Migrant worker in tobacco fieldAs the long hot days of summer arrive, migrant workers move north into the fields of Eastern North Carolina. They work in fields of soybeans, cucumbers and tobacco, laboring long hours under the hot sun. The migrant workers endure being sprayed by pesticides and must wear long-sleeved shirts despite the heat because of the irritants in tobacco leaves. The camps may have three showers for 50 men, so workers are unable to shower regularly. They live in crowded conditions in shacks or trailers, often without a mattress to sleep on.

St. Francis many years ago began a migrant ministry to provide for some of the basic needs of migrant workers who are based in the Louisburg, NC area. Jesus tells us, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” The Migrant Ministry offers parishioners opportunities to assist migrant workers in several ways, including donations, driving workers to Mass, and preparing monthly community meals at Our Lady of the Rosary in Louisburg. We also have periodic food drives for Our Lady of the Rosary. Here’s several ways you can help:

Fiesta POD Collection

On the weekend of June 15-16, the Migrant Ministry is sponsoring a donations drive in the church parking lot on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Items most needed are:

• Men’s lightweight long-sleeve shirts

• Men’s long pants

• Baseball caps

• Bandannas

• Work gloves

• Bed sheets

Also needed are: men’s toiletries; 12 TVs; 12 stereos or boom boxes; adult bikes with wide tires; and 3 children’s bikes. We also need a few volunteers to sign up for shifts to accept donations – a great family activity!

Contact: Tom Carlson, tom.carlson@mechatronics.com.

Driving to Mass

On Sundays throughout the summer, St. Francis parishioners drive to Louisburg to pick up migrant workers at camps and drive them to 1 p.m. Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary. Migrant workers have no transportation, so this is their only opportunity to get to Mass. It’s not necessary to know Spanish to be a driver, though it’s an excellent way to practice your Spanish skills. You can drive one Sunday or as many as you like. To sign up, click here.

Contact: Terrence McDonald, terrence.mcdonald@att.net, 919-538-4627, or Gary Burnette, gdburnette @aol.com, 919-846-8715.

Monthly Fiestas

On the third Sundays of June, July and August, Migrant Ministry hosts a fiesta at Our Lady of the Rosary. This is a community meal prepared and served by St. Francis parishioners. We need donations of food as well as volunteers to help serve. This is a wonderful opportunity to show hospitality to our brothers and sisters in need.

Contact: Terrence McDonald, terrence.mcdonald@att.net, 919-538-4627, or Gary Burnette, gdburnette @aol.com, 919-846-8715.