Thursday, June 13, 2024
Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Loving God and neighbor without distinction: A pontifical institute of women religious of the Roman Catholic Church

EventsFeaturedRecentYear of Peace

‘Working lunch’ focuses on wide array of events, projects

A full roster of upcoming community events, projects and services greeted participants of Thursday’s Community Needs Forum “working lunch” at the Nazareth Motherhouse.

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The hourlong  session was the 14th in a process that started in the fall of 2008 with informal lunches at the Sisters of St. Joseph. In addition to identifying what participants see as the greatest needs in the community, the meetings have established smaller groups to seek solutions.

Upcoming events announced included:

National Night Out on Aug. 2, which will be co-sponsored by the Concordia Year of Peace Committee and the Concordia Police Department. Patrick Sieben, a member of the Year of Peace Committee, told that lunch group that the goal of National Night Out is to have neighbors organize small block parties to get to know one another, and to get to know the police officers in their area. By doing that, citizens can help reduce crime in their neighborhoods while strengthening neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.

Some 15,000 communities around the country and on U.S. military bases around the world will take part in National Night Out this year.

As a part of the local effort, neighborhood organizers are being recruited now. Anyone who wants to learn more about being an organizer for his or her neighborhood can call Concordia Police Chief Chris Edin at 243-3131 or email him at Interested volunteers are asked to contact Edin by May 31. And, Sieben added, “If you become a community organizer, you can be president,” drawing laughs from the crowd.

Community Volunteer Fair on Sept. 10, which will be hosted by the Sisters of St. Joseph at the Motherhouse. Every organization that uses volunteers in its work will be invited to have a display at the fair, and the public will then be invited to come to learn more about all the opportunities available. This first-ever Concordia event is designed to bring together people who would like to volunteer with the agencies and organizations that need that help, Sister Jean Rosemarynoski explained.

Organizations, agencies and groups that seek volunteers are asked to register before Aug. 12, by contacting Rosemarynoski at 243-2113, ext. 1225, or

• The fourth annual golf tournament to support Big Brothers, Big Sisters, which is set for June 11 at the Concordia American Legion course. Director Holly Brown has more information on that, as well as a first-ever auction planned for September, at 243-1620.

Other participants gave reports on a variety of new and ongoing projects:

There’s a new weekday bus service from Belleville to Salina, with stops in Concordia and Minneapolis, reported James Quillen of OCCK Inc. Service is available to the general public with no eligibility requirements, and passengers are charged 10-cents per mile per ride, making the cost roundtrip from Concordia to Salina $10. For the schedule or more information, call toll-free 1-855-KS-RIDES (1-855-577-4337).

• Gardeners have claimed all 27 plots in the Concordia Community Garden of Hope, at the northeast corner of the Motherhouse property, according to Sister Betty Suther. This year Motherhouse staff expanded the garden to include another section toward the south edge of the property, which will be used by Concordia school students. The schools received a $4,500 grant from the Kansas Green Schools Program to purchase composting bins and create a compost program at the community garden.

• The second-floor expansion of Neighbor to Neighbor is well under way and should be completed by summer, reported Sister Jean Befort, one of the three women who operate the women’s center in downtown Concordia. The work to double the space at the year-old center began in December, and a fundraising drive to pay for the project began at the same time. “The numbers just continue to grow,” Befort said. “We very much need that additional space.”

• Our Father’s House, a new Christian program for men and families, is closer to reality, reporter Cameron Thurner, noting that the idea grew out of early discussions at the Community Needs Forums. A volunteer board is leading the effort and working with the First Christian Church in Concordia, she said.

• The newly published “A Year of Peace in Concordia, Kansas” and “Another Year of Peace” T-shirts are still available for purchase, said Sister Julie Christensen. The T-shirts are $13 while the books — a compilation of Year of Peace columns published in the Concordia Blade-Empire — are $2 a copy. Year of Peace polo shirts are also available by special order. The items are available at the Nazareth Gift Shop in the Motherhouse, at Manna House of Prayer or by calling Sister Julie at 243-4428.

The next “working lunch” is planned for Monday, Aug. 15, at the Motherhouse. Anyone interested is invited to attend; you do not have to have taken part before to join the conversation now.






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