Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Tuesday, May 3, 2016
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

Pacifica Senior Living - Calaroga Terrace

Home : News : Local
9/12/2012 5:30:00 PM
After six decades of ministry, a new building boosts hope
Catholic Sentinel photos by Ed Langlois
Richard Jensen, a Blanchet House guest, explains how he watched construction.
Catholic Sentinel photos by Ed Langlois
Richard Jensen, a Blanchet House guest, explains how he watched construction.

The new Blanchet House doubles the number of dining guests who can sit and eat at once. It also houses more residents.
The new Blanchet House doubles the number of dining guests who can sit and eat at once. It also houses more residents.

+ view more photos
Blanchet benefactors enjoy a view of the Steel Bridge.

Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel

As hundreds of Blanchet House supporters gathered inside, Richard Jensen sat with his back comfortably against the new four-story brick building. He suspects the place will also hold him up figuratively in the years to come.

Homeless and mentally ill, Jensen is one of thousands of people who rely on the 60-year-old Catholic ministry for free meals, a zone without booze or drugs, and a sense of belonging.

"It's lovely," Jensen says of the $12.9 million building in Portland's Old Town. "I like the way it makes you feel."

Blanchet House, founded 60 years ago by a group of University of Portland students, has fed and housed people down on their luck in an Old Town brick tenement built in 1908. Today, the ministry dedicated a shining new structure.

"This building says hope," said Laurie Kelly, a Blanchet board member and University of Portland official. She and others gathered Wednesday afternoon for the dedication. Blanchet House, at the west end of the Steel Bridge, hosts a public open house 1 p.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16.

Retired Auxiliary Bishop Kenneth Steiner blessed the new building with holy water, calling it a place where city and church meet to serve people in need.  

"This beautiful, practical building is more than just a building," Bishop Steiner said. "It's a house of God's love."

The ministry is named after Francis Norbert Blanchet, first archbishop in the Oregon territory. Founded on the Catholic Worker idea that Jesus exists in every person, Blanchet's mission is to feed, clothe and shelter to those in need.

Blanchet House serves almost 300,000 free meals each year. Since it opened in 1952, it has filled up more than 15 million plates. Each year, 5,000 volunteers help serve. Many of them come from Catholic schools.

The old building measured about 10,000 square feet. The new one comes in at 36,000. The new dining room holds 80 to 100 guests; the former had room for only 40. And now, instead of queuing outdoors, diners can wait inside for a seat to open up.

The second and third floors will house men who are clean and sober, one of the things qualifying them for transitional housing. In return for room and board, they work in the kitchen. The fourth floor is reserved for men who have completed a six-month transition program and have found full-time work elsewhere.  

On Wednesday, benefactors listened to speeches while sitting on sturdy, simple wooden benches, the same diners will use. Men at the Blanchet Farm in Carlton made the seats, as well as much of the furniture in resident quarters.

Jim O'Hanlon, one of the founders, said a new board of directors formed 12 years ago may well have saved Blanchet. Made up of the sons of founders and other supporters, the board provided new leadership and had the energy for the capital campaign.

"It's been a great effort by the city and the neighborhood," says Brian Ferschweiler, Blanchet's executive director.

Some business owners balked at the plan for a new, bigger Blanchet, but have since given support. Blanchet residents monitor and clean up around a two-block radius to be neighborly. The building includes balconies with Asian-style metal work, a tribute to nearby Chinatown.

The City of Portland provided the land and a grant. Philanthropist Scott Duffens gave $500,000. He was one of almost 400 individuals, corporations and foundations who gave. The board is still trying to collect $450,000 to pay off the project.

The building, designed by SERA Architects and built by Fortis Construction, won a Gold certification from an environmental building council. Wood paneling in the large dining room was reclaimed from a building on the site that was torn down.  

"On behalf of a grateful city, I am here to say thank you and congratulations," said Commissioner Nick Fish, who helped shepherd the project at City Hall. Too many Oregonians suffer from poverty, hunger and unemployment and Blanchet is doing something about it, Fish told the group.

"When government, community and faith groups link arms, it's possible to break the cycle of poverty," he said.

Those who toured the building were impressed with its simple, light-filled rooms, its sturdy construction and its views, especially of the Steel Bridge.

Margaret Barnes, a supporter and member of St. Ignatius Parish marveled at the space and what it means for the men who will live there. "The Blanchet House and its hospitality are real practical demonstrations of our faith," Barnes said.  





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

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved