Anselmians Provide 147 Thanksgiving Baskets for Families in Need

November 23, 2021

By Annelise Ciccone '22

One of the most cherished holiday traditions returned to the Hilltop on Monday, Nov. 22 – the blessing and delivery of Thanksgiving Baskets. During the 2021 Thanksgiving Basket Drive, where Saint Anselm College students, faculty, and staff assemble baskets filled with Thanksgiving meals, the Anselmian community donated 147 baskets to benefit families connected to Catholic Charities New Hampshire and Ascentria.

For the first time since 2019, the college community was able to donate baskets: each basket is unique but all contain a Thanksgiving meal for 5-8 people including a turkey, sides, and many personal touches. In 2020, because of the pandemic, the tradition was transformed into a large donation of more than $10,000 in gift cards for dinners.

The Blessing of the Baskets took place on November 22nd in the Abbey Church. Campus Minister Jocelyn Raho began the ceremony reading the Scripture James 1:17, “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”

Raho then explained, “This affirms both that God is the ultimate source of provision and that believers are responsible to do all they can to bring God’s provision to those in need.”

College President, Joseph A. Favazza, Ph.D. shared reflections on the Thanksgiving message, and Father Francis McCarty, O.S.B. followed by blessing all of the baskets.

Anselmians present were able to hear from representatives from the organizations distributing the baskets. Leanna Long ’20 is the Parish Social Ministry Coordinator from the Manchester District Office of Catholic Charities New Hampshire. She said, “Because of your wonderful creativity and kindness, I get to have a truly blessed experience in distributing these baskets.”

The Thanksgiving baskets is a tradition introduced to campus in 2002 by the late Sr. Pauline Lucier, C.S.C., Campus Minister at the college. The blessing is held each year in gratitude for Sr. Pauline’s example of faith in action.

The donation aligns with Saint Anselm College’s mission as a Catholic, Benedictine institution to serve others in need. While the holidays are a time of celebration and gathering with family and friends, the college community also strives to give back.

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