobile health van with focus on promoting health awareness. They collaborate with existing health care agencies in Fayette County and offer their services free of charge.
Through the services of Fayette County Housing Authority Rendu Services offers after-school programs, educational and recreational games, snacks, computer use and special activities for Children. They also offer computer-based adult education, bingo games and arts and crafts for adults. For the entire family they offer movie nights, cookouts, a community garden, parties and health promotion programs.
Since May 2008 Mother Teresa Outreach has provided necessary items to needy residents of Dunbar, Fayette County belonging to the Rendu Services Food Pantry. These needed items are generally not supplied by the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank and can’t be obtained with food stamps.
For the Thanksgiving and Christmas food distributions, Mother Teresa Outreach, thanks to the support of the parishioners of Mother of Sorrows Parish, handed out certificates for a traditional holiday dinner to approximately 90 families.
Christmas Present Distribution
Mother Teresa Outreach, seeing the need to brighten the Christmas of the children attending the Sisters' after-school programs, and the children of the families that belong to the food pantry, contacted Sister Mary Fran of the Sisters of Charity and inquired how to best make the Christmas Holidays happy and memorable. For the past 2 years Mother Teresa Outreach provided presents to these children.
Home Repair Projects
Aside from food, the need for home repairs became very apparent so Mother Teresa Outreach answered this call through the volunteer efforts of Mother of Sorrows Parishioners, who have special talents in home repair and remodeling. In the past 2 years Mother Teresa Outreach has assisted residents in need of a porch roof, mobile home electrical repairs, and the installation and framing of a new cellar door. Check back again for pictures to be posted soon!.
Reaching Out to El Salvador
Recently, Mother Teresa Outreach donated a much needed generator that is being used to enable repairs at several Children’s Orphanages in El Salvador. The request came through a parish family that performed missionary work in these areas this past summer. The generator will enable the worker volunteers to complete multiple mission related work projects at the CISNA,
San Martin, La Casa De Mi Padre and Illio Vasco Orphanages where electricity is limited. These rural areas of El Salvador have many homeless and most families in these areas live in extreme poverty conditions.
Enjoy this video of the work done by these special folks.
Outreach was initially organized in September of 2005 to assist
victims of Hurricane Katrina by partnering with Our Mother of
Sorrows (OMOS) Catholic Church in Mississippi. This parish of
65 predominantly African-American families is situated in East
Biloxi, one of the poorest sections in the area. (See full
history inexternal archive)
that time, Mother Teresa Outreach has been responsible for bringing
hope and help to many people’s lives. Through the extremely
generous support of our Mother of Sorrows parish family, to date,
$84,000 has gone directly to support those Mother loved most.
to Biloxi, Mother Teresa Outreach has supported St. Louis de Montfort
in Haiti, an orphanage in Africa, and two Mother of Sorrows young
adults doing missionary work in Indonesia and Mexico.
A gift was also given to Mother Teresa’s own ministry in
Calcutta, as well as her Missionaries of Charity in Washington,
D.C. Both of these missions will become part of an annual giving
to honor the work Mother started almost 60 years ago.
of our most recent projects in Biloxi are pictured below. Son's
home (last name withheld) is now finished and he, his wife, Nhi,
and their 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son are happily living
in their restored home.
Current families we are still assisting: Alicia and Robert (last
name withheld) and their 5 yr old son Jiles will hopefully be
able to celebrate the Holidays in their home. We are still financially
supporting this project and recently a group of volunteers from
Virginia came to work on the home using the materials we provided.
We also partnered with Incarnation Church, just outside of Chicago,
to sponsor Daniel's home (last name withheld) with Habitat for
Humanity (see photos below). As if the devastation of Katrina
weren’t enough Daniel’s dear wife passed away just
months after the storm. Their 18-year-old daughter is in her senior
year at Biloxi High School. Volunteers say that Daniel, although
limited by physical disabilities, is most appreciative of all
the help and tries to clean the job site before the volunteers
arrive the next morning.
If you are interested in supporting these efforts, please contact:
Mother Teresa Outreach was proud to provide a young parishioner with medical supplies to take on her recent trip to Nicaragua.
She traveled with the International Service Learning group over her spring break from the University of Pittsburgh with a medical team to Nicaragua. While in Nicaragua, she volunteered by assisting in performing house clinics, community health surveys, village triage and clinics in different areas and towns. Through the generosity of your donations to Mother Teresa Outreach we were able to send with her needed medical supplies that she was able to share with the clinics that are devoted to serving the under-served.
Help for Tennessee
Mother of Sorrows parish was able to help a young couple
in Tennessee who were victims of the recent flooding.
The husband, hearing that there was work in Tennessee and striving for a better life for his family, moved his wife, 7 months pregnant, and 2 year old child from Georgia to Tennessee. At a rest stop, they were robbed of all of their money and identification. With no money or driver’s license, they made their way to a homeless shelter in Nashville. While at the shelter, the devastating floods ravaged Nashville and they were forced to leave the flooded area. They arrived at a halfway house, which soon became apparent was not a safe place for the family to stay.
Full of despair, they contacted Catholic Charities and were placed with Sister Sally, a caseworker for the Short Term Assistance Program. Through MTO’s contacts with Sister Sally in Nashville, we were able to pay for a month’s rent and some parts for the repair of their car. Ironically, the wife is a mechanic and at seven months pregnant, was able to repair the car herself, enabling the husband to find work. Sister Sally has told us that they are very industrious and are committed to making a fresh start in Nashville.