In a small North Carolina church, a priest and his congregation have taken to prayer for the hungry and the homeless, offering food, water, and clothing.
For years, they have gathered at St. Mary of the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Greenville, where they offer communion to those who need it.
But for a while, they also offered a special service for those who are not homeless.
“It’s a blessing that we are going to be here, a blessing for the community, a community blessing for us,” said Father James Smith, a member of the congregation.
Smith, who has served as a priest at St, Mary of a Cross since 2012, said his congregation is not a church that is necessarily religious.
“We have to work with what we can do.
That’s what we’re here for.
We are here for the people in need, not for ourselves,” he said.
Mary of a Christ, a small congregation of about 30, offers services to homeless people, homeless elders, the incarcerated, and anyone who needs help.
The parishioners say they also offer support for other people who are homeless, including people who may not be able to afford food.
“When people get on the streets and get on their feet, it’s just like they’re not supposed to be on the street, and we want them to get off the street,” said Sister Elizabeth Williams, who is also a member.
Williams said she sees the need for the services she and Smith offer every day, including for those in jail.
“Our job is to help people.
It’s not just to give food,” she said.
“There are people who need help and there are people in the community that need help, too.
So it’s not the church that’s the problem, it is the people that need to help, and the people who don’t need help.”
For years at St Mary of St. the Cross, the parishioner has been looking for a way to help homeless people in North Carolina.
Last year, the church offered a free meal to anyone who could afford it, and in the past two years, it has been providing food and clothing to those on the city’s streets.
“So we are really not looking for money.
We’re looking for love,” said Smith.
The priest said that they have a large donation box, and if the people need food, clothing, and shelter, they can donate.
“The problem with poverty is that it’s so pervasive.
It is not something that just happens to be there, and it is a problem that we can’t fix, but we can change,” he added.
In addition to the homeless population, the priests’ mission is to build up a community of people who love and care about the homeless.
While the Catholic Church does not offer any official homeless outreach programs, the priest said he believes there is a need.
“I think we have to find the love in this world.
We have to love each other.
We can’t just turn a blind eye.
We cannot just sit back and watch.
We need to find a way that we’re all part of this.”
In 2017, the North Carolina legislature passed a law requiring homeless individuals and families to obtain government-issued identification before receiving government-funded services.
“This legislation will make it harder for our local government and other governments to provide services for the needy,” said North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.
But some of the people the church serves are struggling.
One of the priests, James Smith said, was one of the first to find himself homeless.
It was his job to help those who were on the run, but he says the church is still trying to find ways to help.
“To see him on the floor of the church with no clothes on was just a blessing,” said the priest.
“He got the chance to see the light.
And he is a blessing.
It didn’t take long for us to be able, and that’s why we are here.
We’ve been here for a long time.”
Marilyn of a cross also offers a special services for those people who do not have a home.
The church’s website says that many people in rural North Carolina are unable to secure housing.
“Because we cannot provide basic necessities, we rely on the generosity of our community,” the website reads.
“In order to assist our parishioness in the time of need, the St.mary of a Crucifix community service is offered on Sunday mornings.
St Marys of a Crac has been helping those in our community for many years.”
The service offers food, a warm bed, a blanket, a flashlight, and more.
In some cases, they provide diapers and hygiene products.
“For us, the whole mission is about making our parish a place of hope, and giving back to the community,” said Williams.
Stray animals are allowed on