Poor turn to self sufficiency through ministry

TAYLORS — Catholic Charities of the Piedmont Deanery recently commissioned the first group of “Poverellas” to go forth to mentor/sponsor people needing assistance in gaining independent living.

Over 40 people gathered for the training day at Prince of Peace Church in Taylors last month, where parishioners there, along with ones from Blessed Trinity in Greer, were the first to be trained for this ministry.

Poverella, loosely translated to mean people for the poor, calls forth individuals to mentor poor families out of poverty and dependence into meaningful employment and independent living, said Sister Margie Hosch, OSF, Piedmont Deanery coordinator for Catholic Charities. “They journey with those who want support and who are willing to work towards self care, mental health, employment and responsibile living, especially women with children.”

According to Sister Hosch, the Poverella Ministry works collaboratively with local community and state agencies in assisting people who are presently dependent upon welfare and will be losing their benefits in South Carolina, women and children from abuse shelters, unwed single mothers, those who are identified by community agencies such as Department of Social Services, United Way, Putting Families First (Governor David Beasley’s initiative for the state), and the poor in the parishes.

Since its inception last summer at Prince of Peace, volunteers have included a newly married couple, a woman pediatrician, single mothers, married couples, retired people, business executives, factory workers, and English as well as Spanish speaking persons. Some sponsor as an individual, some as a couple, and some as a team.

“The Catholic Church has never had a time when the call to serve the people was silenced,” stated Sister Hosch. “The parishes in the Diocese of Charleston have generously responded in a great variety of approaches and initiatives.”