Celebrating the Season of Giving

As we prepare for Christmas at The Father McKenna Center, I am overwhelmed by a deep sense of gratitude. I am blessed that I can come to the Center each day and help our guests in some small way, whether it is with a bag of much needed groceries or providing them a filling meal.

I am equally grateful for our many volunteers. Whether serving breakfast, leading a McKenna Academy class or helping a guest fill out an online job application, volunteers are critical to our operations. And without our partners, including Catholic Charities, So Others Might Eat (SOME), the Gonzaga Community, the Dubliner & Phoenix Park Hotel, local grocery stores, Uber, Bombas socks, and many local nonprofits, we would be unable to assist all who seek our help. I am also grateful for the kindness and generosity of our supporters. It is because of you that we can serve our guests and neighbors. Your support is a critical component of The Father McKenna Center.

At this time of year, I am reminded of a story, that involves a Father McKenna twist on the classic Christmas story, concerning a young couple with an infant, who find themselves in a strange city on Christmas Eve with no place to stay for the night. When Father McKenna learned this couple was wandering North Capitol Street on a wintry night, he immediately flew into action and made calls to find the family a warm place to stay. “There is no room at the Inn,” was not an option for Horace McKenna, for he saw the “revelation of God, the way of God, and the love of God” in every person.

At the Center, we now find ourselves helping newcomers, as we serve men who are bused to Union Station from Arizona and Texas. While these asylum seekers are a different population than we typically assist, there is no doubt in my mind that if Father McKenna were here today, he would be welcoming these strangers by providing the assistance they need.

Since the summer, visits to the Center have increased by over 80 percent. In November, we saw more than 70 asylum seekers. We are serving more hot breakfasts and more hearty lunches each day. Food Pantry visits are up too, which is understandable when you consider how much the price of groceries have risen. The demand for our services is humbling and we urgently need your donation to continue our work.

We humbly encourage you to make a gift today, to help us care for the men who make their way to the Center and for all the families who depend on groceries from our Food Pantry. We hope we never have to turn someone away for lack of resources. Together, we can continue to carry out Father McKenna’s legacy and continue his good work.

May you and your loved ones be blessed with a joy filled and holy Christmas, and a New Year of promise and hope,

Dan Kerns

Executive Director
The Father McKenna Center