St. Joseph Parish has a long history of reaching out to the community. Leadership and parishioners strive to keep these ministries going through their support and participation.
Our mission statement explains this commitment well . . .
We the Parish Community of St. Joseph Catholic Church
are a welcoming family of believers who:
~ witness the Gospel
~ are committed to our Baptismal call to Discipleship in Jesus Christ, and
~ further the Kingdom through our ministry and worship
St. Joseph Cares
Originally formed in 1997 as a St. Vincent DePaul Society, members work to serve the needy residents of Portage County ranging from utility payments, payment of security deposits, payment of back rent to avoid eviction, the purchase of food, supplies, and medicines, car repairs, gasoline, etc. Monthly collections help people in our own parish and the community abroad. Donations are made to 4C’s Food Cupboard and Catholic Charities. Members of the group also volunteer their time at the Arbors of Streetsboro (formerly Maplewood Care Center) with bingo for residents and at the Portage County Clothing Center. Click here to learn more about this ministry.
Participating in this outreach effort since 1998, volunteers do a variety of household repairs at owner occupied homes of low-income residents of southwestern Virginia. Support is obtained through monthly bake sales and other fundraisers, donations. For a complete look at this important work including photos of past trips, please click here.
Visits are made to the Portage County Juvenile Detention Center and to the adult women at the Portage County Justice Center. With other parishes, we help to provide a one-hour communion service once a week to both the juveniles and adult women. Our pastor is involved with serving the needs of inmates at the Portage County Justice Center and the Trumbull County Correctional Facility. He is part of the team who help provide annual retreats for Catholics at the Trumbull facility. For more information, please click here.
4C’s Food Cupboard
Originally named the “Crestwood Coalition for Community Care” when it was formed in 1981, and now known simply as 4C's, this food cupboard provides food on an emergency basis to needy families in the Crestwood school district. The Cupboard is not a federally funded agency but relies exclusively on the support of the community for donations of money, food, and supplies. All the churches, civic groups, and schools in the Crestwood community have generously and continuously supported the 4C’s with fundraisers and food drives over the years.
The United Way of Portage County 211's First Call for Help screens calls (dial 211, 330-297-4636 or 1-800-961-0191 for assistance). The cupboard is located at the Hilltop Christian Church (back entrance) at 4572 W. Prospect St in Mantua.
The cupboard is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00 - 3:00 PM and staffed exclusively with volunteers from our community. Our telephone number is (330) 274-3310, with council meetings held once a month.
Monthly collections of these items at weekend Masses are held and members of the parish are always urged to volunteer to help out at their location at the rear of Hilltop Christian Church, 4572 W. Prospect St., Mantua, Ohio 44255. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. If you know someone in need, please refer them to First Call for Help. You may send donations or inquiries to: Crestwood Coalition for Community Care, P.O. Box 227, Mantua, OH 44255. Collections held at St. Joseph Parish the 3rd weekend of each month and on Sunday of the Ox Roast Fair weekend.
Our annual Advent tradition of the Giving Tree provides those in need with a little brighter Christmas (this may be the only gifts they receive). “Wish lists” are obtained from Catholic Charities of Portage County. Parishioners are asked to participate by selecting a tag, shop, and return your wrapped gifts by the designated date.
In January, our PSR program transforms the Giving Tree to a Mitten Tree, on which winter clothing items are collected and donated to Catholic Charities.
Salvation Army Bell Ringing
St. Joseph typically participates in the Salvation Army Christmas red kettle campaign the weekend after Thanksgiving. The money raised in this drive is used to help needy people in our area by providing some of the following: holiday meals for seniors, Christmas gifts for poor children, and housing for the needy. The one-hour shifts are at the Mantua Station Drug Co. (S.R. 44 across from Crestwood High School) on Friday 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. If you’re interested in volunteering or want additional information, please contact Dan Baumbick (330-760-3564).
[St. Joe's was not contacted by the Salvation Army for 2015 or 2016]
Free Community Meals
Began in the Fall of 2012, this effort is done in conjunction with our PSR program, parish organizations, and the church communities in our area. Our goal is to provide a nutritious meal and fellowship to those in need. All are welcome to these monthly events held the last Sunday of the month during the school year. For full details, please click here.
American Red Cross Blood Drives
St . Joseph's hosts blood drives throughout year. To learn more about giving the gift of life, please click here.
This organization is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem. St. Joseph Parish makes available meeting space for this support group on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. in Hughes Hall. For additional information, please visit www.aa.org.
Community Service Projects
St. Joseph's has participated in an annual Thanksgiving Service Project sponsored by the Crestwood Clergy Association (Mantua Center Christian Church, Hiram Christian Church, Hilltop/Brighter Day Christian Church, Portage Faith United Methodist Church, and St. Joseph Catholic Church).
In 2013, approximately 65 members of area congregations gathered in Hughes Hall of St. Joseph Church to assembly collected items. On behalf of Robinson Memorial Hospital and Geauga Hospital, "Kid-paks" for children entering the hospital or whose loved ones are were assembled. A collection of some basic hygiene products for those folks entering into the Portage County Jails, many of whom have no resources or support, were also packaged.
In 2014, the Thanksgiving Service Project was a collection for individuals and families staying at Safer Futures & Miller Community House. Cleaning supplies, linens, and toilietries and personal hygiene products were collected at Crestwood Community Churches.
In 2015, the Thanksgiving Service Project was a collection for Hospital Kid-Paks and for Kid’s Weekend Meals. Volunteer Services of UH Portage Medical Center (formerly Robinson Memorial Hospital) have developed Kid-Paks as an effort to meet the needs of younger visitors to the hospital. In the U.S. more than 21 million children qualify for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch & Breakfast Programs. What happens when they go home over the weekend? Every Friday, approximately 50 children attending Crestwood Primary School who are on these programs are sent home with Kid’s Weekend Meals, a backpack full of meals for themselves and their siblings.
In 2016, a project was not organized. Watch for more project news in 2017.
Ox Roast Fair
Annual parish festival held since 1964 that invites community to parish grounds. Click here to visit the many pages about our wonderful event.
Community Use of Parish Grounds
Mantua Soccer Association, Crestwood Youth Baseball, practicing high school cross country teams, etc. make use of spacious grounds.
Support of Service Oriented Groups
St. Joseph Parish has a history of generously supporting related organizations with use of space, publicity, etc. Groups reciprocate this support to the parish. These include the Knights of Columbus Council #3766, Boy Scout Troop #575, Cub Scout Pack #3575, various Girl Scouting groups.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Youngstown
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Youngstown serves the six northeastern counties of Ohio: Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark and Trumbull. Within this region, Catholic Charities has three social service agencies and a housing organization, all of which sponsor numerous locations. Faithful to many of the priorities established decades ago, Catholic Charities remains devoted to helping meet basic human needs, strengthening families, building communities and empowering low-income people. For complete details, please visit www.ccdoy.org.
Diocesan Collections - Our Parish has good record of participation in diocesan collections and special efforts including The Church at Home, Rice Bowl, Holy Land, the Archdiocese for Militiary Services (held every 3 years), Retirement Fund for Religious, The Church Overseas, disaster relief, Missionary efforts, First Step for Change, Keep The Kids Warm, and the annual Bishop's Appeal for Church and Charity.