Casa Adele Blessing and Open House
In 1988, when St. Joseph Shelter opened its doors for the first time, Bede and Bernard Halls became home to migrant and area farmworkers. The 20 year-old former college dorms were cleaned up, and furnished with bunk beds and little else. The barely-adquate buildings have been heavily used as temporary housing over the past 25 years.
Thanks to $2.3 million in support from both public and private sources, a Blessing and Open House at the newly-renovated Casa Adele, formerly Bede Hall, was held on April 7, 2013. The event will marked the opening of the building, which now has ten self-contained apartments that will be rented to farmworker families. The rehabilitated facility will have eight two-bedroom apartments and two studios.
The name of Casa Adele is in honor of the late Sr. Adele Mansfield, who along with Sr. Terry Hall co-founded the Shelter. Sr. Adele, who died in 2001, served as the Shelter's director from 1988 until her death.
To Sr. Terry, now the Shelter assistant director, the completion of the project is "a dream come true," and she gives credit to her community of Benedictine Sisters and the Shelter's many supporters for making it happen.
"I am so proud of all the sisters who had the courage to risk such a project, and all the individuals who have helped us dream, gave their support, as well as their time and prayers," Sr. Terry said. "It took a whole community of people who believed in us and our ministry of hospitality to the poor."
Sr. Terry added that Sr. Adele would be very pleased.
"Sr. Adele was the heart behind the ministry to farmworkers. She had the vision for what this ministry would become. She always believed that God would provide."
Shelter Director Sr. Marcella Parrish, SSMO, said that Casa Adele "is totally amazing. Every time I walk through the building I get goosebumps. It's beyond what I could have every imagined . . . even after seeing the drawings. It's just so wonderful."
Funds for the project came from Oregon Housing and Community Services and the Farmworker Housing Tax Credit Program, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Rural Innovation Fund, the Federal Home Loan Bank, the Meyer Memorial Trust, and The Collins Foundation. The Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel, sponsors of the Shelter, donated the existing structure and are leasing the land to the Shelter at a very low cost.
Both Sr. Terry and Sr. Marcella praised the work of those who labored long and hard in the project's planning and construction.
CASA of Oregon provided technical assistance and overall coordination throughout the planning, development and construction phases of this project. Scott Edwards Architecture of Portland served as the project architect, and LMC Construction, based in Beaverton, was the project general contractor.
The new apartments will be rented at below market rates to low-income families who qualify. Families can live in the apartments for up to one year.
Looking to the future, Sr. Terry said that they have been encouraged to pursue similar funding for rehabilitating Bernard Hall, the "orphaned building," which is next to Casa Adele - and the more visible structure from the street.
Mission Benedict Volunteer Receives Award
Verna Scharbach, 94, says her recipe for health and happiness is no smoking, alcohol or coffee, and lots of dancing. Oh, and also lots of time spent helping others.
Recently selected as Mt. Angel's Volunteer of the Year for 2012, Scharbach began volunteering 40 years ago after her husband passed away. She has been volunteering at the Mt. Angel Senior Center so long that she says it feels like her "second home."
"Volunteering saved my life after my husband died," Scharbach said. "It makes me feel like my life is fulfilled. I love it. It makes you more compassionate."
In addition to her long-time service at the Senior Center, Schabach is a regular volunteer at Mission Benedict, where she assists clients who come in for food, clothing and emergency help. Professing a special fondness for Sr. Angela Meister, Mission Benedict coordinator, Scharbach says she has always felt at home at the Monastery, too.
"The Sisters are the most wonderful people," she said. Looking around at her fellow volunteers at the Mission, she remarked, "All of these people deserve (an award) as much as I do."
The Society of St. Gertrude
The Benedictine Foundation of Oregon is pleased to announce new members of the Society of St. Gertrude in the past year. The Society honors those special friends who help to ensure the future of the Benedictine Sisters through their estate plans, major contributions to endowment funds, or charitable gift annuities. Society members are remembered in the Sisters’ prayers in perpetuity.
Ed & Carol Johnson