Find Your Passion and Take Action
Ascension's Social Justice Ministry offers numerous activities and programs both within the parish and as part of our local ecumenical and civic community. Time commitments are generally flexible and several of our ministries are seasonal in nature.
Virtus training is desired for all volunteers and required for some ministries. For more information, contact Ruth at 495-1886 x414 (Social Justice Ministry Director) or Janet at 495-1886 x423 (Safe Environment Coordinator).
See some of our volunteers and ministries at work in the Social Ministry Photo Gallery
Apple Tree: This summer ministry collects school supplies for children who otherwise would not be fully prepared for the school year. Volunteers prepare tags for the Apple Tree and assist with sorting and packing collected supplies for distribution. Email Elisabeth Berry or phone 497-5403
Beach Bags: Many students in Virginia Beach are food-insecure during summers and weekends when schools are closed. Beach Bags provides these students with single-serving, ready-to-eat foods to take home. We collect individual-sized cereals/oatmeal, shelf-stable single-serve meals (ravioli, spaghetti & meatballs, soup, etc), 4 oz fruit cups and 100% juice boxes, and individually-wrapped snacks. On the 4th Sunday of the month, we pack these items into Beach Bags. This program is sponsored by Virginia Beach Schools; to learn more, visit Beach Bags. Email Ruth Brogan or phone 495-1886 x414
Bread for a Better World: Volunteers bake artisan bread which are sold after Sunday Masses. All proceeds benefit Social Justice Ministry. Email Ed and Pat Bugeja or phone 548-1229
Food Pantry: During Pantry hours (Mon – Fri, 10:00am to Noon), volunteers interact with our guests, shelve donated food, and bag USDA foods for distribution. Other tasks include bringing collected foods from the commons to the Pantry and picking up donated goods from Panera, Starbucks, or grocery stores. Email Ruth Brogan or phone 495-1886 x414
Funeral Reception Ministry: Small teams of volunteers assist with set-up, food preparation, serving, and clean-up for funeral receptions in support of the grieving family. Email Barbara Thomson or phone 703-408-9038
Garden Ministry: Volunteers with green thumbs are wanted! Help care for fresh garden fruits and vegetables for our Food Pantry recipients. This ministry is active from early spring through early fall. Volunteers plant, harvest, and winterize the garden beds located near the rectory. Email Amy Petersen or phone 523-1304
Giving Tree: This fall ministry ensures local children in need have gifts for Christmas. Volunteers create gift tags, decorate our trees, and sort the gifts received. Email Elisabeth Berry or phone 497-5403
Global Solidarity: This ministry seeks to form relationships with our brothers and sisters in other Catholic communities across the globe. At this time, the focus is on St. Ludovic’s parish in Ulyankulu, Tanzania. Email Kevin Petersen or phone 523-1304
Holiday Foods: Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets make the holidays a more joyous time for families in financial hardship. Volunteers sort donated foods, decorate and pack baskets, and load baskets into the cars of recipient families. Contact Angela Morales via email or phone 474-4531
Justice and Peace Committee: This ministry has as its mission justice and peace issues in all activities at Ascension. Its current focus is on advocacy. Email Diane Burke or Joe Burke or phone 672-3590
Meals on Wheels: One day per month volunteers deliver meals to shut-ins under the Meals on Wheels program. Training is provided for those new to this ministry. Email Eileen Komuves-Overstreet or phone 739-8430
Prison Ministry: Members can participate in varied activities which serve the incarcerated, including collection and distribution of religious books/bibles at local jails and prisons; communication via mail with prisoners; direct interaction with prisoners after certification by Chaplin; working with prisoners in a retreat experience (Kairos); and advocacy initiatives. Email Ann Beatty or phone 463-5547. Visit our Prison Minstry page.
Respect Life Ministry: This ministry is committed to upholding the sanctity and dignity of human life at all ages and stages, from conception to natural death. The focus of the ministry may fluctuate as various aspects of life are considered. Email Tom Steffens or phone 572-1263
Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now): This is a joint ministry with St. Andrews UMC. Once a year, volunteers come together to engage in a two-hour marathon meal-packing of dehydrated foods for disaster relief. If interested in being on the committee for 2019, email Ruth Brogan or phone 495-1886 x414
Sandwich Ministry: Volunteers make sandwiches once a month for the Norfolk Catholic Worker to feed those who are in need and primarily living on the street. Email Barbara Wiley or phone 499-434
Soup and Sacrament: On five Tuesdays during Lent, our church family comes together to share a meal of homemade soups and breads, and then celebrates liturgy together in the ACC. Volunteers are needed to help in the kitchen, as well as set up and clean up our area in the ACC, and to make soups and/or bread. Email Ed and Pat Bugeja or phone 548-1229
Soup Kitchen: Every two months volunteers cook and serve an evening meal at the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center (JCOC) for about 100 people. Cook one night at Ascension, serve the following evening at JCOC. You can cook, serve...or do both! Email Marie Thompson or phone 495-1886 x428
Winter Shelter: In partnership with area churches, Ascension offers shelter for the homeless for one week during winter months. Volunteers may elect to: prepare and serve breakfast; pack lunches; clean up the ACC; cook and serve dinner; interact with our guests; spend the night; and sign up for food and supply donations. Contact one of our coordinators: Rudy and Terry VanOekel via email or phone 467-6840; Debbie and Mark Wilsey via email or phone 321-9303; Ann and Jim Young via email or phone 416-1512; Jessica Young at 353-5738
World Food Day: Parishioners are asked to provide food for one family for three meals. Volunteers make and distribute food item request tags after each mass; sort, bag and distribute the food collected. Email Sandy Raiter or phone 499-5775
Faith Works Coalition: The volunteers in this community-centered ecumenical ministry focus on repairs and maintenance of homes for the elderly, disabled and/or low income. Email Matt Schorr, phone 467-4112 or visit Faith Works website
Additional volunteer opportunities can be found on our Advocacy page.