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2/14/2014 1:53:00 PM
Campaign closes with 'Day of Gratitude'
St. André Bessette Parish
Staff and volunteers who worked on the fundraising campaign and remodel projects celebrate.
St. André Bessette Parish
Staff and volunteers who worked on the fundraising campaign and remodel projects celebrate.

St. André Bessette Parish closed its “Open Doors Campaign,” reaching a $2.1 million goal to sustain and expand its services to the homeless and impoverished of Downtown Portland.

To celebrate the end of the campaign, the parish will host a Day of Gratitude on Tuesday, Feb. 25, with various events running from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. All of the parish’s guests, parishioners, volunteers, partners, donors and supporters are encouraged to attend.
Advanced registration is required for all events. Register at http://saintandrechurch.org/about-us/calendar-events/day-of-gratitude/ or by calling 503-228-0746, Ext. 117.

They day starts with morning hospitality from 9 a.m. to noon, when visitors will join volunteers to serve the parish’s guests, many of whom are experiencing poverty, homelessness, mental illness, addiction and isolation. Participants must be 18 or older.
Noon Mass will include anointing of the sick.

A community luncheon runs from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. During the casual meal, parish staff will share stories about their development endeavors and recognize community members who helped.

In a mini-urban immersion, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., participants will learn about the issues of urban poverty, tour the neighborhood and participate in an afternoon volunteer opportunity.

The day closes with a celebration from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tours of the new program spaces will be offered, and parish staff and volunteers will share upcoming plans for 2014.

The parish, which has been reaching out to those on the margins of society since 1919, had never engaged in comprehensive fundraising in the past. With the economic decline of 2008, however, the community saw the number of guests served on a daily basis more than double in fewer than five years.

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