PROVIDENCE — Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has launched a diocesan initiative to recognize 150 unsung individuals/groups from among the diocesan family who will perform new or increased volunteer efforts in diocesan parishes, Catholic schools and organizations or in their wider communities during the Diocese of Providence’s celebration of its 150th anniversary.
The bishop made the announcement, accompanied by James R. Jahnz, secretary for Catholic Charities and Social Ministry for the diocese, during a barbecue Monday night at Emmanuel House to honor the many volunteers who have helped to make the diocesan shelter a safe place to spend the night for men who would otherwise have nowhere else to turn.
“We’re here to inaugurate a very important part of our diocesan anniversary, the 150th anniversary of our diocesan church,” Bishop Tobin said, introducing the 150 Acts of Charity program after first expressing his appreciation to the Emmanuel House volunteers for their important efforts to support a critical diocesan ministry.
“We’re going to encourage every parish, every school, every organization, every institution to do something new during this anniversary year — some new work of charity, or justice or compassion or outreach or to amplify, to increase what they are already doing.”
The bishop said that he wanted the diocese to commemorate its milestone anniversary not only through prayers and songs, celebrations and devotions, but also, as St. James encourages, by putting faith into action, so that faith can be accompanied by good works.
“That’s certainly the spirit of what we’re trying to do with our 150 Acts of Charity,” Bishop Tobin said.
Those who are selected for the honor will receive a personalized plaque with the diocesan logo or the 150th anniversary celebration. The motto for the sesquicentennial: “The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy,” will also be inscribed on each plaque.
“We want to put some charitable meat and bones behind our anniversary celebration and this is one way of doing it,” Bishop Tobin said. “This 150 Acts of Charity is going to be a key part of our anniversary.”
Jahnz said the Office of Catholic Charities and Social Ministry was honored to work on the diocesan project, noting that recognition forms are now available on the diocesan website at https://dioceseofprovidence.org/150-acts-of-charity for anyone wishing to recognize an individual or group.
Awards will be bestowed on individuals and groups throughout the 150th anniversary celebration, which concludes with a Mass at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul on June 26, 2022.