Human Concerns

 Contact Rebecca Oxenreider, Minister of Human Concerns, Social Justice, and Community Life




CARITAS has been serving the Richmond community for over 30 years, providing tools for self-sufficiently and dignity to men and women in crisis. Saint Mary's has partnered with CARITAS during these years and is continuing to partner in the new CARITAS Center that opened in 2019, bringing all the solutions for breaking the cycles of homelessness and substance use under one roof.

Children Helping Children

This is an opportunity for children at Saint Mary's to reach out to other children. During the Advent season, Christmas gifts are collected and sent to children locally where the needs are greatest. Commitment: 2-3 weeks in Advent - Watch the bulletin for information.

Citizenship Classes

Citizenship classes are offered each summer, two evenings each week for six weeks. These classes help to prepare refugees and immigrant people to take the test required to become United States citizens. Watch the bulletin for details.

Community Support Team

This team seeks to stay connected with parishioners, providing what might be needed and seeking ways to address loneliness and isolation among us by strengthening relationships and opportunities to gather. Commitment: as your schedule allows.

Door Ministry - St. Peter's

On the 3rd Tuesday of each month, a group of parishioners prepares and serves lunch to at least 200 homeless people at St. Peter's, a downtown Catholic Church. Our team plans and prepares the main course for St. Peter Church. Volunteers and volunteer bakers are needed. Desserts are left at the What's Mine Is Yours table in the Commons. Commitment: One day per month or a dessert.

Endowment Fund

Saint Mary's is blessed with an endowment used to fund our outreach to the poor and to those working to promote justice in our society. Parishioners are invited to submit suggestions of nonprofit groups to be funded, as well as to support the fund through financial contributions. Watch the bulletin for information.

ESL (English as a Second Language) 

We offer four levels of ESL each Wednesday from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, September through May. We need teachers and assistants. Training will be provided. The development of English language skills will enable refugees and immigrants to become economically and socially self-sufficient. Commitment: Each Wednesday, September to May. Watch the bulletin for details.

Fair Trade Products

Fair Trade is an alternative way of doing business - one that builds equitable, long-term partnerships between consumers in North America and producers in developing regions. Fair Trade businesses pay a fair wage, offer employees an opportunity for advancement, engage in environmentally sound practices and build long-term trade relationships. We serve Fair Trade products at parish functions and encourage parishioners to purchase them. Contact the parish office.

Haiti Ministry

Part of a Diocesan Twinning relationship with a rural parish in Angouman, Haiti, we seek to stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers there as we build relationships. We serve in three main areas: Education, Medical/Dental Needs, and Humanitarian needs, such as providing potable running water. Commitment: Monthly committee meeting, plus activities. Visit our Haiti web page.

Hopeful Smiles

Saint Mary's Hopeful Smiles Oral Health Community Support Program's goal is to provide financial resources to eligible low income individuals for both treatment of urgent dental needs and/or comprehensive oral health care. Saint Mary's wishes to be as inclusive as possible with the understanding that resources are limited. To determine eligibility, please contact the parish office at 804-740-4044, Ext. 111.

Human Concerns Committee

This group coordinates the outreach and advocacy efforts of our parish community. The group meets monthly to assess the various programs, plan parish-wide special events; such as educational activities and Christmas projects, and vision ways to lead the community in the ART (Act, Reflect, Transform) of justice and peace. Commitment: one evening per month plus involvement in direct service or advocacy as your schedule permits.

Human Concerns Food Pantry

We stock non-perishable food, cleaning items, and paper products to serve those in the parish and locally who have need. Commitment: assist in stocking shelves and keeping inventory. Volunteer time is flexible.

Legislative Advocacy

All of our outreach and hands-on ministries help to temporarily assist low income families and individuals. However, unless public policy changes, many problems affecting the most vulnerable members of society will not be addressed. We are invited to be a voice for the voiceless all year, but especially in January and February when the legislature is in session. Join our advocacy group. Commitment: Flexible.

Liberation Veteran Services

We prepare a hot meal at Saint Mary's and deliver it to the clients at LVS on the third Saturday of each month. LVS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a safe haven exclusively for veterans in crisis. Commitment: Prepare or deliver meals.

Meals on Wheels

Volunteers deliver nutritious meals and good cheer to the homebound and elderly. Saint Mary's parishioners cover eight routes on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Commitment: Once a month for two hours or as substitutes as needed.

Outreach to Marywood Apartments

We provide a monthly birthday party for the residents at Marywood as well as a full Thanksgiving meal and Christmas party with a gift for each resident. Commitment: as your schedule allows.

Parish Nurse Ministry

Parish Nurse Ministry is open to parish health professionals who are aware of the vital link between body, mind, and spirit. This ministry does not provide hands-on care, but rather counsels and educates on health related issues, refers individuals to appropriate community resources, and is available to discuss individual health needs regarding wellness, prevention, and illness. For information about participating in this ministry or to request services, you may contact one of the coordinators at 804-740-4044, extension 125, or by email at [email protected].  Visit the Parish Nurse Webpage.

Prison Ministry

We serve the Virginia Correctional Center for Women - a prison facility in Goochland County. We visit each Saturday for Liturgy, prayer, and sharing. Commitment: one Saturday per month. 

We serve on a regional team at Henrico Jails - East and West, providing visits and Scripture reflection. Commitment: Tuesdays, on a rotating basis; 2-3 hours.

RCIA in Prison - We offer an RCIA experience for those women incarcerated at VCCW who wish to learn more about the Catholic faith and journey toward full communion with the Church. Training is provided and a team approach is used. Commitment: Training, plus participation in the formation process with the women. Contact the Parish Office for more information.

Seton House Team

We partner with Commonwealth Catholic Charities in supporting the families who are part of this outreach as we believe if we want people to make life affirming choices, we need to be a community that supports these choices with direct services, educational options, and job development.

Virginia Catholic Conference

The Virginia Catholic Conference represents the public policy interests of the Commonwealth's Catholic bishops and their two dioceses. The Conference engages in advocacy on respect life, social justice, and education issues through contacts with state and federal lawmakers, grassroots advocates, and media outlets.

To learn more about the VCC, visit the website:

What's Mine Is Ours

Two weekends per month we collect donations of food to distribute to various locations in the Richmond area, as well as to our own Human Concerns food pantry. Commitment: once or twice monthly, sorting and delivering food.