Between now and mid-November, families of children in faith formation in the Brunswick area are creating welcome-home packages for families with refugee status or formerly incarcerated members returning home.

The packages for the refugee families contain a favorite meal recipe, a snack, a children’s book, a game, a family portrait drawn by the child, and a note of welcome. Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry program will distribute the packages to the new neighbors.

“Often, we think of serving others as offering them financial or material resources,” said Bill Wood of Catholic Charities Maine. “These parish families are offering those in need something equally as important — their friendship.”

The faith formation families are also partnering with Kairos of Maine, a volunteer-led prison ministry that will be holding a retreat in October with 24 inmates at the Maine State Prison. The families will be creating colorful placemats with drawings and encouraging words to be used by the inmates during the retreat.

“Catholic Charities makes a real difference in the lives of others and Bill Wood of Catholic Charities Maine has been instrumental in shaping the outreach idea of welcome home packages,” said Amy Ford, a faith formation coordinator at All Saints. “This is an opportunity for families on both the giving and receiving end to experience a connection as neighbors as our families share some favorite things in the spirit of greeting and welcome.

For more information, visit To learn more about Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry program, visit

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