Our Church is Not a Building

Mary Mattarella, St. Ann's Church, Sayville

When the pandemic halted the very mission of a local ministry group, they prayerfully discerned a new way to help.

When Mary Mattarella first heard the directives to shelter in place, she worried about the people she had come to know through her homeless ministry—the people without somewhere to shelter.

Mary started her ministry years ago by simply offering peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to people in need. Today, the God Loves Peanut Butter and Jelly ministry has since grown into a dedicated team of volunteers from two parishes who travel into New York City once a month with hundreds of pounds of clothing, food and hygiene products to serve the homeless population.

When the Covid pandemic hit, the team could no longer serve this way. Instead, they are now meeting people in parking lots to distribute items from a safe distance and going to motels where people may have been relocated without necessities or personal items. As Mary states, “The pandemic has reshaped our mission, but we have not allowed this to stop us from fulfilling our command from God to help our fellow man.”

To learn more about this ministry, visit www.saint-anns.org/outreach.html.