Catholic Sentinel photo by Clarice Keating
Archbishop Alexander Sample hands out coffee to a visitor at St. André Bessette Parish in downtown Portland.

Catholic Sentinel photo by Clarice Keating

Archbishop Alexander Sample hands out coffee to a visitor at St. André Bessette Parish in downtown Portland.

Archbishop Alexander Sample was among the donors, parishioners and community members who visited St. André Bessette Parish in downtown Portland Tuesday for its “Day of Gratitude.”

The event, which started with morning hospitality and ended with an evening celebration, was coordinated by parish staff as a way to thank everyone who helped the parish reach its capital campaign fundraising goals and subsequent remodel.

Holy Cross Father Steve Newton, former pastor, led the parish as it launched the campaign, and current administrator, Holy Cross Father John Patrick Riley, arrived while fundraising was in full swing. He oversaw a remodel that provides more space for the parish’s ministries, serving people surviving poverty, homelessness, mental illness and addictions. Anyone can stop in at the parish for a haircut, clean clothes, a hot cup of coffee, something to eat, and other basic services

“I asked everybody to pray for trust and confidence and generous alms to come our way,” Father Riley said. Gifts arrived in all forms, including a $50,000 anonymous donation.

“That’s answering the prayer,” Father Riley said. “So we’re giving thanks today to all the staff, volunteers, donors, supporters and our guests.”

Look for a full story with photos in the March 7-20 issue of the Catholic Sentinel.