By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
Musician Steve Angrisano, Mary’s Meals and parishes in the Diocese of Davenport are teaming up to support world hunger relief efforts.
Four parishes in the diocese will host Angrisano for a concert and adoration experience in August. “Most of the events are outside with food, fun and a real summer festival feel, but some are also inside the church,” Angrisano told The Catholic Messenger. “Basically, there isn’t a bad seat in the house!”
The concerts are free but guests may donate to Mary’s Meals, an organization that feeds more than 2.2 million children a day at their place of education in 20 countries, primarily in Africa.
Angrisano said he became acquainted with Mary’s Meals founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, at a Christ Our Life conference in Des Moines. “I was able to hear Magnus speak. I was so captivated with how easy it was to make an enormous difference in the lives of so many children.” A $21 donation can feed a child for one year, he said.
Each concert experience will include music, a brief explanation of Mary’s Meals and eucharistic adoration at these diocesan locations:
Aug. 5: St. Mary Parish-Solon, 6 p.m. food trucks, 7 p.m. concert/adoration.
Aug. 6: St. Mary Parish-Williamsburg, 4 p.m. Mass, 5 p.m. food, 6 p.m. outdoor concert/adoration.
Aug. 10: St. Mary Parish-Oskaloosa, 5:30 p.m. concert/adoration in the city park.
Aug. 11: St. Thomas More Parish-Coralville, 6 p.m. refreshments/snacks, 7 p.m. concert/adoration.
In addition, Mary’s Meals Corridor Chapter will host a Be the Hunger Hero 5K/Fun Run on Aug. 6. The route begins at Timber Dome in Solon at 8 a.m. The event includes activities for children and families. “It’s a great event,” said volunteer Teresa Bonnema of the Solon parish. “People can walk or run. It is stroller and dog friendly, too.”
Bonnema said Catholics from the Iowa City corridor have been hosting the run since 2015. “Our town, Solon, collectively decided to select Mary’s Meals as the beneficiary of a community-wide, year-long fundraising effort. As our family learned about Mary’s Meals, we wanted to be able to donate more, so we decided to organize a fundraising run. Our church, St. Mary’s — and the town — gave fantastic support to the effort when we brought them the idea. Then, as a bonus, Magnus added Solon to his Iowa book tour, so he actually got to be there for our inaugural event!”
Angrisano said he hopes families and parishes will embrace the fellowship and fundraising opportunities the summer event series provides. “It’s so rewarding to see the light go on in people’s eyes when they realize they spend $21 on so many needless things and that it’s possible to do something genuinely good and outside the box with that money. They can literally change a child’s life forever.”
Register for the 5K/Fun Run at getmeregistered.com/HungerHero5K. To learn more about Mary’s Meals, go to www.marysmealsusa.org.