Catholic social services agencies, schools and parishes in Maryland are responding to community and health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With more people out of work and everyone social distancing, parish food pantries, Catholic Charities and other nonprofits are seeing an increase in requests for assistance. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington is holding a Holy Week Virtual Food Drive to replenish the shelves at SHARE, the Southern Maryland Food Bank, and other food pantries and programs. They, and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Diocese of Wilmington, have adjusted services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but continue to serve.
On April 7, the Knights of Columbus announced a multi-million-dollar food drive and delivery operation to support food banks in 20 cities, including initial $50,000 donations to food banks in Baltimore and Washington, DC. The international Catholic organization is encouraging its members to volunteer at food banks and help deliver food to those in need across the country.
Catholic health care providers across Maryland, including our Catholic hospitals, are on the front lines of responding to medical needs related to COVID-19 through testing, care and, at Mercy Medical Center, fast-tracking the construction of a 32-bed acute care unit that will open this summer.
Holy Cross Health, with two hospitals in Montgomery County, Md., has posted an online wish list of needs, such as personal protective equipment, including masks (that meet certain criteria) and supplies.
The Catholic schools also are doing their part to keep these front-line workers safe, with families and local organizations using the schools’ 3-D printers to make face shields for hospital and other health care use. St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis also partnered with a local company to produce respirators and masks.
Women religious, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor and Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, and lay staff at Catholic nursing homes and senior residences across Maryland also are implementing safety measures to protect residents, many of whom are low income or medically fragile. Please keep them and their needs in prayer.
Visit our COVID-19 page for updated Church and government resources on prayer, giving, support, and assistance, and a video to make your own mask with a cloth and rubber bands.