ROCHESTER HILLS — Some cleaned up local cemeteries. Others collected diapers and formula for pregnancy centers. Still others raked leaves and painted fences for elderly neighbors.
No matter the project, hundreds of volunteers from parishes across the Archdiocese of Detroit reached out to help their neighbors in need Oct. 16 during the sixth annual Mercy in Action Day of Service.
Inspired by Pope Francis' call for a Year of Mercy in 2016, the annual service day sees volunteers mobilize to perform dozens of projects inspired by the corporal and spiritual works of mercy across Metro Detroit.
At St. Irenaeus Parish in Rochester Hills, volunteers — including young people — made fleece-tied blankets for hospital patients at nearby Ascension Hospital, along with get-well cards and handwritten notes. Care packages also included fuzzy socks, hand-knit caps, devotionals and puzzle books.
"The more often kids get involved in service and helping others, the easier it becomes a lifelong habit. It really builds community and purpose," Christian service coordinator Cindy Monaghan said.