Because We Are Catholic: Seeing Christ in Every Person They Assist

Fran Gallagher

By PAUL WIRTH Diocesan Communications Staff

“The poor stretch out their hands to us, but it is God who receives what we give to them.”

Inspired by that quote from St. Louise de Marillac, volunteers from Notre Dame Parish, Bethlehem, travel to a nearby Episcopal church to help feed the hungry at the food pantry there.

“I encourage our volunteers to see Christ in every person that they assist,” said Fran Gallagher, president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society at the parish. The society is a worldwide volunteer organization of the Catholic Church.

The parish volunteers also try to spend a little quality time with each of the food pantry’s clients. “We try to give them a little laugh or ask about their family, to help make them feel understood and respected,” she said. “Isn’t that what being Catholic is all about?”

The food pantry is just one of the volunteer activities sponsored by the Notre Dame St. Vincent de Paul Society. “We’re doing what God wants us to do, and we’re doing it together,” Gallagher said. “That’s a beautiful thing.”

“Because We Are Catholic” tells the stories of how the people of the Diocese of Allentown make a difference in the lives of others, bringing the Light of Christ to each other and to our community.