Boxes are organized in the St. Cecilia parish hall, ready to be filled with food for families in need. (Courtesy Bridget Kyle)
Boxes are organized in the St. Cecilia parish hall, ready to be filled with food for families in need. (Courtesy Bridget Kyle)
BEAVERTON — The St. Vincent de Paul conference at St. Cecilia Parish hasn’t let the pandemic thwart its service work. Instead the group ramped up its commitment to aid others.

The council raised $24,830 for Our Lady of the Mountain Parish in Ashland and Sacred Heart Parish in Medford, both communities affected by the historic blazes this year. The funds were split between the parishes’ St. Vincent de Paul conferences.

St. Cecilia also provided Christmas food boxes to nearly 200 families Dec. 19. Mona Stahl has coordinated the boxes for several years, assisted by many volunteers.

“This has been a parishwide work of mercy,” said Bridget Kyle, president of the St. Vincent de Paul council. Parishioners donated nearly 100 turkeys, Christmas candy, cranberry sauce and other canned items to be distributed through the helping agency.

Catholic and local entities bolstered the council’s efforts. Portland’s Jesuit High School gave St. Cecilia $10,000 worth of gift cards for families receiving the food boxes. Donations of food came from Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, businesses and Catholic high schools. Central Catholic High School administration and students contributed 105 pre-packed family boxes.

COVID-19 foiled many traditions this year, “but we were determined to give out the food boxes,” said Kyle.