PORTLAND — Despite the Patriots missing out on a trip to the Super Bowl this weekend, young Catholics from around Maine will still be cheering, but their rooting interest will be towards getting as many donations as possible to benefit the annual Souper Bowl of Caring, a weekend of giving and serving on Feb. 6-7 during which 100 percent of the monetary and food donations collected will be given to local charities to help tackle hunger in the community.

St. Michael Parish, Augusta

St. Michael Youth Ministry will hold soup pots and collect money and food items after all weekend Masses at each of the parish’s six churches (St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Augusta; St. Augustine Church, Augusta; St. Joseph Church, Gardiner; Sacred Heart Church, Hallowell; St. Denis Church, Whitefield; St. Francis Xavier Church, Winthrop) with the proceeds going to local food banks and soup kitchens.

All Saints Parish, Brunswick

A collection will be held after all weekend Masses at St. Mary Church, Bath; Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Boothbay Harbor; St. Charles Borromeo Church, Brunswick; St. John the Baptist Church, Brunswick; St. Patrick Church, Newcastle; and St. Ambrose Church, Richmond. In last week’s parish bulletin, parishioners were asked to bring a can of soup and/or a dollar to help the cause. All proceeds will be donated to local food banks throughout the parish.

St. Bartholomew Parish, Cape Elizabeth

Members of youth ministry in South Portland, Scarborough, and Cape Elizabeth will be present before and after weekend Masses at St. Bartholomew Church in Cape Elizabeth (9 and 11 a.m. Sunday) to collect for the local soup kitchen.

Parish of the Precious Blood, Caribou

Parish youth will collect money after weekend Masses at Holy Rosary Church in Caribou (4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday) and St. Mary Church in Presque Isle (4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday). The donations will be split between Bread of Life Soup Kitchen in Caribou, Caribou Ecumenical Food Pantry, Grace Interfaith Food Table in Presque Isle, and Presque Isle Soup Kitchen.

St. Gregory Church, Gray

Youth ministry students at St. Gregory Church in Gray will hold a collection after weekend Masses (4 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday). The proceeds will be donated to the Gray Food Pantry.

Holy Savior Parish, Rumford

Parish youth ministry members will collect non-perishable food items and monetary donations at each door following weekend Masses at St. Athanasius and St. John Church in Rumford (4 p.m. Saturday and 9:30 a.m. Sunday) and Our Lady of the Snows Church in Bethel (6 p.m. Saturday). The donations will go to several local food pantries.

Good Shepherd Parish, Saco

Parish youth will gather donations to benefit two charities: a daycare food assistance program through Catholic Charities Maine and the Preble Street Teen Resource Center in Portland. The collections are set for all weekend Masses at the parish’s four churches (Most Holy Trinity Church, Saco; St. Joseph Church, Biddeford; St. Margaret Church, Old Orchard Beach; and St. Philip Church, Lyman).

The efforts of the Catholic youth come in the Holy Year of Mercy (Dec. 8, 2015, to Nov. 20, 2016), declared by Pope Francis. The Holy Year of Mercy is an invitation for all believers to live faith more fully by seeking ways to reflect God’s love and mercy, both received and given. Giving mercy is accomplished through living out the corporal works of mercy, including to feed the hungry.

Since its inception in 1990, churches across America have raised more than $100 million for soup kitchens, food pantries, and other charities through the Souper Bowl of Caring. In 2015, over 5,200 charities across the country benefited from the collection. Other parishes in the Diocese of Portland will participate in the event this weekend. For more information, contact your local parish.

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