Generosity is Abundant

By Joe Blewett

Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish

Monona, Wisconsin

At Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish and School (IHM) you don’t need a calendar to know what day it is. IHM is blessed with volunteers and donors that fill every day of the month with acts of stewardship and spirits of generosity.

For example, we know it’s the last Wednesday of the month when casserole dishes, gallons of milk, bags of fresh fruit, and trays of cookies start showing up at the rectory by 7:00 am. This is the day when IHM parishioners take their turn providing the evening meal to approximately 130 people at Luke House, a nonprofit organization that provides meals to the community.

The first Tuesday of the month is a night of meetings. You can find our Home and School Association, Student Advisory Commission and St. Anne’s Society gathered as they discuss, review and evaluate ways to improve our Catholic community. These meetings begin after our Student Council ends their meeting and the space becomes available. At the same time in the Church Meeting Room, our “Between Sundays” group gathers to learn various aspects to enhance their Catholic faith.

Fish Fry Friday’s are a great example of the generosity that abounds at Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is evident as parishioners, school families and area community members wait (sometimes up to two hours) in line, occasionally up to two hours, for IHM’s fabulous Fish Fry. These popular fish fries take hundreds of hours of volunteer participation, and all proceeds benefit the school and parish.

IHM’s St. Vincent de Paul donation bin regularly overflows with donations. Our St. Vincent de Paul chapter holds a monthly drive for the food pantry, a clothing drive twice per year, an Angel Tree Christmas gift collection, a winter blanket drive, and a fall school supply drive to assist the needy.

Some of the scheduled events only happen annually. Some recent examples include parishioners filling an entire gymnasium with donations for our huge White Elephant sale, held at our Memorial Day Parish Festival and in December 2012 nearly 5,000 diapers were collected by IHM school and religious education families. The diapers were delivered to CareNet Dane County, a non-profit, pro-life pregnancy center in Madison.

So why do so many give so much of themselves at IHM? Because it’s the Catholic way. Stewardship is a way of living that’s demonstrated every day at IHM. Those that are blessed can be a blessing. Here at IHM we know we’re blessed with strong leadership, generous hearts and deep faith.

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