Midlands church hosts 37th annual Christmas Dinner for homeless

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Published: Dec. 25, 2022 at 10:20 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - It’s the season of giving, but for a Catholic church on Assembly St., it’s a monthly mission.

The Basilica of Saint Peter hosted its monthly dinner for the homeless and indigent of Columbia on Christmas afternoon.

The 37th annual celebration, spearheaded by the St. Vincent De Paul Society, was prepared for the crowd of people who lined the sidewalk of Taylor St. and Assembly St. by 1:30 p.m.

“It’s a great meal on Christmas day for the less fortunate. Some families don’t have anywhere to go. So we’re just glad to be here, to help the needy in our community, and will continue this forward throughout the year,” said Hal Lominick, Coordinator for St. Vincent De Paul.

Lominick has served as coordinator of the annual tradition for 36 consecutive years. This Christmas, he oversaw the feeding of anywhere from 500 to 800 people.

The event is made possible by community and parishioner donations, along with the helping hands of 150 to 200 volunteers.

“There’s some really good people. They really do really good outreach work in the community, trying to help people out,” said Stanley B. McCray, a dinner guest.

McCray tells WIS he was an auditor and substitute teacher in Clarendon County before losing his home in 2020. Sunday marked his second Christmas at St. Peter’s Catholic church.

“Pretty much, you want to always judge people on an individual basis... it’s now how people look and stuff, it’s where their head and where their heart is at,” concluded McCray.

Lominik said church members look forward to hosting the annual dinner for 37 more years to come.

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