Service and Outreach

Our Collaborative has developed in so many fruitful ways since we began this journey in 2015. Our two parishes, each unique and rich in tradition, culture, and ministry, have continued to thrive as distinct faith communities while simultaneously entwining themselves in organic and God-glorifying ways. The Holy Spirit continues to work with deliberate timing as we discern God’s will for our collaborative, revealing opportunities for even deeper connection for worship, enrichment, and ministry together. It is with great joy that we enter a new phase of collaboration in our service and outreach ministries with the establishment of a Collaborative Service Commission.

Why a Service Commission? During last year’s Collaborative Forum on Christian Service, we began to discuss a shared vision of what constitutes Christian Service and how we can continue to respond to Christ’s call to serve as we move forward as a collaborative. We are blessed to have many meaningful and diverse service initiatives at both parishes, with so many dedicated parishioners bringing the comfort and compassion of Christ to those in need, in our community and beyond. Our new Collaborative Service Commission will be a support mechanism to provide assistance and encouragement, as needed, to our existing programs and those engaged in service, as well as a channel for exploring and incorporating new programs and new opportunities to serve.

Why serve? Christ’s foundational command to love is at the heart of the Gospel message. It is a love that is beyond human comprehension – it grows and builds by the power of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. There is no better expression of our love than the imitation our Lord Jesus Christ who came to serve and not to be served. We serve by the grace of faith, through the strength of God’s supply. Service allows us to discover and develop our personal spiritual gifts and to experience the joy of obedience to God’s will; it surrounds us with other Christians who support us in our walks with Christ and it increases our faith. During the wedding at Cana Jesus performs a miracle. The guests at the wedding aren’t witnesses to that miracle (although they gratefully enjoy its fruits.) The servers at the wedding witness the miracle. Water turns to wine before their eyes. God’s grace is poured out. Serving allows us to witness miracles. Service allows us to see God’s direct hand in the most beautiful parts of His creation.

What holds us back? It’s easy to become overwhelmed with doubt and fear – that we don’t have the right skills, or enough time, or that we aren’t needed or sufficient. Remember that God has used those who doubt and fear to perform unbelievable tasks in His name. From Moses to David to Paul, and of course the Blessed Virgin Mary, God proves we need only say ‘yes’. Indeed, He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

If you feel called to serve out of gratitude for what God has done for you in your life; if you want to share God’s goodness with others; if you want to bring the face of Christ into the lives of our collaborative community and beyond, please let us know by contacting the Service Commission at


Latest Service News and Updates

They’re Here! Some Good News in a Difficult Time…

It is with hearts brimming over with joy we announce the truly miraculous arrival of our new POWIR family, Emile and Rosine Rwamuhinda and their children, in Boston! The family landed at Logan Airport today at 2:20pm. During these unimaginably difficult days and circumstances, Catholic Charities and our POWIR Team remained uncertain whether they would actually be able to come until the very last moment. As we explained in last week's bulletin, Emile and Rosine and their children fled the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007, and they’ve been living in a refugee camp ever since. We were notified during ...
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Welcome Emile and Rosine and Family, Arriving in Boston on March 18!

As many in the collaborative heard during last week's Masses, we have exciting news to share regarding our partnership with Catholic Charities to assist in the resettlement efforts of Immigrant and Refugees into the Boston area. On March 18, 2020 our SJSP POWIR Group will be welcoming Emile and Rosine, and their five children, from a refugee camp in Rwanda. The family fled the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007. They’ve been living in a refugee camp ever since and their two youngest children were born there. As many of you know we’ve been praying for the opportunity to assist a ...
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Our Collaborative Lenten Gift: What is POWIR?

Jesus calls all of us in the parable of the Good Samaritan to be responsible for those in need, no matter who they are or where they come from. The St. John - St. Paul Collaborative Lenten Gift this year recognizes Jesus’ call and will direct all contributions into the St. John - St. Paul Collaborative POWIR Fund to support our POWIR work going forward in partnership with Catholic Charities. What is POWIR? POWIR is an acronym that stands for Parishes Organized to Welcome Immigrants and Refugees. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops launched the program in 2010 to intensify ...
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POWIR Update: A Heartfelt Thank You!

News from the SJSP POWIR team! It is with great joy that we share with you that both our Honduran and Congolese refugee families are employed and financially self-sufficient. It was the families’ hard work along with the unbelievable efforts of Catholic Charities, our SJSP partnership and the abundant generosity of individual parishioners that this was achieved. The refugee families shared Thanksgiving and Christmas welcomed by warm members of our faith community. They were showered with Christmas gifts, including a brand new smart TV that is helping to expand their language acquisition. The POWIR team wishes to extend a heartfelt thank ...
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POWIR Update: Getting Settled

Our SJSP POWIR volunteers have been busy getting Maria, Marcos, Chantal, Emmanuel and Jeremie settled in their new home in Dorchester. They live in a lovely apartment near Pope John Paul II Park, with an easy walk to grocery stores, St. Mark's Church, Fields Corner T,  laundry and much more. Through the generosity of many of our parishioners we've been able to begin assisting them with a rental subsidy. Your continued online donations to help the family are of vital importance. This week our volunteers are focused on bringing the families to their first medical evaluations and getting a sense ...
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