Category: News

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FMC Partners with Little Friends for Peace

The Father McKenna Center, for the past three years has been partnering with Little Friends for Peace, a nonprofit led by MJ Park that focuses the attention of the poor and underserved communities on Inner Peace and relieving the stress caused by conflict.

The following appeared as an article in the Little Friends Winter Newsletter:

Little Friends for PeaceA Yen for Zen

About 40 men shared openly about the conditions in their lives that have been making and breaking their peace during Little Friends For Peace’s fall kickoff at the Fr. McKenna Center.

This is the third year that LFFP has led peace programming in the men’s shelter, and participation has not waned. Participants were eager to identify and address the elements of their days that have caused discomfort, and they were relieved to discover and intentionally seek out daily peace-giving situations.

Thank you to MJ Park and her team for leading the 11 Am Meeting every other week and for leading the Peace Circle each Thursday morning!

Gonzaga Canned Food Drive Supports the Food Pantry

IMG_4828The Gonzaga College High School community came together during the week of November 2-6 to hold a canned food drive to support the Food Pantry at the Father McKenna Center.

Gonzaga collected some 9,300 food items for the Food Pantry. The drive focused on soups, breakfast items (pancake mix & syrup) and peanut butter and jelly. It will be enough to supply the Father McKenna Center for weeks and months to come.

Thank you, Gonzaga! Go Gonzaga, Beat St. John’s!!!

Canisius High School Immersion at FMC


IMG_4932February 11-18, 2016

Nine juniors and three faculty from Canisius High School in Buffalo, NY, spent a week living, serving, praying, playing and reflecting on their experiences at the Father McKenna Center.

The group prepared and served meals, worked in our clothing distribution program, helped in the Food Pantry and generally were a “force for good” here at the Center.

Each morning they rose early and wore broad smiles all day long. They added lots of energy to the place.

This is the 3rd consecutive year that a group of Crusaders have come to DC and worked at the Center as part of their Winter Break. Thank you to Patrick, Matt, Jack, Patrick, Nick, Keefe, Br. Chris Derby, SJ, Griffin, Tom Whalen, Todd, Reid and Anthony Vetrano!

Holy Trinity Parish Serves at FMC

IMG_4819 (640x384)On Monday, October 12 (Columbus Day) twenty members of Holy Trinity Parish came to the Center to prepare and serve our guests (more than 75 men struggling with homelessness), and over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend another team of fifteen parishioners came to the Center for a Day of Service.

Because it was a national holiday, our staff had the day off, so the volunteers allowed the Center to keep serving those who rely on the Center each day. While our small staff was able to get a well-earned (and much needed) day off, the men experiencing homelessness still need a place to go, somewhere to secure a meal.

IMG_4816 (640x451)

Our friends from Holy Trinity were a great help in a number of other areas. Our Food Pantry was prepared for the busy week ahead – we are now serving 65-70 families per week, so being well-stocked at the beginning of the week is important. We prepared a storage area for our upcoming Hypothermia Program.

Thank you to our friends from Holy Trinity Parish. You are all welcome back!

High Schools Partner with The Father McKenna Center

Five area high schools will partner with the Father McKenna Center this year. Each school brings its unique way of helping out. Gonzaga . . . Stone Ridge . . . Georgetown Prep . . . Georgetown Visitation . . . Holy Child


Gonzaga College High School students come on Thursday and Friday during their lunch periods to serve in the Food Pantry and to serve the Midday Meal to our Day Shelter guests.

Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart sends six students to work in the kitchen on Social Actions Days (alternate Wednesdays). The help prepare the Midday Meal, serve the meal and some assist in our Food Pantry.

IMG_4813Georgetown Prep helped the Center launch its more aggressive Saturday meals program for the men struggling with homelessness. Once per month resident students at Prep come to serve our guests with breakfast and lunch, and a group of freshmen come to assist in the Food Pantry and Clothing Closet.

Georgetown Visitation will be holding a winter coat drive for the Center in October and plans for other activities are beginning to take shape.

Connelly School of the Holy Child participates in our Thanksgiving Basket program, providing all the fixings for about 50 bags.

We are blessed by our connection to these schools, and are always looking for new partners!