A yearlong observance marking Mount Carmel Guild’s 100th anniversary of serving people in need in the Greater Mercer County area will begin with the guild’s annual gala to be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Trenton Country Club.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of awards to individuals, parishes and businesses recognizing them for their longstanding support of the diocesan-sponsored, inner-city Trenton outreach agency, which was established in January 1920 by Bishop Thomas J. Walsh, third bishop of Trenton.

The honorees are: Jeanne Ameye, volunteer, St. George Parish, Titusville; Lee (Eileen) Buente, coordinator of the Helping Hands Ministry in St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square; James Gambino, social services outreach volunteer in Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, West Trenton; Pennington Quality Market (Barbara Rothwell Henderson and Michael Rothwell, store owners); Paul Kimaid, chairman of the leadership council for The Catholic Community of Hopewell Valley, which is composed the linked parishes of St. George, Titusville, St. James, Pennington, and St. Alphonsus, Hopewell; Dominican Sister Loretta Maggio, who retired after 30 years of service as director of the guild’s Emergency Assistance Program; Stephen Mohary, seniors ministry leader and member of the Linked Leadership Council for The Catholic Community of Hopewell Valley; Tony and Lisa Montrone, ministry volunteer coordinators in St. Paul Parish, Princeton; Denise Reil, executive director of Visitation Home, Yardville, and member of St. Gregory the Great Parish, and Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton’s Michael Knowles, president, and Sister of St. Joseph Phyllis Tracy, TCA staff member. 

“All our honorees are committed to community service,” said Mary Inkrot, the guild’s executive director, noting that many of the honorees support the guild’s mission directly or through their parish.

Reflecting on the start of the 100th anniversary year, Inkrot said the guild has “remained true to its initial mission” over the past century. She noted that Bishop Walsh’s inspiration to establish the guild in the Trenton Diocese was based on having established a similar outreach while serving in his previous assignment in the Diocese of Buffalo. One of the guild’s first efforts was opening an emergency food pantry, and then in 1941, four sisters of the Congregation of the Holy Infancy of Jesus began the Visiting Nurse service to assist those who couldn’t pay for private care.

Leading up to the 100th anniversary, Inkrot said the guild has undergone an extensive strategic planning process and that new goals and objectives have been established for the agency’s two core programs –  Home Health Nursing, which offers in-home nursing care, and the Emergency Assistance Program, which provides food, limited emergency utility and rental assistance, and prescription assistance.

The Home Health Nursing Program recently joined a select group of home care providers as a result of earning accredited status under the National Independent Health Care Association’s Standards of Accreditation.

The Emergency Assistance Program was recently renamed the Community Support Program, which involved the guild entering into a new strategic alliance with Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, to combine food pantries and expand services to care receivers.

To attend the gala and to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, call 609-392-5159; fax 609-392-5903 or email information@MtCarmelGuild.org.