Courtesy Alyssa Davis
Parishioners at Portland’s St. Peter Parish sat down and dined with their homeless neighbors to celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas day.

Courtesy Alyssa Davis

Parishioners at Portland’s St. Peter Parish sat down and dined with their homeless neighbors to celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas day.

As local Catholics rushed to get ready for Mass on Christmas day and then hurry off to dinner with family, parishioners at St. Peter Church in Southeast Portland shared a meal with homeless people who sleep in their neighborhood. Father Raúl Márquez thought the parish should go beyond serving dinner to the homeless on Christmas day and sit down and eat with them. Along with enjoying a nice meal, the parish's homeless neighbors were given gifts. There was a spirit of joy in the room. Homeless neighbors enjoyed the warmth and the friendship and the parishioners enjoyed getting to further know their homeless neighbors.

One man, Mark, who has been homeless for a couple years commented afterwards, "I'm blown away. It's one thing to enjoy a meal, but to have people sit down and want to talk to me was really cool."