Help brighten up Christmas for those who have so little!

This Advent season, St. Agnes will be working with twelve different agencies in our local community to provide gifts for young and older people that are less fortunate.

A Jesse Tree, decorated with gift tags, is located in the Narthex of the church. A red velvet trimmed basket will be located under the tree for envelope donations. If you are interested in participating, please take a tag or more.

Each tag will have information about a suggested gift and may include information about the person.

  • If you select a gift tag for a gift card, donate online, or give the amount cash or check and place your donation, along with the gift tag, in the basket or bring them to the parish center or place in the collection basket during Mass. St. Agnes will purchase the gift cards.
    ** Indicate “Jesse Tree GIFT” on the memo line of the check or envelope if your offering is cash.
  • If your tag is for a specific gift, please wrap it and attach the gift tag to the outside and bring it to the Church or Parish Center.

The deadline for all gifts or gift card donations has been extended until December 10, 2023.

Contact Katie Hershey at (240) 818-9595 with any questions.

Many thanks for your generosity!

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Give Online or Make Checks Payable to:

St. Agnes Social Concerns
On the memo line write Jesse Tree GIFT.

You can drop checks in the collection basket at any Mass, bring them to the parish office, or mail to:

St. Agnes Church
PO Box 1603
Shepherdstown, WV 25443

What is Jesse Tree

The Jesse Tree tradition began in the medieval Catholic church and is rooted in Isaiah 11:1: “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Jesse was the father of David, Israel’s greatest king. And Jesus is descended from the line of David. He is the branch God promised would grow from Jesse’s family tree. Each symbol represents a story from within this family tree and a step toward the birth of Jesus.

Originally, the Jesse Tree was a way of preparing for Advent by journeying through the stories on Jesus’s family tree. Each day of Advent, read a Bible story about someone on Jesus’s family tree and hang an ornament symbolizing the story on your Jesse Tree. As you decorate your tree, you’ll see how God prepared for Jesus to be born through many generations.

The Jesse Tree has evolved over the years in many Catholic communities replacing the ornaments of bible verses with ornamental tags requesting gifts for the needy of the local communities.