Lent Pay It Forward

March 13, 2014
Deacon Kevin DeCleene recently volunteered with his family at Franciscan House to help repair and restore one of the offices that had been damaged by a broken sprinkler.  Deacon DeCleene and his wife drove down from Wisconsin to visit his son and his son’s fiance here in Chicago.  After looking to Old St Pat’s Church’s website for ideas on volunteer activities, the DeCleenes found Franciscan House and made contact with Cyndy, the Program Director for Franciscan House and Franciscan Annex.  The work was scheduled and, after their GPS brought them to the wrong place and other hiccups along the way, the family gave a tremendous gift to Franciscan Outreach in the form of a restored office.
Here are some of Deacon DeCleen’s reflections from that day:
“As a Lent Pay it Forward opportunity my wife JoDee, son Arik and fiancé Cara and me volunteered time to to fix-up a room at the Franciscan House of Mary & Joseph, Chicago, a homeless shelter that sleeps 257 people, that had water damage to a room and needed repainting and carpet…  We repaired dry wall, primed and painted the room, and prepared new carpeting.  The shelter staff took time to show us how they have converted a warehouse into a 260 person bunk location so homeless men and women can have a safe warm place to sleep at night.  Cyndy and the staff are so positive and helpful, truly an inspiration, living out their faith every minute…When we do something positive, we are being a Light, doing God’s work, and being Christ to one another.  God Bless all of you and your families as we journey through the Lenten season, a time of prayer and reflection.  The best is yet to come! Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry – St. Padre Peo.  Love your neighbor – Kevin DeCleene”
We have all had a difficult winter, so it was particularly kind and generous for the DeCleen family to offer to help us make repairs to the damaged office. We are truly grateful to the DeCleene family for helping us close out the winter months in such a positive way.