Monthly Work of Mercy

November’s Spiritual Work of Mercy: Comforting

November is sometimes called the Blue Month.  As we conclude this Year of Mercy let us extend comfort to all we meet.

  • walk with others through their pain
  • offer words of encouragement to those who seem discouraged
  • offer positive words to fellow students or coworkers who are having a difficult time with their tasks
  • be present to those who are struggling or in emotional pain or despair
  • offer sympathy to those who are grieving
  • bring a loved one who is grieving to our Memorial Mass at St. Francis, or to our Longest Night Service on Dec. 21

October’s Corporal Work of Mercy: Feed the Hungry

Our community is blessed with an abundance of food produced locally, and yet many still do not have enough to eat.

  • see to the proper nutrition of your loved ones
  • support and volunteer for food pantries, soup kitchens and agencies that feed the hungry, such as Vincent de Paul Society & St. John’s Kitchen (Working Centre)
  • make a few sandwiches to hand out as you walk through areas where you might encounter people in need
  • educate yourself about world hunger
  • avoid wasting food
  • share your meals with others (nourish your bodies and spirits!)

September’s Spiritual Work of Mercy: Advising

As our children return to school let us be good examples for them, advise them to stand up to peer pressure and live out their faith every day.

  • be courageous yet compassionate in calling people and institutions to be faithful to Gospel values
  • intervene in situations in which people are clearly doing harm to themselves or others
  • respond to negative and prejudicial comments with positive statements
  • put an end to gossip by walking away, set a good example for others
  • ensure you are not being a bully to your family members, fellow students or coworkers

August’s Corporal Work of Mercy: Give to the Poor

As we enjoy our holidays this summer let us remember the poor in our midst. It can take such a small gift to turn a person’s world around.

  • take some small bills or loose change, or coupons if you prefer not to carry cash, with you to hand out top people you encounter who are in need
  • throw your coin change into a jar and periodically donate it to a charity
  • if possible make a regular monetary donation to a charity that tends to the needs of the poor, for instance Development and Peace or the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
  • if you are holidaying in a country which has a high poverty rate, consider filling one of your suitcases with school supplies and toys to give to locals in need

July’s Corporal Work of Mercy: Shelter the Homeless

We often take our homes for granted, but this human right is not enjoyed by all of our neighbours. There are many ways you can provide shelter in our community.

  • help neighbours care for their homes and do repairs, ex. mow their lawn
  • support or volunteer for charitable agencies who care for the homeless, build homes or provide support in the wake of natural disasters
  • advocate for public policies that provide housing for low-income people
  • consider becoming a foster parent
  • if you are doing renovations use Habitat for Humanity’s free Salvage Program and consider purchasing material from their ReStore

June’s Corporal Work of Mercy: Bury the Dead

This month many families gather for reunions and holidays.  Let us also remember our loved ones who have passed away.

  • be faithful about attending wakes or visitations
  • support or volunteer at a hospice
  • participate in a bereavement ministry
  • spend time with widows and widowers
  • take friends and relatives to visit the cemetery
  • support ministries that offer free Christian burials to those unable to afford one
  • offer daily prayers for those with terminal illnesses and for those who had died
  • send Mass cards to families of those who have died

May’s Spiritual Work of Mercy: Consoling

Spring is a time of hope, of renewal and new beginnings.  Let us renew our own faith and surrender all our worries to the hope which Jesus offers.

  • work at being optimistic and avoiding cynicism
  • respond to cynicism, skepticism and doubt with hope and faith
  • be articulate about your own faith and hopes
  • ask people about their hopes and support them in trying to attain them
  • take part in our Pentecost Vigil on May 14 and pray that the Holy Spirit grants you the gifts of Understanding and Counsel, so that we may share the Good News with others.

April’s Corporal Works of Mercy

As we celebrate Easter and the Resurrection to New Life, many people in our community feel stuck in their present life. Let us help them to move towards a life of Resurrection.

Visit the Sick

  • spend quality time with those who are sick or homebound
  • take the time to call, send a card or email to someone who is sick
  • volunteer to drive patients to medical appointments and treatment facilities
  • volunteer at a hospital
  • assist those who are full-time caregivers for family members
  • cook and deliver meals to the sick and homebound
  • Bring a sick loved one to St. Francis for the Sacrament of the Sick, Apr. 23/24

Visit the Imprisoned

  • support/participate in ministries to those who are incarcerated
  • support programs that advocate on behalf of those who are unjustly imprisoned
  • support job-training and educational programs designed to rehabilitate prisoners
  • pray for the families of inmates

March’s Spiritual Works of Mercy:

During Lent we ask God for forgiveness to help prepare us for the joy of the Resurrection. Let us also pray for the grace to repair relationships in our daily lives.


  • pray for those who have wronged you and pray for the courage to forgive
  • ask forgiveness from others
  • let go of grudges, make an effort to heal old wounds
  • go out of your way to be positive with someone you are in conflict with
  • attend a Penance Service this Lent and/or go to Confession

Bearing Wrongs Patiently

  • work at being less critical of others, overlook minor flaws and mistakes
  • give people the benefit of the doubt
  • assume that people who may have hurt you did so because they are enduring pain of their own

February’s Spiritual Work of Mercy:

The season of Lent which begins this month, offers us a very special opportunity to learn more about Mercy and commit to share what we learn.

  • commit yourself to learning about the Catholic faith and share your understanding of the faith with others
  • share your insights, knowledge and skills with others, especially friends, fellow students and co-workers
  • take time to tutor those who are just beginning tasks
  • read good literature and encourage others to do the same
  • attend the Lenten Series on Mercy offered at St. Francis Church
  • attend the Youth Lenten Retreat offered at St. Francis Church

January’s Corporal Work of Mercy:

Clothe the Naked

In this month of January we reflect on the abundance we received from loved ones at Christmas, and find ways to share with our neighbours:

  • go through drawers and closets and find good-condition clothes and shoes to donate to the Salvation Army, Good Will, Value Village, MCC Thrift Stores
  • participate in programs that provide towels and linens for hospitals in distressed areas
  • volunteer to work at a clothing drive or shelter where clothing is distributed
  • support the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society
  • bring a coat for St. Francis Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids