Thanks-giving Meal Drive
While many recall the American legend of the first Thanksgiving meal between the pilgrims and the indigenous community the historical origins of Thanksgiving offers an even greater social lesson for us. In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln put forth a proclamation to establish the first national day of Thanksgiving. This proclamation called on his “fellow-citizens in every part of the United States” to “set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving.” Lincoln called attention to our desperate need for collective healing. Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” that the nation faced. He called for a day in which we might sit down and work to “heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes.”
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, offered the following Thanksgiving Day message which reminds us to be “attentive in a special way to those who are often excluded from this great abundance—the poor, the sick, the addicted, the unborn, the unemployed, and especially migrants and refugees.”
Our Catholic social teaching calls us to have solidarity with members of our community in need. The social values of our faith allows us to participate in healing the ongoing wounds of our nation by building community with one another. Each year, as part of this expression, we reach out to homebound and low-income members of the community who are not able to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with family or friends. We will either offer a special Thanksgiving food collection for families that week or a prepared meal that will be delivered to these parishioners on Thanksgiving Day. If you or someone you know is in need of a meal for the holiday, please call the Social Ministry Office.
We will also need a few volunteers to deliver these meals. Please note that individuals who are delivering meals must be currently registered as Notre Dame volunteers. If you have about an hour or so to spare on Thanksgiving Day (usually around noon) and would like to be part of this project, please contact our office at (516) 326-3403.