City parish works toward growth

After months of transition, Rochester’s St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish is now working toward growth, especially among its youths and ministries, officials say.

Since it was formed in December 2010 from seven worship sites in the northeast part of the city, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini has transitioned over the past several months into a single parish with three worship sites: Annunciation Church, 1754 Norton St.; Our Lady of the Americas, 864 E. Main St.; and St. Michael Church, 869 Clinton Ave.

Several of the parish’s former worship sites have been recently or currently are for sale. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church is the process of being sold. St. Andrew Church was recently sold to Pentecostal Miracle Deliverance; and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church was sold to Redeeming Word Christian Center.

St. Martin’s Place, a Sisters of St. Joseph ministry located on the former Mt. Carmel campus, is continuing to operate at its Ontario Street location.

"They are staying put where they are, and the people from our parish that are helping out over there are still very much engaged over there," said Deacon David Palma, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini’s pastoral administrator.

The parish also has two ministry sites: 890 Portland Ave., which houses St. Andrew’s Food Cupboard, and 316 Bay St., which houses the Sister Regis Food Ministry and Matthew’s Closet/Beacon of Hope Clothing Boutique.

Each ministry is extremely active, Deacon Palma said. For instance, in 2011, Matthew’s Closet helped 2,911 children and adults receive more than 32,000 articles of clothing and housewares. The parish also has an active St. Vincent de Paul Society, which provides furniture and arranges person-to-person visits, telephone contacts and agency referrals. At Christmas, the parish and its partners helped 518 separate families.

As part of its Project Hope program, the Ibero-American Action League runs the Hope Youth Center, a drop-in center, Monday through Thursday at 3 p.m. in St. Michael’s hall, Deacon Palma said.

The deacon said the parish has a youth group that meets at 7 p.m. Friday nights at Our Lady of the Americas and continues to grow in size and activity levels. For instance, the youth group sent a large contingent to the Jan. 23 March for Life in Washington, D.C.

"We had 27 youths go to the march on Washington, which is pretty amazing," Deacon Palma remarked.

Twenty parish youths also attended the National Catholic Youth Convention in November, he noted.

Deacon Palma, who became pastoral administrator in July, said he has been impressed by the number of volunteers willing to help and the variety of activities taking place.

"There’s a uniqueness here that you wouldn’t find anywhere else," he said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: To reach the parish, call 585-325-4041. To reach its ministries, call: 585-338-1764 for St. Andrew’s Food Cupboard; 585-338-2330 for St. Vincent de Paul Society; or 585-232-5160 for Matthew’s Closet/Beacon of Hope Clothing Boutique.

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