What’s happening with the pennies?

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We’re hoping there are still a few old pennies around, waiting to be used to help a missionary with gas for a pickup, or a week’s groceries, or repairs to a snowmobile, or catechetical materials for faith instruction.

By Father Philip Kennedy, President, Catholic Missions In Canada

For some years, the Knights of Columbus in Ontario have had a “Pennies from Heaven” program. They placed specially marked canisters in Council chambers to collect loose coins from Knights and visitors. Many Councils rolled and counted their coins at the end of a year, and sent a cheque to Catholic Missions In Canada, since we have been designated by the State Council as one of their preferred charities. Other Councils sent their penny coin fund collections to the State Office in Hamilton, who then forwarded the well appreciated amounts to us at CMIC.

Father Randal Morrisseau with St. Hilary’s Parish Catholic Women’s League penny collection volunteers: from left, Sage Swanson, Linda O’Connor, Florence Arseneau, parish CWL president Ilona Lanteigne, and Calley Olson.

With the cancellation of the pennies early this year, we were pleased to receive a response from the parish of Saint Hilary in Red Rock, Ontario, on Lake Superior, along with its mission of Saint Isidore in Dorian, within the Diocese of Thunder Bay. Their Catholic Women’s League and Knights of Columbus, led by their pastor, Father Randal Morrisseau, collected many jars of pennies and got together on Mother’s Day this year to roll their coins. The photos show Father Randal with some members of the CWL,

standing behind the many rolls of coins, and the Knights from Council 4247 who prepared and served a special brunch for the occasion. Later, Father Randal sent off a cheque for $277 for the coins, which went to pay for food for a missionary in the Arctic.

Here at CMIC, we’re hoping there are still a few old pennies around, waiting to be used to help a missionary with gas for a pickup, or a week’s groceries, or repairs to a snowmobile, or catechetical materials for faith instruction. Remember the old expression, “Every penny counts”? Well, actually, it still does! As Father Randal says, “Megwetch!”—which is “thanks” in Ojibwa.