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"Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person."- Mother Teresa


Celebrating Simplicity 
by Christine Grote 

 They stood in line, young and old, mothers and fathers holding babies in their arms, children waiting patiently, for a free meal of soup and bread. It was a simple meal.

 One evening each Lent volunteers, of junior high and high school ages and adults, transform the Lourdes cafeteria into a soup kitchen for parishioners who want to experience a Simple Meal.  The evening’s purpose is two-fold: to provide an enriching Lenten experience of fasting with an inspirational presentation, and to provide an opportunity for people to be in community with and aware of others less fortunate who would be thrilled to have just soup and bread to eat.


  Volunteers make, bring and typically serve the soup and bread. Other people donate paper plates, bowls, tea bags, milk and bottled water. Girl Scouts and high school CCD students help set up and later clean up the cafeteria. Students also make peanut butter and butter sandwiches.


  Our Pastoral Minister, co-chair of the Simple Meal arranges for a family-oriented speaker to provide entertainment with a Lenten theme. This year a magician talked about religious themes as he did magic tricks, like multiplying dots to simulate the miracle of the loaves and fishes.


 Although the meal is free, participants often share money that they would have spent on a meal at home. This year $200 was raised and donated to the Lighthouse Youth Services. Past beneficiaries have been Katrina victims and St. Vincent de Paul.


 There are a lot of things that people come together for here at Lourdes, co-chair Melanie Flick says, “But this is one where people work together in the Lenten spirit to eat simply and think of others.” And people come with the right attitudes, she says. “If we run out of food, well, it’s just a food kitchen after all.” 

 OrganizationsSocial Outreach AssemblySocial Action Commission     April 30, 2017  

Social Action Commission

The purpose of the Commission is to practice the works of mercy by serving Christ in the poor and needy. They and many other parishioners serve those in need year round. Call the Parish Office for more information, 922-0715 or email parish@lourdes.org

One of the active groups in the Social Action Assembly is Tender Mercies
Current members: 7 groups serve monthly meals at TM. Each group has 5-10 volunteers.

What is Tender Mercies: Tender Mercies is an organization founded in 1985 by Father Chris Hall. TM exists to serve homeless persons with histories of emotional and/or mental disabilities by providing them housing and related services. TM is committed to goals of security, dignity and community , with and for its residents. In 2010, TM has seven buildings in Over the Rhine and about 150 residents.

History: In February, 1989, the Social Action Commission (SAC) at OLL was founded by Tom Westerfield. At the same time, Cecile Walsh, was part of Christ Renew's at OLL looking for a way to provide service to the needy in the Cincinnati community. Marcia Spaeth, founding member of Tender Mercies, spoke to the SAC members concerning her organization. Cecile was inspired by Marcia to begin a group of OLL parishioner volunteers providing meals at TM. The first two monthly meals were served in November of 1990. By July of 1991, seven meals wre being served monthly by groups of 7-8 parishioners for each meal. This number of meals has continued to be served for nineteen years. Many of the original volunteers continue to serve meals at Tender Mercies. Cecile Walsh continues to coordiante the volunteer pogram at OLL. In 2009 the volunteers of OLL received recognition from TM as "Volunteers of the Year."

Volunteer opportunities: Meals; donation of time, clothing, household items, snacks; planning birthday parties; social outings; trips to the doctors; and many more.

One of the annual events held at OLL during the Lenten season each year is the Simple Meal

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