The community is invited to a reception celebrating Catholic Charities’ 25 years of providing services to Larimer County and the surrounding region. This silver anniversary reception will be held November 18, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Parish Hall, 5450 South Lemay Avenue in Fort Collins.
Catholic Charities will honor Sister Mary Alice Murphy — who was vital in creating Catholic Charities’ homeless shelter, The Mission — as well as current and past board members, staff and countless volunteers who together have made it possible to help so many neighbors in their time of need. In addition to The Mission, which also provides community meals, Catholic Charities provides services to seniors and emergency assistance that helps people pay for utilities and transportation.
Although Catholic Charities’ presence in the region dates back more than 40 years, the creation of The Mission as a permanent shelter with office space marked the real beginning for Catholic Charities in Larimer County. The shelter opened in 1989 after a three-year fundraising effort spearheaded by the board, staff and a group of volunteers led by Sister Mary Alice Murphy. Its roots lie in a soup kitchen operated by Catholic Charities at St. Joseph’s School combined with emergency shelter in a borrowed building.
From its start, The Mission has benefited from strong support from not only Catholic parishes but from all faith communities, businesses and individuals in northern Colorado. At the grand opening, Sister Mary Alice said, “The Mission has become a beautiful example by the fact that it is not the work of just one person. Many, many people have made that a reality.”
Last year, that reality resulted in The Mission providing 26,000 nights of shelter to over 1,100 individuals and serving 73,000 meals. Add that to the 400 seniors helped by Catholic Charities in Fort Collins and Loveland and the emergency assistance provided to hundreds of individuals and families, and it is plain to see the need for services still exists in the region.