Archdiocese of Detroit parishes hosting dozens of service projects, more than one thousand volunteers for annual ‘Mercy in Action Day’ Oct. 14

The Archdiocese of Detroit is hosting the eighth annual “Mercy in Action Day of Service” on Saturday, Oct. 14 with dozens of service projects taking place at parishes throughout southeast Michigan.

Each year, participating parishes recruit volunteers and coordinate projects aligned with the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy, which are actions in support of the material, physical, and spiritual needs of others. This year’s projects include food drives, cleaning cemeteries and other properties, and creating care packages for foster children, seniors, military, and the homeless.

“When we say ‘Amen’ to the Body and Blood of Christ, we say “yes” to all that Christ taught. On Mercy in Action Day, people across the Archdiocese respond to this call by serving as Christ’s hands doing his work in our communities,” said Deacon Fred Billotto, director of evangelical charity for the Archdiocese of Detroit. “Our unified acts of evangelical charity bring us into communion with the poor and marginalized, our brothers and sisters in Christ. We not only seek to meet material needs but to unleash the Gospel through our words and deeds.”

Around 45 parishes are registered for this year’s Mercy in Action Day, with more than one thousand volunteers expected to assist with 65+ individual service projects. Many parishes have partnered on projects with larger Catholic organizations such as Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan, St. Vincent de Paul, and Catholic Funeral and Cemetery Services.

Mercy in Action Day is informed and inspired by the local Church’s mission to share the Gospel, as detailed in Archbishop Allen Vigneron’s pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel.

“Catholics around the world and in our local Church have developed a remarkable network of charitable programs for health care, disaster relief, hunger alleviation, poverty reduction, refugee aid, family services, counseling, and help for people in every form of need,” Archbishop Vigneron wrote. “We must continue and intensify these works of service that manifest God’s love to those around us. … We need to ensure that in ministering to the material needs of others we are also responding to their spiritual thirst for God.”

Media interested in Mercy in Action Day coverage are welcome to visit the following parishes hosting service projects:

  • St. Irenaeus Parish (771 Old Perch Rd., Rochester Hills) is hosting volunteers making bereavement bags, filling military care packages, coordinating a clothing drive, doing a fall clean-up of the church grounds, and more. The day begins at 9 a.m. with prayer and breakfast.
  • Divine Child Parish (1055 North Silvery Ln. Dearborn) is hosting a “Michigan vs. Michigan State” food drive, asking people to donate nonperishable food items in honor of their favorite team. Schedule of events is as follows:
    • Saturday, Oct. 14: Students and parishioners will be collecting food from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Convent Garage, located in the church parking lot near the high school cafeteria.
    • Sunday, Oct. 15: Food collection continues from 7:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m. at the Convent Garage.
    • 16-18: Food drive continues as both the high school and elementary school accept donations from students.
    • 19: Beginning at 8 a.m., students load food into school bus for delivery to St. Goretti Food Pantry. Food is delivered at 9 a.m. and unloaded, then bus proceeds to St. Sabina Food Pantry for unloading at 12 noon.

To arrange for coverage or to learn more about other service projects in the Archdiocese of Detroit, please contact Michelle St. Pierre at (313) 805-1408 or