By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT – Four homemade soups, a homemade chili and a variety of breads represented the edible portion of “Soup with Substance,” a Lent program for St. Anthony parishioners.
Seventeen people gathered March 26 for the soup luncheon in the Landmark building, which houses St. Anthony’s religious education classes and parish offices. Some of the attendees made the soups and chili while Hy-Vee donated the bread. In addition to food, last week’s gathering focused on parish ministries as the parish prepares for a new parish hall to be built in the future.
The new building will be the spot where parish ministry groups can meet instead of having meetings in houses, the rectory or at the Landmark building.
A contractor has offered to take down the sycamore tree and existing rectory – free of charge – to create more space for a parish hall. That work will happen after the paperwork is completed and the contractor is available to start, said Sister Judy Herold, SSND, pastoral associate at St. Anthony’s.
Items from the rectory will be removed and either incorporated into the parish hall, if possible, or donated to Habitat ReStore in Davenport, said Barb Shaw of the parish building committee.
“With ministry, you gather and build community,” Sr. Herold said. “And when we have the space for it (the new parish center), we can grow. Won’t that be wonderful,” she exclaimed. “We have to think outside the box for a while since we use the rectory for some meetings right now. But we must be patient and loving.”
Participants at the luncheon heard reports about the parish’s many ministries, as well as some new ones such as a baptismal class for first-time parents. The parish also is working on reestablishing a choir for special occasions or perhaps one Mass each weekend.
Sr. Herold identified areas of ministry the parish would like to add, including grief support ministry, prayer network, prayer shawl ministry and greeters at liturgies.
“We are all called to celebrate the life of the church,” she said. “It takes a lot of people to volunteer their time to celebrate at Mass each week.” She reminded those in attendance that family is a ministry, too.
One participant asked how to get more people involved. While Sr. Herold believes a gathering space and hall attached to the church will help build community, often times it takes a personal invitation to get someone involved. “We need to come together and do outreach and minister to all. We truly need to build community.”
The next Soup with Substance is from 6-7 p.m. April 2 in Room 105 of the Landmark building at the corner of Fourth and Main streets. The theme will be JustFaith, presented by St. Anthony members participating in the 30-week long social justice program.
Other programs held this Lent included Centering Prayer by Bob Timmons from Contemplative Outreach, social justice by Leslie Kilgannon of Quad-City Interfaith and Evening Vespers in honor of St. Joseph.