Dozens attend Catholic Charities’
Food and Faith Fair

Parishioners who attended Catholic Charities of Louisville’s Food and Faith Fair Sept. 28 at Holy Family Church’s Saffin Center stopped by an information booth where Sister of Charity of Nazareth Paris Slapikas, right, director of the Sister Visitor Center, and Lori Ferris, associate director, discussed volunteer opportunities. (Record Photo by Ruby Thomas)

About 70 people representing 30 parishes in the Archdiocese of Louisville attended Catholic Charities of Louisville’s first Food and Faith Fair Sept. 28 at Holy Family Church. They were treated to games, food and a host of information about how to get involved with the agency.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz presented opening remarks and a prayer at the event held in the parish’s Saffin Center, 3938 Poplar Level Road.

“This is a wonderful thing for us to do,” he said. “Thanks to the staff (of Catholic Charities) who do a lot behind the scenes without much credit and without much thanks. This is an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to them.”

In his prayer, Archbishop Kurtz said we are called to show our love for God “by the way we love one another. Bless Catholic Charities … bless us, for we are one Body of Christ.”

Those who attended the event heard how Catholic Charities is serving a wide range of people — from those who are hungry or in need of clothing to elderly residents of long-term care facilities to refugees arriving in Louisville.

Following the presentations, participants stopped by different booths to learn more about how they and their parishes could become involved with the organization’s work.

Lisa Dejaco Crutcher, CEO of Catholic Charities, said she was pleased with the success of the event.

“We were very excited to see the representatives from so many parishes and archdiocesan offices,” said DeJaco Crutcher. “We’ve been hoping to do this for quite a while.”

She said she hopes the event leads to more individuals from the parishes getting involved with Catholic Charities’ ministries. “We want to be present in every parish so that they’ll have opportunities to engage … whether that’s praying for our works or donating to a food drive or volunteering with one of our programs,” she said.

DeJaco Crutcher hopes to host the Food and Faith Fair every year or every other year, she said.

Lisa Giacone and her young sons, members of Epiphany Church, spoke to Alisa Pifine, right, director of Catholic Charities’ language services program, during the agency’s Food and Faith Fair Sept. 28 at Holy Family Church’s Saffin Center, 3938 Poplar Level Road. (Record Photo by Ruby Thomas)

Among those who attended the fair was Mary Lang, president of Assumption High School. Lang said she wanted to learn how she can support Catholic Charities but she also wanted to learn ways to get Assumption’s students involved.

Catholic Charities’ “whole mission is about welcoming and caring for our community because that’s what we’re called to do,” said Lang. “There are so many ways we can all plug in. I want to do that personally, but I also want to bring Assumption on with me.”

Janet Elmer and her husband Kenneth, members of St. Albert the Great Church, attended the fair to find ways to engage.

“Now seems like the right time to get involved,” said Janet Elmer. She and her husband visited several information booths during the event. The Elmers said they like the Sister Visitor Center and will pursue volunteer opportunities there.

“I want to be helpful in simple ways that have real meaning for people who need it,” said Kenneth Elmer.

Lisa Giacone, who serves as community life coordinator at Epiphany Church, attended the fair with her young sons.

“I’ve always had in the back of my mind that I want to find out what Catholic Charities does and how I can get involved,” she said.

Giacone, who speaks Spanish, said she wants to use her skills as an interpreter for the organization.

“I’d like to use my Spanish skills to help the community,” she said. “It takes all of us working together.”

Ellen Hauber, who serves as Catholic Charities’ director of development, told those who came out to the fair that there are “many programs with many needs.”

She said they were welcoming volunteers back from individuals to groups and students. Hauber said the organization can use the help of

  • Writers to help job seekers create résumés.
  • Therapists
  • Mentors
  • Visitors to nursing homes.
  • Drivers
  • English language teachers

For more information about volunteer opportunities and how to sign up, visit https://cclou.org/volunteer/.

Fair participants were treated to chances at a cake wheel and free soup and bread from Catholic Charities’ Common Table culinary program.

Ashley Steimel, Catholic Charities of Louisville’s events planner, clapped after spinning the cake wheel at the agency’s Food and Faith Fair Sept. 28 at Holy Family Church’s Saffin Center, 3938 Poplar Level Road. (Record Photo by Ruby Thomas)

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