Our Lady of Refuge Food Pantry
Opened in 1988, the Food Pantry started with 2 to 3 volunteers giving emergency food once per month to about 100 people.
Currently we have 10-15 volunteers who serve as many as 300 clients each week. We serve a population which consists of immigrants from Russia, Haiti, West Indies and Caribbean countries, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and several other countries.
We serve every age group, middle aged, elderly, but mostly families with children; some have low paying jobs, some have no jobs, some receive food stamps, and some homeless.
We do not discriminate. We give basic orientation on social services available and make referrals to various city agencies.
We receive food from The Food Bank for NYC which is located at Hunts Point Coop Market in the Bronx; the city's EFAP (Emergency Food Assistance Program); the Department of Health's HPNAP (Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program); City Harvest, and the city's TEFAP (Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program).
In addition this parish runs an annual food drive during Advent. We also receive cash and in-kind donations from our neighbors at the East Midwood Jewish Center, for which we are most grateful.
Volunteers prepare food packages Tuesday from 1:00 to 3:30PM. Food is distributed on Wednesday from 9:30AM to 1:00PM.
Call the parish with questions. Canned, dry food and cash donations to the food pantry are welcome.
We are about to resume our homeless shelter which was closed for the last two years due to certain changes put into effect by Mayor Bloomberg. As of October 3rd, the shelter will be reopened in the rectory basement. We need volunteers to sleep overnight, prepare a hot meal, or help set up beds and other accommodations for our guest on Sunday evenings. Most volunteers sleep over once or twice during the year. Please call the rectory office for additional information.
GED and Basic Skills Classes
Teachers from the Board of Education conduct GED and Basic Skills classes Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 3:00pm in our rectory basement. Please use the 21st Street entrance.
The Board of Education also provides English as a Second Language (ESL) classes every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 5:30pm on the fourth floor of our school building. The school's address is 1087 Ocean Avenue and is located next to the church, between Farragut Road and Foster Avenue.
Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous
All meetings are held in the rectory basement. Please use the 21st Street entrance.
English A.A. meetings are held on Tuesdays at 6:00pm and Saturdays at 5:00pm. English N.A. meetings are held on Sundays at 6:00pm.
Spanish meetings are held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:00pm and on Sundays at 3:00pm in the rectory basement.
Our Food Pantry provides food, and sometimes clothing, to the needy in our community. Food is bagged on Tuesdays and distributed on Wednesdays throughout the year.
Annual Blood Drive
Twice a year our parish and the East Midwood Jewish Center organize a blood drive in conjunction with the New York Blood Bank. As a member of this committee, you would be expected to coordinate this with your counterparts at the Jewish Center through advertising, speaking at Masses and encouraging parishioners to donate blood.
Our parish, the East Midwood Jewish Synagogue and the Church of the Nativity are committed to working together in an effort to make our neighborhood a safer and better place. Dialogue happens all during the year, centered around religious and social activities. Members of this group are expected to motivate parishioners and others in the neighborhood to participate in various activities, and help with registration and advertisement of various events.
Contact: Sr. Celia Deutsch
Our hope is that no member of our parish community grieves alone. Members of the group lead the prayers at the wake service and assist at the funeral Mass.
Parish Stewardship Committee
At Our Lady of Refuge Parish we promote Stewardship as a way of life--our response to God's call to "Go and make disciples of all people." Members of this ministry work closely with the Pastor in promoting the parish's annual stewardship drive of "Time, Talent, and Treasure." They recruit and train volunteers to work on the Diocesan Annual Catholic Appeal; evaluate the different models of community-based support through fund-raising, tithing/sacrificial giving, and personal appeals, and organize the parish's annual Ministry Fair.
Parishioners are invited to plan fund-raisers for the parish, such as Street Fairs, Flea Markets, Pig Roasts, Dinner Dances, etc. A willing spirit and and ability to work with a team are all that is required.
This consists of parishioners whose skills would be helpful to maintain our buildings, furniture and support equipment. Such parishioners would be carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians, etc.
These parishioners are responsible for maintenance of altar linen, priests' vestments and altar vessels. They keep an inventory of altar bread and wine, candles, incense, etc.
Legion of Mary
This is a lay Apostolic organization for adults and children whose purpose is to win souls for Jesus and Mary. They strive to develop their spirituality by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and praying the Rosary. They meet in the rectory chapel every Thursday evening at 7:00pm.
Legion de Marie
Nous nous reunissons tous les samedis de 4:00pm a 5:00pm pour faire la recitation du chapelet, prendre des comptes-rendus des travaux, communiquer les informations qui reviennent de la curia, faire des visites de maison ou a l'hopital et donner un rapport annuel a la curia.
La Sainte Famille
Evangelization. Notre but c'est d'aider ceux qui ont besoin. On se rencontre chaque dimanche de 3:30pm a 5:00pm.
Groupe de Priere Pour Haitiens
Nou laprie ensem-nou fe kamonte sou lektu yo li dimanch yo nou rakonte sa Bon Dieu fe pou nou. Nou gin reunion les mekredi a 7:00pm.
Cursillista Grupo y Ultreya (Cursillo)
Members of this ministry are part of a worldwide body of Catholics who have taken a three-day mini course to learn what being a true Christian is all about. During this three-day course they come face to face with Christ and make a promise to serve Jesus. Meetings are held every Tuesday at 7:00pm in the chapel.
Circulo de Oracion
Tres horas de alabanza y reflexion de la palabra, cada viernes a las 7:30pm hasta las 10:00pm.
Nous nous reunissons les Jeudis de 7:00pm a 10:00pm. Nous proclamons notre foi en Dieu qui est Pere, Fils et Esprit. Ouvrons a tout le monde. Visitons les maisons. Nous avons notre ressemblement chaque mois dans differentes eglises dans le Diocese; il y a une rencontre annuelle des leaders et membres de soutien.
But principal: Vivre la vie dans l'Esprit a travers les seminaires.