MURRIETA—St. Martha Parish in Murrieta continues to play a central role in providing services to the needy in Southwest Riverside County with the latest expansion of Community Outreach of Murrieta.
On February 8, the parish and several faith and civic partners celebrated the opening of a new facility that will allow the ministry to provide health care services to those in need. St. Martha has joined with Catholic Charities San Bernardino-Riverside and Lestonnac Free Medical Clinic in a new outreach center in the Murrieta Gateway shopping center on Los Alamos Road.
As families continued to struggle financially, physically and emotionally in the Murrieta area, St. Martha saw a need to expand services and provide hands-on expert assistance. Lestonnac Free Medical Clinic offers one day per week to care for the physical needs of those uninsured at the new outreach site. Catholic Charities provides numerous family and community assistance programs, social services, counseling programs and citizenship programs.
Plans are in place to relocate the Community Food Pantry that has long been a part of this ministry to the new outreach center in the near future.
At a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new outreach center, Father Rafael Partida, Episcopal Vicar for the Riverside Pastoral Region, hailed the center as a model of community partnership for the common good.
“The charity that we celebrate is to take the love of God and make it visible, to extend it to those most in need in our community,” Father Partida said in his remarks. “I’m very grateful that both church and civic leadership can make it happen.”
Elected leaders from the city, county and state were also on hand to celebrate the opening of the new outreach center.
Community Outreach of Murrieta was established in 1997 through St. Martha Catholic Church and initially included a Community Food Pantry and 2nd Hand Treasures Thrift Store. Over the past 20 years, an average of 450 families with limited resources have received food every week. The thrift store has assisted with needed clothing and household furnishings while providing the funding for the food pantry. It was always a longtime goal to network one center with multiple agencies in conjunction with existing services to address the holistic needs of families economically challenged and in crisis, including veterans and senior citizens.