Fr. Jim Sichko was born and raised in Orange, Texas. The Catholic priest is a papal missionary now living in Lexington, Kentucky. For the last month, he has spent his time giving back to his hometown and it's neighbors to the tune of $117,000.
On Tuesday Fr. Sichko's actions peaked for one school, as he turned in $25,000 in school supplies to Orangefield I.S.D. "it's basically giving and receiving," said Sichko. "It's basically recognizing that whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you really do to me."
The priest kicked off his giving the day Harvey hit picking up lunch tabs at Spanky's bar and grill in Orange. A few weeks later he handed out 300 free Domino's pizzas. This past weekend, he helped out deacons and parishoners at St. Mary's church. Then on Monday, he surprised two Bridge City police officers with mega gift cards for 160 orders of sheetrock and a few appliances since they lost their homes during the storm.
He capped off his help after Harvey when he rolled up in a Uhaul Tuesday morning with a Uhaul full of as many of Orangefield's wish list items as he could provide. "It was $25,000 worth of items, 636 packages that are still coming," said Fr. Sichko.
After the giveaway, he paid more than $5,000 in utility bills to Orangefield families in need. Most expressed how they've never been in a position before where they couldn't pay their bills, which is why he had them sit by his side as he signed checks. "I wanted a connection, I wanted it to be less intimidating or embarassing as possible."
As a papal missionary, father jim books speaking engagements nationwide. The money he earns preaching goes directly to causes such as Harvey relief. "There are a hundred of us in the United States, a thousand of us in the world, that were selected by Pope Francis to be missionaries of mercy to go forth being a people who exemplify God's mercy and passion."
It's his calling to strengthen those who weep. In all he has individually brought $117,000 of aid to his hometown.
What's next for Fr. Jim? Well he's currently trying to find a way to get help to Puerto Rico while at the same time preparing for at least two planned trips to pray with the people of Las Vegas.
He's Texas made, Orange raised and for sure Jesus saved. Fr. Sichko defines #409Strong.