Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach recently celebrated the Dedication of its newest location – Catholic Charities St. Francis Center. Located in the former St. Francis Catholic School in Riviera Beach, Catholic Charities St. Francis Center underwent a two million dollar renovation to become the new office space for 14 of Catholic Charities ministries and outreach programs. These programs help the needy and vulnerable in the community, without regard to religion.
Annually, Catholic Charities provides services to more than 9,000 unduplicated clients through 14 programs and ministries. By consolidating most of its programs and ministries into one location, Catholic Charities will be able to serve the community in a more efficient and effective manner.
The Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach, told the audience that Catholic Charities is the heart of what defines the Catholic Church.
“When we look at Christ, we see the major outreach of His ministry was to reach out to those who were neglected, poor, sick and isolated. Every board and staff member at Catholic Charities is very dedicated to this work. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach intends to continue its outreach all over our diocese’s five-counties to look for those in need and to continue to grow. Today marks a culmination and a beginning of continued growth for Catholic Charities,” said Bishop Barbarito.
The Dedication also included a blessing by Bishop Barbarito.
Other guest speakers at the event included Reverend Arthur Obin, OMI, pastor of St. Francis Catholic Church who provided the Opening Prayer; Eugene Pollingue, board president of Catholic Charities who spoke about the work of Catholic Charities; and Mayor Thomas Masters of the City of Riviera Beach who spoke about the partnership between Catholic Charities and the city to help those in need. The event was attended by local dignitaries, collaborating community agencies, local community leaders, donors, and parishioners of the Diocese of Palm Beach.
Sheila Gomez, Executive Director for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach, said the new location enhances the mission of Catholic Charities in its outreach to the most vulnerable and those in need, from the unborn child in the mother’s womb to the elderly, sick and infirmed,
and without regard of a person’s religion.
“At Catholic Charities we truly do the Lord’s work in serving those most in need. Each additional individual person that Catholic Charities is able to reach through this relocation will enhance the entire community,” said Gomez.
The programs at Catholic Charities St. Francis Center were previously located in West Palm Beach. After more than two years of planning and building, the 11,000 square foot center was completed over the summer. The programs offered at St. Francis Center include:
Many of the Catholic Charities’ programs located at St. Francis Center also operate at additional sites through the five counties of the Diocese of Palm Beach. In all, Catholic Charities programs operate at 17 different sites.
Announced at the Dedication was the establishment of Catholic Charities Legacy Society to recognize the organization’s supporters who have made planned gifts to Catholic Charities. The members of the Catholic Charities Legacy Society will be recognized at different functions throughout the year and their names will be proudly displayed on Catholic Charities “Wall of Giving” located at the St. Francis Center. For information on the Legacy Society, please contact Janelle Hoffman at Catholic Charities at 561-630-2695.
After the Dedication program, attendees were invited to tour the offices of St. Francis Center as part of an Open House to learn more about the programs and ministries offered. Tyler Grow, a Seventh Grader from Sacred Heart Catholic School in Lake Worth, a diocesan school, provided musical entertainment, adding to the ambience of the Open House.
About Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach:
Many of the programs at Catholic Charities St. Francis Center are at additional Catholic Charities locations within the five-county area of the Diocese of Palm Beach. In all, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach operates its programs at 17 sites throughout Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River counties.
Mission Statement: Catholic Charities of the five-county Diocese of Palm Beach respects life in all of its stages. In living our faith, we help and create hope for people in need, without regard to religion, by delivering social services, collaborating with others in building just and compassionate communities, and empowering individuals through education.
About the Diocese of Palm Beach:
The Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach encompasses the five counties of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee. Comprised of 280,000 Catholics in 53 parishes and missions, the Diocese also serves the faithful community through its 21 schools, which include 14 Catholic Elementary schools, three high schools, two private elementary schools, and two preschools.