Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Visit to Marian Centre

Recently I visited Marian Centre Madonna House Apostolate to pray Evening Prayer with them and join them for supper. Marian Centre opened in 1966 in response to an invitation by Archbishop Michael O'Neill that Madonna House Apostolate come to Regina to serve the transient and downtown men. You can learn more about this community at their web site http://www.madonnahouse.org/field/regina.html

There are five members of the Madonna House Apostolate at the Marian Centre: David Gusman; Director, Nancy Toping, Fr. Paul, Trudy Moessner, Doreen Dykers and Marg Stobie.

Marian Centre is on Halifax Street and is a warm and inviting environment. Madonna House Apostolate was founded in 1947 by Catherine Doherty and her husband, Eddie Doherty, today the community has more than 200 lay men, women, and priests, dedicated to loving and serving Christ through promises of poverty, chastity, and obedience. (And, in addition to staff priests, there are more than 125 associate priests, bishops and permanent deacons who strive to live the spirit of Madonna House in their home dioceses or wherever they are serving.)

This icon of St. Nicholas at Marian Centre is a bit different from the pictures of "St. Nick" that abound at this time of year. St. Nicholas was a heroic reminder of the generosity and love that God has for all of us, particularly those in difficulty.

I hope to visit the Centre again in January to help out with one of the meals that are regularly provided to the men of the area. Marian Centre provides meals and used clothing for men in need. The community witnesses to a spirit of simplicity and poverty. But most of all, they offer friendship and warm hospitality to all who enter. There is no charge for meals, no question asked, no judgement made. We hear the echoes of Jesus' words: "Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest."

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