St. Francis Xavier Church CARES
Health and Wellness Ministry

Compassion Advocacy Respite Education Service 

Our Website:

Our Mission:

Saint Francis CARES is a Christ-centered parish ministry dedicated to the wholistic health and wellness of the community. Answering the call of Jesus, volunteer ministry offers Compassion, Advocacy, Respite, Education and Service to those in need. Through assessing people's needs, planning and implementing health and wellness activities, and reflecting on the Gospel mission of health and wholeness, St. Francis CARES promotes the integration of body, mind and spirit both in ourselves and those we serve.

Sharon Brown, RN - Parish Nurse



As a Catholic parish, the people of Saint Francis Xavier are called to live as a community in discipleship of Jesus Christ. Saint Francis CARES, a parish ministry council dedicated to holistic health and wellness, responds to the Lord's call to caring and service. Its members believe that all people are made in God's image, which means we share a responsibility among the people of God to care for the sick and less fortunate in their time of need. Recognizing the complex and challenging nature of health related issues, Saint Francis CARES seeks to identify and respond to people's needs for guidance and support in maintaining wellness, in managing illness, and in interacting with the health care system. Its members are committed to listening with compassion to the needs of their neighbors, to serving as advocates as they seek health care, to offering respite as they face infirmity, and to teaching them to promote their own health and the well- being of others. 

The Parish Nurse

The CARES Health & Wellness Ministry is served by a volunteer parish nurse, Sharon Brown RN. After several decades as a nurse practitioner, nurse educator and mental health nurse, Sharon retired and completed the St. Louis University online Faith Community Nursing course. She works from her home to provide parish services. To reach Sharon, call 802-922-2958.

Durable Medical Goods Exchange

CARES helps parishioners and community members in need to borrow durable medical goods and return them when they are no longer needed. In an effort to meet these needs, CARES collects, stores, cleans and delivers medical equipment such as walkers, Rolators, crutches, canes, shower chairs and other equipment as it becomes available. In order to donate or borrow, please contact the parish nurse.


CARES volunteers provide transportation for members of the parish to Mass as well as medical and dental appointments and small errands.
*If you can offer a ride or need one, please contact the parish nurse.

SASH VT - Partnership

The CARES Ministry works cooperatively with the SASH (Support And Services at Home) program, serving elders in Winooski and Burlington. Durable medical goods are provided to those in need and home visits are made upon request.

According to the SASH website:

"The SASH Program is designed to provide personalized coordinated care to help adult participants stay safely at home regardless of their age or residential setting. SASH (Support And Services at Home) is part of the Blueprint for Health, Vermont's statewide health care reform initiative. SASH helps Vermont's most vulnerable citizens, seniors and individuals with special needs, access the care and support they need to stay healthy while living comfortably and safely at home. SASH is available in many communities throughout Vermont and serves primarily persons 65 and older and persons with disabilities. Participation is voluntary and free of charge. SASH communities include a care coordinator and wellness nurse who work in partnership with a team of community providers to assist SASH participants."