FALMOUTH — Local youth are taking part in a special program this summer that encourages them to perform acts of mercy and understand the inherent worth of every person.
Sponsored by the Parish of the Holy Eucharist, the Summer of Mercy consists of six weeks of activities designed around specific themes, from providing clothing to visiting the sick and imprisoned.
The parish is based at Holy Martyrs in Falmouth and includes three other churches: Sacred Heart in Yarmouth, St. Jude in Freeport, and St. Gregory in Gray.
The goal of the summer program is to provide youth in grades 6-12 with the opportunity to “put their faith into action,” according to Joann Segovia, parish youth ministry coordinator.
“This initiative aims to inspire local youth to show mercy and compassion as we have experienced it from God,” she added.
This is a new ministry for the parish, Segovia said. It grew from “a desire to give our youth a way to stay connected to their faith, their communities and each other during the summer.”
The first event, “Feed the Hungry and Give Drink to the Thirsty,” took place June 11, when meal bags were prepared for delivery to St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen in Portland.
Although the program is already underway, Segovia said youth and adult volunteers are welcome to join in anytime this summer.
“Registrations are still coming in, so we don’t have a final count” of participants, Segovia said, “but our hope is that participation will grow as the summer unfolds.”
To register, email Segovia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Segovia said the idea for the Summer of Mercy program was also inspired by Pope Francis, who, throughout this past year, has encouraged Catholics worldwide to put their faith into action in meaningful ways.
“We wanted to give our youth a way to live out the Corporal Acts of Mercy and to be given opportunities for purpose, fellowship and fun,” as well, she said.
In all, Segovia said, there are seven acts of corporal mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, bury the dead, and give alms to the poor.
Segovia called the acts “a model for how we should treat all others.”
“Faith and works of mercy are not separate from our daily life,” Segovia said. “They are what our Christian life is all about (and) our hope is that our youth will understand this. … The goal is to encourage our youth to live out their faith, put love into action and also form Christian bonds with each other.”
Holy Martyrs Church in Falmouth is hosting a six-week program for local youth called the Summer of Mercy.