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

Ken John, Board Chair

Ken John – I was born in Pakistan and became a parishioner of St. Patrick’s beginning in 1971.  I attended […]

Larry Mackisoc, Vice Chair

Larry Mackisoc – Born July 28, 1946 in Montreal, QC. Attended Catholic Elementary and Secondary School in Verdun, QC. Obtained […]

Erin Dermody, Treasurer

Erin Dermody – Education: Hons BA, MSc, PhD.    Profession: P.X. Dermody Funeral Homes Why I Am Interested in DeMazenod Door […]

Debbie Peters, Corporate Secretary

Debbie Peters – I am a retired Activity Director for The Wellington Retirement Home.  I have been involved in volunteering […]

Cathy Sullivan, Director

Cathy Sullivan – Mohawk College graduate 1977 from 2-year RN program, Retired RN. One of the main reasons I am […]

Cliff MacDonald, Director

Cliff MacDonald – I am a 34 year employee of The Beer Store. After many years of letting life get […]

Fr. Tony O’Dell, OMI – President & CEO

Fr. Tony O’Dell, OMI – I was born into an Irish family in a small fishing community on the coast […]

Fr. Jarek Pachocki, OMI, Ex-Officio

 Fr. Jarek Pachocki, OMI – I was ordained as an OMI Priest in 1999, coming to Canada from Poland in […]

The DMDO Team

Sherri Ramirez, 
Outreach Coordinator

Katherine Ford, 
Staff Lead

Diane Downey, 
Office Administrator

Ian Ford, 
Youth Minister

JC Asuncion,  
Mission With Youth