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Rochester Couple Embrace “Rochester Cares” Campaign

I recently chatted with a friend over a warm cup of tea. The conversation was similar to most chats taking place in Minnesota on blustery January days—snow predictions, icy sidewalks, and wind chills. I think I even heard “Baby, it’s cold outside” echoing in the air!

I paused for a moment and thought about what it might feel like to deal with the brutality of winter in Rochester, Minnesota if I was faced with homelessness in addition to those wind chills. As I bundled up to face the elements, I envisioned myself as one of those wandering our streets this evening—no warm bed to lie my weary head, no cup of tea to warm winter’s chill, and no companionship. I felt utterly alone as that burst of cold air hit my face…. Read the complete article 

January 13th, 2020|Categories: News & Announcements|

Rochester Community Warming Center is Seeking Volunteers

The Rochester Community Warming Center, a program of Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota, is seeking volunteers to work alongside staff of the Warming Center to provide a vital service to those who are without housing during the cold months of winter.

The Warming Center is scheduled to open its doors by Sunday, December 15.  The Center will operate from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. seven days a week.  

Community Partners are encouraged to form teams to volunteer together.  Teams can be formed from groups such as churches, civic organizations, businesses, and friends.  A Community Partner would choose one or two nights a month to serve and bring their own members to fill the team of volunteers for the night.  A Community Partner would appoint a liaison who would be the contact person and do the scheduling for their team. Individuals who are unaffiliated are also welcome to volunteer.  All who would like to serve are welcome.

Two Orientations will be offered each evening to accommodate the many volunteers who will be serving this season.  Orientations are scheduled the week of December 2 as follows:  

Orientations scheduled on Monday, December 2 

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Orientations scheduled on Tuesday, December 3

5:00- 6:00 p.m.  6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Orientations scheduled on Wednesday, December 4

6:00 – 7:00 p.m. 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Orientations scheduled on Thursday, December 5

5:30- 6:30 p.m.   7:00- 8:00 p.m.

Orientations scheduled on Saturday, December 7

11:00 a.m. to noon  1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

We ask all volunteers to register in advance contacting Tricia Kremer at tkremer@ccsomn.org or (507)287-2047 Ext 33

November 27th, 2019|Categories: News & Announcements|

2019 Philanthropist of the Year Award

Photo compliments of Elaine Pardi Photography

Catholic Charities’ Spirit Circle members—Ron and Dianne Yanish were awarded the Philanthropist of the Year Award on November 13, 2019 at a luncheon hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) of Southern Minnesota.

Ron and Dianne are loyal friends and supporters of the mission of Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota. They were nominated for this prestigious and well-deserved honor by Mary Alessio—Director of Advancement for Catholic Charities.

As they were introduced at the reception by Mary, she spoke of Ron and Dianne’s humility in providing their time, talents, and treasures to those in need.  Mary reminded all that philanthropy is defined as love of mankind and that a commonality of great philanthropists is the fact that they have quietly experienced their own challenges and heartaches in life….they have a connection with those they extend compassionate generosity and they do it with enthusiasm. She mentioned that enthusiasm comes from a Greek word (entheos) meaning God within and that there is no couple who defines philanthropy and enthusiasm more eloquently that Ron and Dianne. “When I am with them I feel the grace of God alive within….changing our world through their great hearts.”

The list of compassion generosity provided to those in need by this couple includes helping establish the Dorothy Day Center in Rochester, building the Pax Christi Youth Center, and donating the chapel at Lourdes High School. Their goodness is truly transformative and has greatly blessed countless individuals and families. Congratulations Ron and Dianne! Heartfelt thanks for providing help and creating hope!

November 15th, 2019|Categories: News & Announcements|

Welcoming Shanna Harris

We are happy to announce that Shanna Harris is leading the way at Catholic Charities as our new Executive Director. Robert Tereba passed on the baton of leadership on November 4, 2019—retiring after a lifetime of dedication at Catholic Charities.

Shanna comes to us from Casper, Wyoming. Shanna served for the last seven years as the Director of the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies. Prior to that position she was the Executive Director of the United Way of Natrona County for ten years.

Shanna has a genuine heart for serving poor and vulnerable persons. She earned both a Master of Public Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from the University of Wyoming.

The board, volunteers, and staff of Catholic Charities welcome Shanna. We look forward to serving under her leadership as we continue to provide help and create hope for those living on the margins; serving all ages, genders, ethnic backgrounds and faith traditions!

November 14th, 2019|Categories: News & Announcements|

RCWC Press Conference

Collaborative partners who uplifted the Rochester Community Warming Center including the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, Mayo Clinic, and Catholic Charities participated in a press conference on November 12, 2019.

With temperatures reaching the single digits and winter winds approaching the Warming Center for homeless in Rochester is finishing final construction and training of staff. The Warming Center is proposed to start serving homeless in need of overnight lodging on December 15, 2019. In future years the center will operate from November 1st-March 31st.

Reagan Outdoor Advertising has gifted a billboard campaign starting on December 9th to uplift and inspire the community to support this life-changing initiative.

(click photo for details)