Sr. Lisa Bergeron: Helping Families in Need
Sister M. Elisabeth (Lisa) Bergeron is the Director of Parish Social Ministry at St. John Nepomucene Church in Bohemia, NY. She leads more than 250 volunteers in sixteen different ministries to reach out into the local community to assist families in need through direct service and advocacy. Their mission is: “United in prayer and action, may we become a visible sign of God’s Love.” Currently, they serve nearly 150 families each month.
Among the many services offered by the Outreach office is the Bob Walther Food Pantry which provides food, personal care items, cleaning supplies and paper goods for needy families. Volunteers deliver food on a weekly basis to those families without transportation, and distribute holiday food and gifts at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Other volunteers make nearly 600 sandwiches each week which are distributed to area soup kitchens, sober houses, and shelters to feed nearly 2,500 people each month.
In addition, Sr. Lisa and her 25 Core Worker volunteers offer case management and referrals for counseling, support groups and other professional help. They arrange for budget counseling, when necessary, and provide financial assistance for such basic essentials as rent, utilities, medical needs, insurance, and furnishings. Sr. Lisa advocates for those in need with the Suffolk County Department of Social Services and other agencies. Volunteers provide transportation to doctors’ appointments and bring Holy Communion to the homebound and the sick. Sr. Lisa feels both blessed and stretched by this work, by which she hopes to build God’s reign of Mercy, Peace, Justice and Love through compassionate care toward families in the local community who are struggling.