Winter is coming, pandemic or no, and the faithful at St. Anthony Parish in Southeast Portland have been gathering winter clothes for Union Gospel Mission’s “Overcoat Drive.”

“Many people said it was a great feeling to participate in this opportunity especially this year when the need is so great,” reported Diane Marcoe, the drive’s principal organizer.

The drive began in August and finished in October. Marcoe said parishioners were extremely generous, donating jackets, boots, blankets, sleeping bags and other clothing. The group also collected money to purchase mylar blankets and tarps of various sizes. They presented Union Gospel Mission with 430 mylar blankets, 22 tarps, and a check for $360 with which the mission could buy underwear, in critically low supply there.

“Many people are hurting and homeless, and we were able to help them stay warm this winter,” said Marcoe.

The parish also reached out to the wider community through its participation in an ecumenical prayer event. St. Anthony Parish’s prayer day was Oct. 19 with Paula Lang as organizer. A parishioner was chosen for each hour of the day.

On Nov. 3, election Tuesday, the parish held adoration for more than six hours. It was part of a national effort called "Adoration for the Nation.” At St. Anthony, there was Mass, then adoration. Rosemary Childress was the main organizer.

Lastly, at the end of October, Father Pat Donoghue got a haircut. “It wasn't just any haircut,” he said. “It resembled the tonsure of St. Anthony himself.”

The reason, in addition to the general lack of regular styling that has occurred since March, was a historic fundraiser called "Save it or Shave it."

The parish held that fundraiser three years ago, at the time of its centennial, and it was centered upon Father Donoghue’s hair. “If enough money was raised I agreed to get my hair cut like St. Anthony,” he said. “It was a contest between the ‘save it’ people versus the ‘shave it’ people.”

Father Donoghue says the contest was razor close… but in the end the "save it” people won.

This year he gave the “shave it” people their belated tonsure.

— Kristen Hannum