REACHING OUT

The door is the symbol of openness, welcome and hospitality, 

Fr. Tony O'Dell

The Outreach Program was started by Father Tony O’Dell and Father Jarek Pachocki, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), soon after arriving in Hamilton in 2012 and setting up home at St. Patrick Church. Named
De Mazenod Door after St. Eugene de Mazenod, the founder of the Oblates and the patron saint and intercessor for the poor, the church ministry was created to provide sustenance for anyone who comes knocking at the church office door.

“The door is the symbol of openness, welcome and hospitality,” said Fr. Tony. “The ‘door ministry’ is a response to the immediate needs of our less fortunate parishioners and beyond in the heart of the city of Hamilton.”

Calling it a first step in addressing the causes of poverty in the church’s neighbourhood, he added, “Our goal is to help alleviate the poverty in the heart of the city of Hamilton, as we co-operate with the Diocese, schools, civil authorities, police and other social agencies.”

From 50 people served in its early days, the program has grown in recent months to nearly 400 people a day. Realizing that a new, larger facility was needed to accommodate the overwhelming need, Fr. O’Dell approached the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board for help.

Over the summer, the door ministry moved from the church rectory to a ground floor staff room at St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School. The room was refurbished with a separate entrance and serving window so that outreach guests don’t have to enter through the school.

Greeting guests at the blessing of the De Mazenod Door, Daly praised the partnership between church and school, noting “that what we have accomplished here, under Fr. Tony’s vision, is a model for all Catholic schools.”

Turning to Fr. Tony, he added, “Please, please never stop asking. It’s your asking that nudges us to do what we should be doing.”

Noting that “the Catholic school system is our most powerful weapon to change our neighbourhoods, city and world,” Fr. Tony said the collaboration has resulted in a historic day for inner city Hamilton and “the big winners are the poor and marginalized in our streets,” said Fr. Tony.

“Our children are watching,” he noted. “Let us get it right.”

Continuing His Mission

St. Eugene de Mazenod is the founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, whose primary ministry is to the poor and marginalized. The experience of the French Revolution, of life being turned upside down, going from a life of privilege to refugee status, and the reality of his broken family, brought him close to the people he dedicated his life and ministry to. His compassionate heart lives on today in the Oblate approach to the ministry: “We will always be close to the people with whom we work, taking into account their values and aspirations… we strive to bring all people – especially the poor – to full consciousness of their dignity as human beings and as sons and daughters of God.” Saint Eugene de Mazenod is a patron and intercessor for the poor, inner-city youth and families that face various difficulties and challenges in life.

The DOOR is the symbol of openness, welcome and hospitality. Since the arrival of the Oblates to St. Patrick parish in 2012, the “door ministry” is a response to the immediate need of our less fortunate parishioners and beyond in the heart of the city of Hamilton. The social teaching of the Church gives preferential option to the poor. Concrete actions are based on the corporal acts of mercy, specifically “to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty” as well as the first commandment “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:35-40)

The “door ministry” is only the first step in addressing the causes of the poverty in our neighborhood. Our Friday open Gym program offers Youth an opportunity to gather off the streets, in a safe environment. Our goal is to help alleviate poverty in the heart of the city of Hamilton as we co-operate with the Diocese, schools, civil authorities, police and other social agencies.

 

 

Quote

“Your destiny is to be apostles, and so tend within your hearts the sacred fire that your holy spirit lights there…”  

St. Eugene de Mazenod

Board of Directors

Fr. Tony O’Dell, OMI

Fr. Tony O’Dell, OMI – I was born into an Irish family in a small fishing community on the coast of Labrador. I joined the Missionary Oblates in 1986 in Ottawa, Ontario. Over the years I have served as Associate Pastor, Pastor, Vicar General, Episcopal Vicar, Superior, Vocation Director, Formation Director, etc. I came to the […]

Fr. Jarek Pachocki, OMI

 Fr. Jarek Pachocki, OMI – I was ordained as an OMI Priest in 1999, coming to Canada from Poland in 2007.  I spent my first five years in Canada serving in Labrador City before coming to Ontario in 2012 and settling in at St. Patrick Parish as co-pastor with Fr. Tony O’Dell and working with […]

Paul Taylor, Chair

Paul Taylor, Chair – I am a teacher at Cathedral High School. I am one of the coordinators of the 40×40 program which provides De Mazenod Door Outreach with its summer volunteers.

Michael Daly, Finance

Michael Daly, Finance – I am a Chartered Accountant and have been on the Board of Directors as the “finance guy” since September of 2016.  I am a parishioner of St. Patrick Church where I also chair the Finance Committee.  I began, first, volunteering at the De Mazenod Door where I met a lovely lady […]

Candace Batchelor

Candace Batchelor – Born on the island of Jamaica, I immigrated to Scarborough, Ontario with my family in the 80’s. After obtaining a B.Sc. in Kinesiology and Health Sciences, I lived abroad in the United Kingdom for several years. Upon my return to Canada, I settled in Hamilton, where I work in the community with individuals […]

Cathy Sullivan

Cathy Sullivan – I am a retired RN/cardiac technician and an old fashioned stay-at-home mom who happily makes chicken soup for De Mazenod Door once a week …just like our Irish Mum did for us when we attended school at St. Patrick’s… so many lovely memories growing up in this neighbourhood, school and church 55 years ago.  Honoured […]

Debbie Peters

Debbie Peters – I am a retired Activity Director for The Wellington Retirement Home.  I have been involved in volunteering since I was a youth and find volunteering at the DMDO is a great way to serve our community.

Ian Ford

Ian Ford – Growing up at St. Patrick’s I can honestly say that I have this church in my blood.  I served as an altar boy for 10 years and loved every minute of it. I worked in IT for many years and also volunteered maintaining the church grounds at St. Pat’s.  A couple of […]

Cliff MacDonald

Cliff MacDonald – I am a 34 year employee of The Beer Store. After many years of letting life get too busy, St Patrick’s is the church I have returned to. My history of St. Patrick’s goes back, and to me it is everything.  It is  the church my parents had me baptized in, where […]

Bruce Craig

Bruce Craig – Retired now after almost 40 years in sales, marketing and small business ownership.  Recipient of vast amounts of love and faith including my wife, four children with two current and one upcoming grandchildren. Living the dream.

Mike Malone

Mike Malone – I am a semi-retired professor who has thoroughly enjoyed many years of teaching music.  I started volunteering at the De Mazenod several months ago and, in addition,  have since become a member of its Board of Directors.  It is truly a privilege to be part of the St. Patrick’s family.

Sherri Ramirez

Sherri Ramirez – I came to St. Patrick Parish on my return to Canada, first as a parishioner a number of years ago, and for the past two years have been the Coordinator for the De Mazenod Door Outreach.  Being part of community was very much part of my early childhood, whether shoveling snow or cutting […]

The DMDO Team

Sherri Ramirez, 
Outreach Coordinator

Katharine Ford, 
Staff Lead

Ian Ford, 
Youth Minister

Br. Dan Dionne, 
Staff Lead

JC Asuncion, 
Mission With Youth

Diane Downey, 
Office Administrator