News & Updates

Giving Alms

March 2016

Giving Alms is the Mercy of God in our Midst Today, by Sr. Janet Bucher

The Mercy of God is upon us!  Giving alms to the poor, reaching out to those less fortunate, “procuring all sorts of relief” for those in need can make us the active hand of Providence, of our God’s mercy in our struggling, hurting world today!  Filling a material need for someone in needs goes back to Mosaic Law and what was lived out in the early Christian community.

The Mercy of God is upon us, within us as we share what we have and Become His Mercy, his Hand in our world.


  • a young man requests money or bus tickets so he can get to work – or gas for his car
  • an elderly woman needs help with her medicine after a hospital stay diminished her little monthly check
  • a young “mama” or daddy needs diapers or formula for the baby
  • a minimum wage does not cover all the bills
  • a middle aged couple lost their jobs, can’t find jobs or just “over spent” SSI checks and are being evicted—they need to keep their apartment!
  • a family needs food
  • a single man who often has difficulty finding help from agencies comes for food, rent assistance, medicine.  I once was asked to visit a man with throat cancer.  He was sent home from the hospital alone with a breathing machine.  He later was sent to rehab where I visited him.
  • Many homeless men, over the years, have been given blankets and found refuge sleeping on Our Savior Hall porch or a couple times inside

The Mercy of God is found as we give “alms” in outreach of whatever form, to those in need and it is here I find the presence of Jesus in our midst.

I have never ceased to be amazed by the way Providence provides for Our Savior Parish and for the needs we are able to help with -- a donation, a check appears “out of the blue”, groceries for the pantry.  Indeed I am touched by the Mercy of God, Providence!

At Christmas time Our Savior Parish packed baskets of “goodies” and went caroling to some community elders, touching a dozen or so elders with the love and mercy of God.

  • A stranger on the street requests bus fare to get home
  • A family needs help with school tuition
  • A parishioner needs a loan to pay the month’s rent
  • A single parent family is ready to have utilities turned off
  • An inmate in jail needs the “ALMS” of a listening ear and a word of God’s Love, Mercy and Compassion!
  • Comfort or just presence and support for the dying and his/her family

Yes, we are called to “STRIVE TO PROCURE ALL SORTS OF RELIEF FOR THE POOR” (Directory p. 97.)  If I have “neither silver or gold”, I give what I have and here I find Jesus in the Other.

The Mercy of God is Within us!

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