On May 24, 2019, the Diocesan Council of the Diocese of the Midwest approved a proposal to form a charitable arm of the diocese, which will be known as the Mother Maria of Paris Charitable Ministry of the Diocese of the Midwest.
The purpose of the Mother Maria of Paris Charitable Ministry is to engage clergy and parishioners of all walks of life in service to the under-served by providing greater opportunities to live out Christ’s teachings in Matthew 25:14-40 according to the gifts that God has given them.
One way of engaging the diocese will be through developing a means, or multiple means, of generating funds for Orthodox charitable work that is already being done within the diocese’s territory. A steering committee that is comprised of representatives from each of the six deaneries will organize public events, write grants, and seek new and creative means of fundraising without asking parishes for direct monetary support.
A Greenhouse for Personal Growth
This ministry’s first fundraising project will be to raise funds for a greenhouse at Saint Herman House’s Spruce Farm, near Warren, OH, which is being turned into a recovery ranch for men with backgrounds of drug abuse, mental illness, and unemployment.
The greenhouse will provide recovery program residents at Saint Herman House – FOCUS Cleveland’s recovery ranch with work experience as they seek sobriety, health, and independence. In addition, it will generate funds for the further construction of the buildings and a chapel for the recovery ranch.
This is the first project in which the Diocese of the Midwest’s charitable arm will be partnering with a local Center of FOCUS North America, an Orthodox non-profit that serves many people in physical and spiritual need throughout the United States.
Feed the Hungry, Clothe the Naked, Visit the Sick and the Prisoners
As the ministry’s first fundraising project is focused in Northeast Ohio, it will be organized by members of the Cleveland Deanery. In the future, this ministry will rotate through the six deaneries to support Orthodox charitable work taking place in each respective deanery’s territory, with the goal of eventually organizing multiple fundraisers concurrently throughout the diocese for a single fundraising project.
Ultimately, this ministry will not only fundraise, but also explore creative, daring means to serve those in great physical and spiritual need, in imitation of its patroness saint, Saint Maria Skobtsova, who gave everything to and for her neighbors, in whom she saw immense value, having been created in the Image of God and according to His Likeness.
The Mother Maria of Paris Charitable Ministry is presently in need of volunteers from the Cleveland Deanery in the Diocese of the Midwest to organize fundraising efforts for a greenhouse for Saint Herman House – FOCUS Cleveland’s Spruce Farm. The ministry is also seeking grant writers who are willing to do pro bono work for Orthodox ministries, as well as interested clergy and parishioners from throughout the diocese.
In addition, we invite you reflect on the needs in your community, and how your local Orthodox Christian community can take steps toward meeting those needs. Share ideas and thoughts on the ministry’s Facebook page, where there will also be regular updates about the fundraising project(s) and reflections on the life and works of Mother Maria of Paris.
Contact Priest Jonathan Lincoln at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in volunteering or for more information.