Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha Region Secular Franciscans
covering most of Upstate New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania
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SFOs Part
Of Organizing

Secular Franciscans comprise part of the West Side Kitchen coordinating group. They include:

- Katie Koscinski, SFO, training coordinator.

- Bob & Mary Stronach, SFO, hospitality-beverage & publicity coordinators.

- Inquirer Joanne Lockwood, quality control coordinator.

- Inquirer Rick Roberts and his wife, Rose Marie, volunteer coordinators.

The fraternity has committed to staffing the soup kitchen every Wednesday. Other members of the fraternity volunteering to serve include:

- Estelle Barton (friend of the fraternity).
- Josephine Cosco, SFO.
- Betty Frank, SFO.
- Sue Freitas, SFO.
- Jo Ginnity, SFO.
- Dianne Hnat, SFO.
- Gordon Lallier, SFO.
-  Mary Schmitt, SFO.
- Mary J. Schofield, SFO.
- Jeannette Williams, SFO.

Other members of the coordinating group include:

- Dc. Gil Nadeau and Fr. Richard Dellos.

- Bob and Donna Oderkirk, who head up food preparation.

- Fred Rode and Karl Schmit, security and maintenance.

- Bonnie Woods, community liaison.

- Maureen Sciado, aid advisor.

- Donna Nelson, Carmelite liaison.

- Larry Martone, funding advisor.

Mother Marianne's West Side Kitchen

Secular Franciscans Help Parish
Launch Soup Kitchen in Utica

UTICA, NY -- Blessed Mother Marianne Cope grew up in West Utica and went on to devote the last 30 years of her life to the lepers of Hawaii’s Molokai.

Now her name is being lent to a new effort to serve those in need in her home town, with the launch of a soup kitchen at St. Joseph-St. Patrick Parish Center at Varick and Columbia streets.

Called Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen, the all-volunteer operation serves soup and sandwiches from 11:30 to 12:30 Monday through Friday, and a bag lunch on Saturday. On Sunday the parish offers a coffee hour following the 10:30 Mass.

A coordinating group, led by Deacon Gilbert Nadeau, is the organizing force behind the soup kitchen. The group includes parishioners, friends of the parish, and members of the Secular Franciscan Order.

“There is a need in West Utica,” Deacon Gil said. “Hundreds of families, including the working poor and homeless, visit our parish campus weekly for assistance from the food pantry and clothing outlet at the Thea Bowman House. We constantly have people knocking on our rectory door asking for food and assistance.”

He added that, “while there are other wonderful facilities” such as Hope House, the Rescue Mission and The Salvation Army that offer this service, “they are a distance away from the needy in our neighborhood who have no transportation.”

He appealed to churches of all denominations to spread the word on the need for supplies, and for volunteers willing to devote one day a month.

“We anticipate this ministry will develop into an interdenominational and cooperative endeavor,” Deacon Gil said, adding:

“Jesus asks all of us to ‘feed my sheep’. Perhaps if we help feed our brother’s and sister’s bodily needs, the Spirit working through us, will feed their spiritual needs.”

Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen opened its doors March 10, 2008.