FALL RIVER ─ Pope Francis has shared his belief that prayer for those in need of help needs to be followed by action to offer that help. Said the Pope in 2013, “Yes, you pray for the hungry. But then, you feed them. This is how prayer works.”

The Catholic Community of Central Fall River is doing just that. The community, a collaborative of three parishes in the city, opened the Pope Francis Outreach Center on October 6 to help those in need. The center provides three services: a food pantry, thrift shop and soup kitchen.

It is located at Good Shepherd Parish at 1598 South Main Street in Fall River. The thrift shop and food pantry are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Masks are required.) The soup kitchen provides “Grab & Go” meals every Wednesday and Friday beginning at 4 p.m. Proceeds raised through thrift shop sales will help fund the other outreach efforts.

Volunteers from the three parishes that make up the Catholic Community of Central Fall River, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Good Shepherd and St. Stanislaus, work with Center Director Leanne Nelson to handle all of the many tasks required to make these services available. The community is led by Father Thomas Washburn, who serves as rector and pastor of the collaborative parishes.

In announcing the Pope Francis Outreach Center ministry, the community described its intention as this: “We seek to be active members of our community, inspired by our deep faith in Jesus Christ, reaching out to those in need.”

The “Grab & Go” meals program was launched last spring by the community in response to the economic hardship created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Bishop of Fall River