St. Joe’s Supper Table
My arrival here in St. Joseph’s Parish has been somewhat of a whirlwind. There are so many new people to meet as I get acclimatized to the new reality that is St. Joe’s. One of the amazing things about St. Joe’s is the Supper Table where a number of the city’s poor can find a warm meal. All of this started in 1978 with Father Fred Magee. He noticed that the homeless were coming to the door asking for something to eat. Recognizing the need he got to work by making sandwiches that he handed out. Since then, the parish has taken on this ministry with a small army of staff and volunteers and with that, the Supper Table ministry was formed. One of the founding pillars of our community centers on outreach. We care not only for the spiritual needs of the people in the Ottawa area but also the wellbeing of the many homeless at our door. This gift of giving has enlightened many in the city to go beyond their personal comfort zone to see the broken and wounded as their brothers and sisters.
At the moment, we collaborate with a number of different groups interested in this ministry which includes the Ottawa Food Bank, the Ottawa Community Food Partnership and the City of Ottawa. Our goal is always to serve a hot and balanced meal to those who come to our door with no strings attached. At times, this work can be very demanding in that every week we serve 9 meals which includes breakfast. Social justice has always been important to this parish and the Lord has blessed us with a fine group of people who put hands to the Gospel message.
Fr. Robert Laroche, OMI