Season of Service set to kick off Feb. 14

by Deacon Richard Mitchell, Director of Stewardship and Development

Being a native Louisianian, I experienced the generosity and caring spirit of people in our area from a very young age. Whether a hurricane, tornado or some other natural disaster, we come together in a time of need.

Sure, we have our struggles in the South. The roads are horrible, reports of crime and violence in our area take up the majority of the newscast each night, and we can experience all four seasons within a couple of days, but when it comes to responding to a disaster or community need, there is no place I would rather be.

It is this sense of “service” that led to the idea of having a diocesan program giving people an opportunity to come together in “peace time” (as opposed to emergency response) to lend our helping hands to projects that make our church a better place to worship and our community a better place to live.

During the Lenten season of 2022, we launched the program called Season of Service (SoS). Lent is the perfect time to host this program because we are all looking for ways to strengthen our prayer life, observe periods of fasting, and participate in helping others through almsgiving. What better way to accomplish this than to serve others? Over the past two years, there have been nearly 100 teams made up of approximately 1,000 volunteers working on projects throughout the diocese.

The premise of the program is to recruit team captains who in turn develop a team of 3 to 10 (or so) people. This team decides on a project to complete during the Lenten season, develops the plan, registers on the diocesan website, and then gets to work on serving their church and/or community.

In the past, teams have consisted of family members, prayer groups, civic organizations, school classrooms, and others. Completed projects include: teams coming together to pray the rosary once per week; minor maintenance around the church parish; re-striping parking lots; beginning and supporting a food pantry at the parish…

Our Season of Service program received national attention and I was asked to present the program at the 2023 International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC) conference in Orlando, Florida. At the end of the presentation, those interested in hosting this program were given a flash drive with the logo, flyers, and other forms to make it easy for them to duplicate and offer in their diocese. It was a great honor to show others the great work YOU do in our small diocese!

Lent is quickly approaching and now is the time to begin planning for the next program. If you want to be a part of the 2024 Season of Service initiative which begins on Ash Wednesday (February 14th), please begin developing a team and thinking of a project you and your team would like to accomplish during those 40 days. When thinking about projects (don’t overthink it), remember to reach out to our partner agencies such as St. Mary’s Residential Training Center, Maryhill Renewal Center, Manna House, and Catholic Charities to see if they need assistance. Once you have your team in place and projects planned, please register on the diocesan website:

Upon registering, team members will have an option for a free t-shirt, hat, or tote bag.

With our caring spirit and servant’s heart, we will accomplish many great things when we work together this Lenten season. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please email me at: