"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me"
Saint Matthew Catholic Church is a family of believers called by God the Father to make isciples of Christ. To make disciples we must be disciples who not only feeds the body but also the soul. We are thrilled to be part of the spread of God’s kingdom around the world. We are active in sending donations to our Sister Diocese and supporting with our prayers and feeding the homeless and hungry in Winter Haven. We encourage all of our people to respond to God’s call for laborers.
Saint Matthew participates in a wonderful Mission Meal Ministry which feeds 200 of our brothers and sisters in Christ on the last Monday of every month. Volunteers can either cook or make the meal after the 8:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday or pick up the food on Monday morning and deliver it to the Mission in downtown Winter Haven. We also prepare a meal on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Both meals are delivered and served by parishioners.
Called to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty and welcome the stranger this Ministry serves food to the hungry of Winter Haven every Sunday afternoon from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 pm and Thursday 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.at our Matthew 25:35 office next to our St. Matthew Thrift Shop (Regenerations). Food is prepared in our parish kitchen.
Faith and spirituality resources are available to be checked out during normal Parish Office hours and after Sunday Masses. The volunteers in this ministry sort through media donations, process and categorize them according to topic of interest, set them on shelves and intake them when returned. Books and media items displayed on the cart in the Church Narthex are kept current for each liturgical season.
The Prayer Shawl Ministry reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace. The members knit and crochet shawls and lap robes. Prayers are said while they work, and the completed shawls are blessed by Father and distributed to the sick and homebound.
You don’t need to be an expert. We have a number of ladies who will gladly get you started. We even have a stash of donated yarn. We meet the second Tuesday of the month, 10 am to 11 am in the Parish Hall. But it is not necessary to attend every meeting. You may work on your projects at home and bring the completed shawls to the parish office.
If you are free this Tuesday morning, drop by, we’d love to meet you and share the rewards of this ministry with you.
The Golden Ladies are single women aged 60+ who meet the First and Third Tuesday each month at 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at “The Cenacle” located in our Parish Center. They also meet on the Fifth Tuesday each month in the Disciples Lounge, located in our St. Matthew Thrift Shop downtown Winter Haven for Devotion, Fellowship and light refreshments. They involve themselves in the outreach ministries of Matthew 25:35, cooking and serving meals. They are involved in the Angel Tree Project and collect used magazines to Meals on Wheels for shut-ins. On occasion they make day trips together such as their visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Universe in Orlando.
SEASONAL OUTREACH MINISTRIES
Parish and family opportunities invite parishioners to serve the broader church and the people of the community – these are but a few of the many services offered throughout the year.
ANGEL TREE PROJECT
The Advent Season invites the parishioners of Saint Matthew to go beyond self in providing a Christmas to families in our local community. Unwrapped gifts are brought to the church and prepared for distribution to Guadalupe Mission, St. Vincent de Paul, Farmworker Ministry, Catholic Charities, the Mission and Heartland for Children.
Donations of assorted baby products for distribution to the Pregnancy Center of Winter Haven are collected.
Through the American Red Cross, this is an opportunity to give blood for those in need. What a wonderful way for our parishioners to give back to the community! The “Big Red Bus” arrives at Saint Matthew Parish two times a year on Sunday mornings from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. It only takes a few minutes to help save a life!
SCHOOL SUPPLIES & BACKPACKS
With the start of a new school year, many families are unable to purchase the necessary supplies for their children. Saint Matthew collects various school supplies: backpacks, tablets, pencils, crayons, etc. for distribution to needy families.
PROJECT BROWN BAG
Saint Matthew parishioners are invited to give thanks by donating Thanksgiving bags of food, gift cards or a general donation so that our parish can help provide Thanksgiving for our brothers and sisters in the community. Food and gift cards are given to Catholic Charities, Farmworker Ministry and families in our own parish of Saint Matthew.