April 15, 2015: Pope Francis House Blessing Scheduled for May 13.
A public house blessing event on Wednesday, May 13 at 10:00 a.m. will mark the beginning of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh’s Pope Francis House, one of several Habitat houses in the nation built in honor of the beloved leader. This house is financially sponsored by an anonymous donor who has contributed $60,000 to the local Habitat affiliate in honor of the Pontiff. Local Catholic churches will take the lead in volunteer recruitment, additional fundraising, and prayer support for Habitat’s local work.
The purpose of this house is threefold: ·
1) To honor Pope Francis for his commitment to social justice and reinvigorating the Catholic Church; ·
2) To provide a unifying, celebratory opportunity for both Catholic and non-Catholic volunteers to work together towards a common goal (as Pope Francis says, "Work confers dignity.”); and ·
3) To further Habitat’s mission of building and preserving homes.
The previously-vacant house was donated as part of a program through CHASE bank to provide Habitat with homes to be rehabilitated for new homeowners. This is the second Habitat house being rehabbed in Penn Hills. In addition to volunteering, sponsorships are also available to individuals or groups wanting to share the Habitat experience with future homeowners. To financially support the Pope Francis House and other local Habitat projects, please visit www.pittsburghhabitat.org/events/PopeFrancisHouse.
Catholic and non-Catholic volunteers, local and non-local groups, are invited to participate in the build. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Derek Morris at 412.351.0512, ext. 14 or visit www.pittsburghhabitat.org/events/PopeFrancisHouse to learn more or sign up to help out. Applications are currently being accepted for qualified program families. Please visit www.pittsburghhabitat.org/homeownership for program requirements. The three bedroom/one bathroom house on a quiet cul-de-sac in Penn Hills will provide affordable housing for years to come.
“It is our hope, and that of the donor, that this project will serve as a model for our affiliate to partner with local Catholic churches and persons of all faiths to build and strengthen the community in honor of Pope Francis,” said Maggie Withrow, Executive Director of Area Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh.