Bishop Kevin Rhoades to Bless Franciscan Center Building during Blessing & Open House on 9/2 at noon


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News release from the Franciscan Center:

Bishop Kevin Rhoades to Bless Franciscan Center Building during Blessing & Open House on 9/2 at Noon

(August 28, 2014) – On Tuesday, September 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Franciscan Center will hold a blessing and open house for our Jean Kelly Center, our new home at 1015 E Maple Grove Avenue that is across the campus from our previous headquarters in the former Sacred Heart school on Gaywood Drive on the Southside of Fort Wayne. Refreshments will be provided during the open house, with the blessing provided by The Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese in the newly-installed Dedication Patio.

“We have installed a respite area with pavers recognizing major donors to the project,” explains Tony Ley, Executive Director of the Franciscan Center, “and invite everyone to come out for refreshments, a tour of our building, and even purchase one of the remaining blank pavers.”

“If you have not volunteered recently at The Franciscan Center,” adds Tony, “you will see just how wonderful the final results of this project are for clients and volunteers. With the increase in our services, having everyone on one level has been such a blessing.”

Adds Sally Ley, Founder and Board Chair of The Franciscan Center, “Summer is a time of renewing, growing, and thriving. This building will allow us to thrive for the next 25 years and beyond. We are honored and humbled that Bishop Rhodes will be blessing the building and on-hand to be a witness to our future.”

In mid December of 2012 the Franciscan Center initiated the Jean Kelly Building Campaign to relocate the programs and services of the organization. The total campaign goal was $245,000 and included the purchase of a building, renovations, an addition, and equipment.

“It was very important that we re-locate to a space that would not only allow us to continue our existing programs, but also continue to serve the community of our core clientele and volunteers on the Southside of Fort Wayne,” adds Sally, “and we praise God that this building was available when we needed it.” In addition to the financial savings in lower overhead and other operating costs, the move allowed the organization to better serve its clients and volunteers. The building service areas are all on the ground floor, eliminating the use of stairs for our elderly and handicapped clients and volunteers, as well as resulting in smoother lines with less confusion. Also, having all operations and staff on the same floor, they can consolidate employee and volunteer spaces, and therefore operate and communicate more efficiently with far less heavy lifting and moving. The new location will also give us the freedom to expand and change services and activities in the future.

The new building will be named for the late Ms. Jean Kelly, SFO, co-founder of The Franciscan Center. Jean helped found The Franciscan Center in 1989 and was its “quiet strength” and backbone until her passing in 2008. Jean was more than happy to work backstage, exemplifying the Franciscan Spirit of Humility and Love for the disadvantaged.


About the Franciscan Center
The Franciscan Center runs a Food Pantry, Medicine Cabinet and Sack Lunch programs with over 80,000 client visits in 2013. In addition to fundraising and grant writing, the organization also operates the successful Family Thrift Store on Coliseum Blvd between Parnell & Clinton streets. Please contact The Franciscan Center at 744-3977 for more information or visit their website at



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