Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Thursday, November 26, 2015
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Late Nite Catechism

Home : News : Nation and World
Cold weather won't halt service
Catholic agencies' advance plans keep services going in nasty weather
Catholic News Service photo
Ice forms on the shore of the East River in New York Jan. 7 as a result of unusually low temperatures caused by frigid, dense air known as a
Catholic News Service photo
Ice forms on the shore of the East River in New York Jan. 7 as a result of unusually low temperatures caused by frigid, dense air known as a "polar vortex."

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — With a huge swath of the United States — from the upper Midwest to the Atlantic Seaboard — alternating between one-two punches of cold snaps and snowstorms, everybody's talking about the weather.

Catholic service providers are also doing something about the increased need for emergency services that such weather brings.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Baltimore works with Baltimore city authorities to keep people warm when a "code blue" is announced.

Mary Anne O'Donnell, its director of community services, said she got the code-blue call early in the afternoon of Jan. 5. That activates contingency plans to keep My Sister's Place shelter and Our Daily Bread employment center and feeding program running.

It involves having some personnel pack overnight gear and stay on site.
"We try to bring in some people who might be able to work additional hours, some extra volunteers, some central staff who can work at our shelter site," O'Donnell said.

With workers staying overnight, and shelter clients saying indoors due to the bitter cold, "it's tight," she admitted. "We have people working their regular jobs, too. But people are usually very open and willing (to work) so that people can be served."

As a result, My Sister's Place and Our Daily Bread haven't closed due to weather in 31 years. This includes the "snowmageddon" of 2010. O'Donnell, an 18-year employee of Catholic Charities, knows; her first day of work was Jan. 8, 1996, the first weekday after a weekend storm blanketed much of the East Coast with 16 inches of snow.

In Detroit, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen has served meals for more than 80 years. On a typical day, it serves 2,000 meals -- breakfast, lunch and dinner -- at two sites on the city's near east side.

The numbers were down Jan. 6, according to Capuchin Brother Jerry Smith, who directs the soup kitchens, "but it's significant to me that we have people at all. They are pretty much that desperate. The snow is just up the kabooie." Ten to 12 inches fell Jan. 5 in the Detroit area, while temperatures nose-dived overnight. The forecast Jan. 6 high for the city was 9; the expected low, 10 below zero.

"I was afraid our staff couldn't get in. We start work at six in the morning," Brother Smith said. "At both our locations, people said, 'People are hungry, we've got to get in here.'"

Because of the frigid temperatures, "we allow people to remain in the building. The hard part is closing time, 4:30," when he has to ask the homeless to leave, "and I hate doing that," Brother Smith said.

"The snow can be inconvenient, but the cold weather is life-threatening. They're living in abandoned houses. They're out on the street," he added. The projected wind chill for Detroit on Jan. 7, he said, was 40 below zero.
In Macomb County, Mich., a suburban county just north of Detroit, 30 Catholic churches are part of a 90-church consortium called the Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team. They take turns hosting 30-60 homeless visitors at a time. An estimated 1,100 residents of the county are homeless, according to executive director April Fidler.

"When the weather's like this, the churches will allow our guests to stay in all day long, or our doors are open all day long, so they're not out in the frostbit cold," Fidler said. Families can be put up in a hotel for the evening if needed, she added.

"We usually consider it (a contingency plan) a day or two in advance," Fidler told Catholic News Service Jan. 6, but "last week our staff started preparing for this. We hope sometimes it (bad weather) takes a turn and misses us, but this time it didn't."

Even in the 'burbs, "hoooo, it's cold!" Fidler said. "I got stuck getting out of my driveway this morning for an eight o'clock meeting. My husband had to help me." This, she added, despite him going out four times the day before to shovel snow.

Immaculate Conception Church in downtown Fort Smith, Ark., was opening its doors to the homeless Jan. 6 because of the cold weather, with a forecast low of 10 degrees. Parish volunteers were to provide dinner in the evening and breakfast in morning.

Catholic Charities agencies in LaCrosse, Wis., and Minneapolis run daytime drop-in centers to provide a safe haven during the day for homeless folks whose night shelter isn't open during the day, according to Patricia Cole, a spokeswoman for Catholic Charities USA.

Cole said Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Pa., offers two programs to help residents get through the winter. One is a winter heating assistance program that delivers heating oil, wood, coal, propane or kerosene to households that have run out of funds through a low-income assistance program or which did not qualify in the first place.

A community "fuel bank" operates out of Catholic Charities' office in Bellefonte, Pa. The other program provides shelter for individuals and families in Johnstown in a hotel, while Catholic Charities' own shelter is being readied for occupancy -- perhaps in time for next winter. The agency's other offices place homeless people in hotels if they are not eligible for other programs and it is too cold to stay outside.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2015 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2015 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved