Through the generosity of Mary Doyle, St. Joseph Hall was built in the 1980s as an answer to the pleas of the families of St. Louis Center residents who were about to age out of the program. St. Joseph Hall has been home to up to 20 men at a time for the past four decades.
Time for a Change
As the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have changed, so has the scope of services offered by St. Louis Center. More older adults with IDD needed specialized services, so it was time to upgrade St. Joseph Hall. The bedrooms have been transformed into private suites so that each person has a place to call their very own and private access for their personal care needs.
The public spaces in the building were also renovated, creating a more homelike atmosphere.
Sharing the Joy
On Sunday, August 27, 2023, Most Rev. Earl Boyea, Bishop of the Diocese of Lansing, presided over a special Mass in the St. Louis Center gym. The Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Color Corps led the opening procession. During his homily, the Bishop asked,
Is it enough to love Jesus personally? If Yes, why do we need Church?
“Focusing on the confession of St. Peter,” he continued, “it is evident that loving Jesus personally is not enough. Jesus wanted the Church and the personal confession of the individual believers.” The personal and community aspect of faith was the central reflection of his homily, which was very pertinent to what was happening at St. Louis Center that day. A community of the faithful came to celebrate, with great joy, the fact that St. Louis Center continues to care for the most vulnerable of God’s children in a dignified way with the support of generous benefactors and people of goodwill.
After Mass, the procession made its way from the main building on the campus up to St. Joseph Hall. The Bishop performed the dedication and blessing of the building that is now home to eleven men with IDD. The Bishop blessed each room and the guests were able to tour the home and get a glimpse into life at St. Joseph Hall.
After the blessing, everyone returned to the gym in the main building to hear words of hope and gratitude from Fr. Enzo Addari, Executive Director of St. Louis Center; Deana Fisher, Chief Operating Officer; Ken Unterbrink, Past State Deputy of the Michigan Knights of Columbus and former member of the Center’s Community Advisory Council; and Andreas Pocsatko, parent of a current St. Louis Center resident.
The St. Louis Center kitchen staff prepared a strolling dinner that the 125 guests thoroughly enjoyed.
A project of this magnitude is only accomplished through the collaboration and generosity of many people and organizations.
Thank you to these supporters:
Knights of Columbus Michigan State Council