Open house welcomes ‘strangers’ to new center

May 21, 2010 by

Scores of people from throughout Concordia and Cloud County turned out for the first of two open houses at Neighbor to Neighbor Thursday afternoon and evening.

They had a chance to tour the new women’s center at 103 E. Sixth St., plus meet the three women who have been the driving forces behind the project, Sisters Jean Befort, Pat McLennon and Ramona Medina. Also as part of the open house, Roberta Lowery from the Concordia Chamber of Commerce organized an official ribbon cutting, while Father Jack Schlaf, chaplain for the Sisters of St. Joseph, led a short dedication and blessing ceremony.

As a surprise ending to the simple ceremony, Verleta Moon from the Catholic Thrift Shop, operated by Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, presented Neighbor to Neighbor with a check for $5,000. That amount is expected to pay for utilities for the building for one year.

A second open house is scheduled for Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Refreshments will be served, and there will be a drawing for a door prize — a piece of original artwork by Sister Ramona.

Thursday evening, supporters, friends and people interested in learning more about the new center crowded into the renovated building throughout the afternoon and evening. Jan, Pat and Ramona explained the evolution of Neighbor to Neighbor and what programs will be offered and gave informal tours throughout the building. Those attending also had the chance to watch a photo slideshow that showed the complete renovation process and many of the volunteers who helped with the work.

Sister Marcia Allen, president of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, which is sponsoring Neighbor to Neighbor, explained that the idea of serving “neighbors” — anyone with whom sisters come into contact and who needs help — dates to the foundation of the religious congregation in 1650 France. “We start out strangers, and by being with you, we become neighbors,” Marcia said. “Some 360 years later, the same approach applies.”

Neighbor to Neighbor is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Thursday from 1 to 8 p.m. For information, you can call the center at 262-4215 or go to the sisters’ website at www.csjkansas.org/neighbor.

Comments

7 Responses to “Open house welcomes ‘strangers’ to new center”

  1. Pat McLennon on May 27th, 2010 3:31 pm

    Neighbor to Neighbor has become a reality because of all of the the support we have received throughout these months…especially our community and the leadership team for your prayers,encouragement,, providing financial assistance through the Development Office, Communication Office, and the Motherhouse Administration and Maintence Crew. So many volunteers, donors, and supportive family and friends….we are grateful to all! Please stop in whenever you are in town.
    Pat

  2. Nancy R Bryant on May 25th, 2010 5:03 am

    WOW. Martha took me by the building in late October and everyone was working like crazy, I had no idea that it would turn out looking like this. The front windows are so inviting and the kitchen so cozy. This will be such a blessing to everyone in the Concordia area and I hope this seed you have planted will spread all over the small towns that need this kind of place.

  3. Loretta A. Jasper,csj on May 22nd, 2010 3:36 pm

    Great center; great potential for service to the dear neighbor within Concordia: NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR is willing, able and available for the heart and hearth of our neighbors.

  4. Jean Befort on May 21st, 2010 9:09 pm

    We owe so much gratitude to all of you, our Congregation, and probably each one of you who has read and seen this story.

    God bless each of you….your support in so many ways has helped to bring this dream to a reality!

  5. Anne M. Reinertcsj on May 21st, 2010 6:59 pm

    All is so beautiful, every area, the blessing prayer had so much hope and energy, safety, joy, playfullness, enter the door as gift and leave with a gift and a new neighbor, and most of all no room for gloom, anger, fear, it was as if the prayer itself described heaven in the confines of Neighbor to Neighbor. May joy, peace and playfullness prevail. Blessings S.Anne

  6. Donna Otter on May 21st, 2010 10:31 am

    Beautifully done, Sisters! Once again, CONGRATULATIONS.

  7. Carm Thibault on May 21st, 2010 9:11 am

    Congratulations!

    N2N has an official start, ribbon cutting and blessing with many coming!

    These photos tell the story and it will be fun to have everyone SEE the Center up close and personal!

    A long journey……….from start to now and who knows the “finish ” God will add!

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