Franciscan Says There is ‘Room in the Inn’

Paul Keggington

December 15, 2010

Sister Marcelyn Gervais, a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity serving in the Marquette Diocese, shares her experience with “Room in the Inn”, temporary assistance to Michigan homeless.

Open the Doors of your Heart to the PoorHave you ever shared a meal with a homeless person or provided a mattress on the floor for someone to call “home?”  These are some of the experiences I’ve had working at “Room at the Inn.” 

Three years ago a woman in the Marquette area saw a need and did something about it.  Now we have 12 churches involved and over a hundred volunteers who provide a warm safe environment to sleep and a nutritious meal. 

A “home” is given to those in need for one week at a time in an area church from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am.  It takes about 80 volunteers to staff one week: setting up, supervising, cooking, providing snacks and games, moving the mattresses to the next church, laundry, etc.  Since every congregation is not large enough for this number, two or three churches might work together. 

This is a perfect opportunity to put into practice the spirit of ecumenism-and it has been a delight!  Our guests have taught me much more than I have given them, especially GRATITUDE for what I have often taken for granted!

Let our love be for us the  highest kind on earth. Let us love Him, our God, even more intensely, if that is possible.  (Bishop Frederic Baraga)

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