Emmaus Walker: Walking with those in need

Aware that calls for assistance come into the Parish Office daily, our Social Concerns Commission is exploring the beginning of a new database. While our parish staff handles as many calls as they can for over thirty years, the calls that request temporary, emergency assistance in terms of food, shelter, clothing, and/or safety are referred to the Ministry of Assistance (MOA) to handle. Those calls require immediate attention and are the primary mission of MOA. Its members handling these calls are experienced and trained to respond appropriately in such cases. Other calls, however, are requests for help in a certain situation. Frequently, but not always, the staff contacts Ministry of Assistance to determine how St. Joseph’s Church can best assist in the situation. Help for these requests is where our Social Concerns Commission sees the need for a Social Concerns database and this ministry. You may return this Sharing our Gifts Form as a way of indicating your gifts for inclusion withing this database.

Examples from the past are:

  • Someone has furniture or appliances they would like to donate.  If MOA has a client in need of that specific item, they need people who have a truck or trailer and the strength to pick-up the item and deliver it at a mutually convenient time.
  • Someone with a pet is scheduled for surgery, or recovering from surgery, and needs someone to care for their pet until they are able to take over the care.
  • Someone is in need of assistance in grocery shopping, household repairs or yardwork due to unforeseen circumstances. Assistance is needed until permanent arrangements can be made.

When calls such as these come in, the office staff will be able to contact the database administrator who would send out a request for assistance. Another purpose for this database would be to keep you informed of ministry opportunities as they are planned.  For example, a request may come from the committee that plans, promotes and implements the Soul Race to line up some volunteers to help throughout the day. Proceeds from this race help to support a number of our Social Concern ministries.  Or a Westside Catholic Center dinner service family got hit with the flu, and a last minute substitution is needed to make sure that the dinner can be served as promised and scheduled.

Lastly, we would like to continue to build on this database by requesting and recording any specific skills or experience you might be willing to offer.  Examples of need may include:

  • Technical expertise to help us create and maintain this working database and the Social Concerns presence on the church website.   
  • Willingness to help a needy parishioner with a plumbing leak as he/she cannot afford to hire someone. 
  • Willingness to assist parishioners who are physically and financially unable to do their yardwork for a few weeks due to illness, surgery or accident, or in the spring and fall due to the amount of work needed.
  • Willingness to advise a family struggling with mounting financial burdens as a result of a job loss, divorce or death of a spouse. Financial options, advice on scaling back expenses, budgeting, sorting out bills, prioritizing payments, and next steps are all needed.
  • Giftedness in artistry that can help us create a logo for a new ministry or create a display for a workshop.


One of the most beautiful passages in the Bible is the story from Luke 24 – The Walk to Emmaus. After the death of Jesus and finding his body missing from the tomb, the disciples were on their way to Emmaus.  They were heartbroken, confused, and lost.  Jesus appeared to them and walked with them for a while.  Somehow they didn’t recognize him until they sat down to eat and he broke and blessed the bread.  It was then that they knew who he was and that he was truly risen.


The commitment to walk with someone through a difficult time is one of the calls of discipleship.  For this reason we would like to ask if you would become part of this database and an Emmaus Walker with us. You may return this Sharing our Gifts Form as a way of indicating your gifts for inclusion withing this database.


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