Parishioners Prepare and Serve Chili

On Sunday, September 24, 2017 Social Action Ministry planned a chili dinner for the Men’s and Women’s Shelters in Syracuse.  About 40 members of the Social Action Ministry made sandwiches, purchased or baked desserts, made muffins and bread and purchased crackers, chips, bread and rolls on a very hot day in September. 

At 2:00 PM on Sunday, when the temperature was close to 90, six very dedicated brave people arrived at the Parish Hall to make chili.  Dates for the chili dinners are planned a year in advance.  Before they melted away, I took a picture of them smiling.  It was a great group of people which included Patty and Dave Bushnell, Tracy Capone, and Sylvia Daloia.  Also helping were Carmen and Kelly Damiano, who directed the process the moment they walked through the door allowing me to relax, assured of our success.  The group took turns stirring three very large pans of chili – in a very warm Parish Hall – taking breaks to cool off far away from the heat of the stove.

Dave and Patty, after cooking, delivered the chili, desserts, bananas and donated clothing to the Women’s Shelter.  

At 5:15 p.m. when the temperature was a mere 87 another group of dedicated people arrived at the Parish Hall to serve at the Men’s Shelter.  They included Kirstin Guanciale, Freda Zollo, Cathy Golden, Mike Conway, and Arlene Sardo.  We carpooled to the shelter and immediately there was a line of guys ready to eat the chili.  I heard comments from the guys about how delicious the chili was, the desserts hit the spot and the water on a hot day was perfect.  We weren’t sure how many guys actually received the chili because several came back to get second and third helpings. 

All in all, the day went very well.  I want to thank everyone involved for their dedication to St. Augustine’s Social Action Ministry.  Without you guys none of this would be possible. 

Oh, by the way, the date for September 2018 is already set.  I can’t wait to see what the weather will be like then. 

Reflection by Arlene Sardo

I just finished reading a book by Joseph Girzone, a retired priest, titled "The Homeless Bishop". One of the focuses of the book was to remind us Jesus is the center of our faith and that Jesus was homeless. Our faith is built on Jesus' words and deeds. In his time, the poor had deep faith in him. They sought Him out for comfort and consolation.

While I was serving the chili, I reflected on the message in this book. Mainly, WHY they are on the street is less important than WHAT we do to change the situation. What we did was the least Jesus asks us to do: clothe, feed and shelter the poor. What I did to fulfill what is asked of us was repaid by the men with smiles, politeness, gratitude, and “bless you for providing the meal.” I believe in order to survive on the street, these men, also have a deep faith in the Lord. I received more than I gave.

Reflection by Kirstin Guanciale

On Sunday, September 24 I helped deliver and serve a chili dinner at the men's shelter.  This isn't the first time I've done this, but each time brings to me a deeper sense of belonging to a community far greater than me.  It's a humbling experience.  I learn from the men as they are kind and grateful, and many often bless us!  We are more than our belongings, shelter, and prestige.  We are brothers and sisters together on equal ground in the eyes of Christ.  It's a blessing to serve.  





I recommend serving dinner at the men's shelter. It’s a great experience for all ages (especially teens my age) to realize how fortunate we really are. When I walked in I felt a little uncomfortable that you walk right into the place where they hang out. But I realized that's how you really understand the situation these men are in. It felt good to connect with the people who stay there. I was grateful that I was involved in this experience. Molly Merryweather


Social Action Ministry Informational Video

Social Action Ministry of St. Augustine’s Parish Community seeks to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ to promote the well-being of all people through social justice, love and peace. We strive to embrace the dignity of all through active discipleship focusing of values taught and implemented be Jesus for the common good.

The Social Action Ministry meets on the 2nd to last Monday of the month from 7-8:30 pm, but not every month. Some members are part of this ministry and are not always able to attend meetings. Sub-committees meet as necessary and monthly meetings have agendas and minutes are sent out to keep members informed. We are always open to new ideas for projects. members work on the projects that interest them. For more information, please contact Paul DeFelice, chairperson.



Giving Tree

Migrant Workers

Solder/Veterans Assistance

Outhouse Collection

Refugee Family Resettlement

Holiday Food Baskets

Samaritan Center

Public Policy


Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS)

Election day bake sales/coffee and doughnuts

Gospel of Life

Emergency Food Bags

School Supplies

O'Brien Road Bingo/Rides to Mass

Bishop Foery Halloween Party

Product Table

Charitable Fundraising