Good Samaritan Society
About the Good Samaritan Society
The Holy Spirit Parish Good Samaritan Society, named after the well-known Gospel story of service and charity, was initiated in 2011 by volunteer parishioners, with the blessing and guidance of parish clergy. A Christian outreach program for the community, it began with the goal of serving seniors in need, but expanded to include all those in need. For example, the programs started by the Good Samaritan Society help those who are home-bound, those who are grieving the loss of loved ones, and those in need of other assistance.
In addition to forming groups within the parish to help those in need, we also coordinate our efforts with other service and spiritual groups in the parish, community, and diocese with similar goals. We are currently exploring additional ways to serve seniors and others in need in our community.
If you want to join our group or volunteer to help, please email [email protected].
Before you go sledding this winter, help a friend in need!
Each fall, the parish Snow Angels program collects the names of parishioners who cannot shovel their own driveways and do not have neighbors who can do it for them. Then we pair volunteers with those parishioners—typically within a few blocks of one another—to shovel their driveways free of charge by the end of the day.
Can you help? This is a perfect way for teens and families to be Good Samaritans to our community.
Email [email protected] for more info.
Do you like to sew or do needlework? Our Sewing Group is making coverlets and sheets for preschoolers’ cots at the ACCA preschool. Email [email protected] to get on the email list for our upcoming events.
The Knitting and Crocheting Group work on many projects each year. Our donations help homeless men, women, and families, clients at a pregnancy center and a nursing home. Join us if you like to knit or crochet! Email [email protected] for more information.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”
The Good Samaritan Society’s Intercessory Prayer Group prays for the needs and intentions of our parish community.
Parishioners are invited to submit requests for Intercessory Group prayers for themselves, family, or friends, by sending an email to [email protected]. We will confirm your request via email.
You can also join the Intercessory Prayer group by emailing us at that address. The Intercessory Group also gathers to pray Morning Prayer together for our intentions after the 9 am Mass on the First Saturday of the month in the church.
The newest program of the Good Samaritan Society is our Cookie Drive for the Kairos Prison Ministry through Catholic Charities. We provide a minimum of 100 dozen cookies for prisoners attending a Christian retreat, both in April and October. Note that due to the limitations imposed by prisons, all cookies must fit within specific guidelines. Watch the bulletin for details about our next cookie drive!
Ways to Help the Needy in our Community
In addition to our parish Saint Vincent de Paul Society, there are ecumenical service organizations in our community that serve the needy. We encourage you to check out these organizations and find one that’s close to your neighborhood. Each organization serves the needy in a different way and therefore needs different types of volunteers.
ACCA: Annandale Christian Community for Action, located in Annandale, https://accacares.org/
ECHO: Ecumenical Community Helping Others, located in Springfield, https://www.echo-inc.org/
FACETS: Opening Doors for People in Need, located in Fairfax, http://facetscares.org/
Fairfax FISH: Fairfax For Immediate Sympathetic Help, located in Fairfax, https://www.fairfaxfish.org/
Helping Migrants and Refugees
In response to repeated calls from Pope Francis to support and aid those disrupted by war, famine, and poverty, Holy Spirit has initiated a series of initiatives to assist the Diocesan Office of Migrant and Refugee Services in this critical ministry. Neither Catholic Charities nor the Diocese have any role in determining who comes to the United States. Our only mission is to faithfully and generously welcome those admitted to our wonderful country. In Northern Virginia, the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington (CCDA), Office of Migrant and Refugee Services is one of only two organizations chartered to work with the State Department in Northerm Virginia in this humanitarian mission (there are seven nationally) and CCDA provides the bulk of the support.
Mental Health Resources for Catholics
For many people and in many situations, the ordinary challenges of life can be resolved by turning to God, talking to a trusted friend or family member, or seeking help through books and other resources. But for many people at certain times of their lives, more help is needed.
People may be grappling with anxiety or depression, struggles with family members, financial issues, behavioral problems of children, technology or substance addiction, or long-term diagnoses of mental health disorders. But we are fortunate to have many faithful Catholic options available in northern Virginia to help people deal with these and other mental health issues.
The following organizations offer faith-based counseling services for Catholics.
The Saint Labre Society is a Catholic support group for those recovering from mental illness and is based in Alexandria. Their web page has links to local resources and upcoming events.
If you need suicide or mental health-related crisis support, or if you are worried about someone else, please call or text 1-800-273-8255 or visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s chat to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Note that a nationwide suicide and crisis lifeline number—988—went live on July 16, 2022.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a national association that supports people with various mental illnesses. However, it must be noted that it is not a Catholic organization, and NAMI has taken a number of positions on moral issues that are not in accord with our faith. That said, NAMI has many resources to support those with mental illness, as well as their loved ones and communities; prudential judgment is recommended. The list of Catholic resources above was created precisely because secular associations may provide problematic advice about certain conditions and treatments.
Volunteer drivers are always needed to help with this service of The Shepherd Centers listed above. If you can drive clients even occasionally, call either of the phone numbers listed above to find out more and sign up.
Do you need transportation to medical appointments? For those who are 50 or older and cannot drive, transportation to medical appointments is available from these Shepherd Centers, which serve the areas indicated:
Please check these websites or call ahead for further information regarding registration, their procedures, and protocols. Be sure to allow sufficient time to schedule your ride.
Additionally for those who meet the eligibility requirements, a subsidy program, called TOPS (Transportation Options, Programs, & Services), issued on a debit card, which can be used for taxicabs, Uber, and Lyft, bus and rail, is available to residents of Fairfax County who qualify. To learn more or apply online, visit: fairfaxcounty.gov/NCS (Click on the Transportation icon, or search TOPS). Or call 703.222.9764.
To explore additional transportation options, click here.
Great Expectations Care Packages
Several parish groups work together to create care packages for college students who are participating in Northern Virginia Community College’s Great Expectations program. This program is for students who have aged out of foster care, and the care packages are handed out in November.
Each care package includes:
- A handmade scarf
- A gift card
- An encouraging note
- Other items for a college student, such as a journal
Contact us if you wish to donate or participate in this annual program.