Wilton families unite for spring cleanup

Families from St. Mary Parish in Wilton move mulch on parish grounds during a “Day of Service” last month.

By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

WILTON — More than 40 volunteers from St. Mary Parish came together after Mass last month to clean, polish and beautify the parish buildings and grounds. “We had young children working alongside adults and everyone was having a great time,” said Hilary Henke, director of religious education. “Serving our Lord together is a wonderful opportunity to get to know one another. It’s also a great opportunity for families to spend quality time engaging in acts of service.”

Henke co-organized the “Day of Service” with parishioners Steve and Gina Holladay, who have led the annual event on a smaller scale for several years. “We planned it for the first Sunday after we completed religious education classes for the year and put the word out a few weeks in advance to all religious education students and parents and in the bulletin so everyone could participate,” Henke said. Deacon Dan Freeman, parish life coordinator, gave parishioners the OK to wear work-ready clothes to Mass on cleanup day, April 21, the day before Earth Day. “Parishioners have always been great about stepping up and taking care of their parish and their community,” Deacon Freeman told The Catholic Messenger.

Volunteers cleared leaves and brush from flowerbeds and carried buckets and wheelbarrows full of mulch to spread around church grounds. They edged and trimmed bushes, cleaned and polished windows, scraped paint on the windowsills for repainting, and polished Stations of the Cross. “It was wonderful to see so many people show up to help out. I think it speaks to the commitment and compassion of our parishioners to our church,” Henke said. 


The parish hopes to make the service day an annual event. “When we all work together, there’s a sense of fellowship and love for our faith community that is inspiring,” Henke said.

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