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10/30/2012 11:32:00 AM
Portland church launches capital campaign
St. André Bessette Church photo
Tom Nass describes the ‘Open Doors Campaign’ at the launch party.
St. André Bessette Church photo
Tom Nass describes the ‘Open Doors Campaign’ at the launch party.

St. André Bessette Church launched its “Open Doors Campaign,” a $2.1 million development and capital endeavor to expand and continue services.

The launch party, at Backspace Café in Downtown Portland, featured red doors that visitors could open and close. Behind the doors were informational displays where they could learn more about the parish’s services to people who struggle with poverty in Old Town, Chinatown and Downtown Portland.

Since the economic downturn in 2009, the number of people who arrive at the red doors of the church each year asking for help has increased from 20,000 to more than 38,000.
Project goals for the campaign include program and direct services, capital projects and preventative maintenance, and sustainability and support services. Vancouver resident Eileen Anderson was among the attendees. She said she came to support the church’s poverty consciousness work. The date of the event marked two years since the canonization of St. André Bessette, the first member of the Congregation of Holy Cross to become a saint. He lived a life identifying with suffering, poverty, illness and homelessness.

Pastor of the church, Holy Cross Father Steven Newton, explained the choice of the date and the concept for the campaign.

“He [St.  André Bessette] did nothing for 40 years but open doors.”

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