Monday, April 03, 2006

Do you know where your Poor Box is?

I'm in the middle of reading a mystery novel...

(parenthetical comment: this is one reason why I don't post a list of "What I'm Reading Now")

...and one of the bad guys just got away with stealing from the Poor Box of a Catholic church.

It made me remember...

[insert Memory Harp Sound Effect Here]

...when I was a kid. The Poor Box was rather a big deal, especially during Lent, but actually all through the year. We were — I guess "trained" is the right word — not to leave the church without putting some money into the Box. As a little kid, this usually meant dimes and quarters. As I grew older, the expected contribution was in the form of the foldable currency type.

My parish church has a Poor Box...sorta.

It's actually a long, skinny, tubular-shaped affair, with a slit on top that might accommodate a half-dollar, if half-dollars are still even in currency. Nothing about it stands out in any way. In fact, I probably pass by it most of the time without even noticing it. Nobody talks about it. A visitor wouldn't even see it.

Does your parish have a Poor Box?

If so, do you know if it attracts donations? Is it in a prominent place? Is it mentioned in your bulletin, or from the pulpit?

Do you know how the money it receives is allocated?