A whole constellation!

It’s been a while since I have posted about our Stars of the month and so this post includes an entire constellation of good people  – just in time for some warm summer night stargazing.  Enjoy reading about the people who make our community more beautiful by sharing their gifts!

Carol P – February 2017

Carol was honored on St. Valentine’s Day, which was fitting because she’s the kind of volunteer and person who brightens everyone’s day in a somewhat secret way, similar to the legend of St. Valentine.

In addition to volunteering nearly every Tuesday in the Cafe, Carol is the one who swoops in to make the table decor in the Cafe fit the season. Quickly and quietly, she gathers up the old and freshens it up with the new.  This small detail makes a huge difference in the feel of the Cafe – not an institutional meal, but a community gathering place.

Thanks, Carol, for bringing beauty with you wherever you go!!


Terry M – March 2017

Terry started volunteering at the Open Door Café when his daughter Brianna, then a student at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, came to volunteer for school service hours.   They both kept coming back – even after those service hours were completed.

A former basketball star, Terry was honored during March Madness, recognizing that his towering frame is tempered by his gentle smile and friendly demeanor.  Though I wouldn’t want to challenge him to a game of hoops, I’m sure he’d be a gracious winner.

Terry, thanks for traveling the long way from home to fill in at the last minute and for your dedication to the guests on most every Wednesday!

Chef Al – April 2017

You may not recognize Chef Al in this photo, all cleaned up and not wearing an apron and baseball hat!   For 2.5 years, Chef Al has been cooking up nutritious and delicious lunches from start to finish: planning the menu, doing the shopping, prepping, serving and cleaning up – all the while managing the kitchen with ease and grace.   His professionalism keeps the Open Door Café in line with safety standards of the finest kitchens in town.  Al was honored in April, his birthday month, and is clearly one of the biggest stars in the Café!

Thanks, Al for your hard work and dedication to our community.  We aren’t sure what we’d do without you!



Sarah J – May 2017

Not many young people fresh out of college would choose to live with religious sisters and work full-time for free, but Sarah J. is one of those rare bright lights doing just that.  A participant in the School Sisters of St. Francis’ Tau Volunteer Program, Sarah came to us last August for year long commitment to work as the Guest Support Specialist in the Open Door Café.  A social work major from Buffalo, NY, Sarah jumped into the work feet-first and has been helping our guests connect to a variety of services.   Sarah has also become the grounding force behind our new endeavor – Cathedral Squared Enterprises.  She establishes relationships and sets goals with our artisans-in-training, helps to train our artisans in making plarn and crocheting, finds us opportunities for selling our wares, maintains our inventory, and on and on!!

We are so delighted that Sarah has decided to dedicate a second year of service to us and will remain on staff til July 2018!  If you’d like to contribute to her year of service (to pay for her room and board), please donate here in her honor!

Thanks, Sarah for being an inspiration for all of us looking to the youth for hope in the future!! Your future is bright, for sure!



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