CLARKS SUMMIT – Two parish communities in Lackawanna County came together for one important mission on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023.

Nearly 250 parishioners from Our Lady of the Snows Parish, Clarks Summit, and Saint Gregory Parish, Clarks Green, clad in orange shirts, joined forces fanning out across their community to participate in a special ‘Day of Service.’

A total of 242 volunteers from Saint Gregory Parish in Clarks Green and Our Lady of the Snows Parish in Clarks Summit participated in a Day of Service on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. Volunteers prepared meals, held community clean-ups and spent time at two senior centers.

“We live, work and worship in the same area, so to come together to respond to the needs of the area just made sense,” Dan Marx, Director of Worship and Mission at Saint Gregory Parish, said.

The volunteers took part in projects at 11 different sites, including senior centers, public parks and streambeds, and even a local cemetery.

“The response that we had to this day of service has just been incredible,” Marx added. “People have donated both their time and treasure to create Refugee Welcome Boxes for the refugees of our area to bagging groceries at an area grocery store for tips that went to the Catherine McAuley Center.”

At Our Lady of Peace School, several teenagers volunteered to hold a car wash to raise money for the veterans at Saint Francis Commons in Scranton.

“I decided to do it because I thought it would be a nice thing to do for people,” Will Regan from Our Lady of the Snows Parish said.

“I’m young and still active and I feel like I can help people that don’t have the same abilities,” Callahan Moore from Our Lady of the Snows added. “I think more people should do service projects like this.”

At the end of the day, the students raised $717 from the car wash.

“It’s fun. It’s not like I’m sitting around playing the computer my entire day. It’s a fun way of passing time instead of being at home,” volunteer Jacob Krenitsky said.

While the students were busy washing cars, other volunteers packaged and delivered 126 meals to the Community Intervention Center in Scranton. The food was cooked by parishioners in their homes and put together by another team of volunteers.

Sue Burke, Faith Formation Director at Our Lady of the Snows Parish, said the ‘Day of Service’ is a powerful moment in teaching young people about the importance of volunteering.

“We’re so privileged and we have so much that we just need to share. We need to give to others and we need to teach our children to be able to give to others and that’s what we’re doing here today,” Burke said.

Next year, Our Lady of the Snows Parish and Saint Gregory Parish will come together in a linkage under one pastor. Events like the ‘Day of Service’ prove that parishioners can come together as one family with one purpose and mission.

“We know that together is in our future and so to come together in any opportunity, whether it’s to pray, worship, to serve or just gather as community, it is never a wasted effort,” Marx said.