All parishes, clusters and deaneries in the Albany Diocese were asked to pray and do service work this fall in honor of Bishop Howard J. Hubbard's 50th anniversary of priestly ministry.
Their responses, which will be presented to Bishop Hubbard in the form of slideshows and written descriptions at the Autumn Diocesan Gathering this weekend, have been pouring in all season.
St. Michael the Archangel parish in Troy, for instance, collected art supplies to send to Nigeria, where a young adult from the Diocese is teaching at a girls' school with the Notre Dame Mission Volunteers program, a part of AmeriCorps.
Sacred Heart parish in Lake George made a "spiritual bouquet" for the Bishop with cards signifying the number of devotional acts performed by parishioners. The options were recitations of the Hail Mary and Our Father, the Rosary, acts of random kindness, donations to the parish food pantry or veteran program and eucharistic adoration. Sacred Heart also participated in an ecumenical vacation Bible school and collected items for the parish food bank.
All Saints Catholic Academy and All Saints parish in Albany collected 898 pairs of socks to distribute to shelters at Catholic Charities AIDS Services, the Capital City Rescue Mission, the Albany Damien Center and St. Catherine's Marillac Family Shelter. Parishioners also signed a large card for the bishop, as did members of many other parishes throughout the Diocese.
Also in Albany, Mater Christi parish ran a baked goods drive to supply baked goods to its brown bag lunch program and local soup kitchens. They called the project "Bishop Hubbard's Cupboard."
Sacred Heart parish in Albany asked parishioners to donate to its food pantry, while Blessed Sacrament parish in Albany collected baby items for Mary's Corner, a service of the diocesan Ladies of Charity that recently opened a second location at the Sister Maureen Joyce Center in Albany.
Faith formation students at St. Francis of Assisi parish in Albany prepared 80 gift bags of toiletry items for the St. John's/St. Ann's Outreach Center on the city's South End.
St. Mary's parish in Glens Falls held a "car wash for life," raising $800 for Community Maternity Services and Open Arms Pregnancy Center in Glens Falls. Corpus Christi parish in Round Lake and St. Patrick's in Cambridge both held free community dinners.
Parishioners of St. Mary's in Crescent made birdseed cupcakes for guests of an animal blessing held at the parish; they also made placemats that will be used at a reception after an anointing of the sick service.
Our Lady of Hope parish in Fort Plain sent parishioners to a nursing home to run bingo sessions and play games with residents. Faith formation students from Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Amsterdam made floral arrangements for the residents of a nearby nursing home. Parish youth from St. Francis of Assisi in Northville visited nursing home residents near them and made fall crafts.
St. Mary's Academy in Hoosick Falls enlisted students to do community-wide cleanups and beautification. Transfiguration parish members from Speigletown baked pies for a future bake sale; they sent 15 pies and 10 gallons of soup to Joseph's House in Troy. Holy Spirit parishioners in East Greenbush made lunches for the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless and the Capital City Rescue Mission, and youth there prepared gift-filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
Sacred Heart parish in Sidney held its annual "baptism remembrance party" for those baptized during the past year, while Holy Cross parish in Morris asked parishioners to clean the grounds.
The parishes of the Greene County deanery held an intergenerational event simultaneously celebrating the 50th anniversaries of the Second Vatican Council and Bishop Hubbard's priesthood; they made a $1,000 donation to Catholic Charities of Columbia and Greene Counties in Bishop Hubbard's name.
The diocesan youth team sorted and packed materials and food at the Regional Food Bank, and the diocesan Service Action Learning Team (SALT) did post-flood cleanup and repairs in the Schoharie Valley in addition to other service projects in Schoharie County.
There have also been a slew of events honoring Bishop Hubbard, including: