A new monthly ministry, “The Community Café,” will kick off next Tuesday, June 11, in the lower level hall of Saint Albert the Great Church.
Set for 9:15-10:30 a.m., “The Community Café” is open to anyone and will provide attendees with a free hot breakfast and cold options and the opportunity for connection, friendship and table fellowship, said Mary Pat Frey, pastoral associate. Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2019, Saint Albert has 100 active and vibrant ministries, Frey said, and “The Community Café” bumps that figure up to 101.
“As the Catholic Church, we really uphold the importance of table fellowship and it is a basic aspect of our faith,” she said. “Jesus Christ modeled the value of building relationships in just this way, and we believe that, like the North Royalton Community Meal, the Community Café will offer that opportunity for folks in the area.”
The new ministry comes on the heels of Saint Albert’s announced and intended plan to launch a $10 million campaign that would expand and reconstruct the church property. As part of that plan, a new $6 million Parish Life Center would be built to help better accommodate the Catholic parish’s ministry activity and its estimation that as many as 1,000 people traverse the church campus daily.
The new monthly ministry, which in addition to its debut of June 11, announced its summer dates of July 9 and Aug. 13, is another way to connect to one’s faith throughout the week, Frey said. The adult-only ministry is not specific to Saint Albert parishioners but anyone from any area of residence and it will be staffed by parish volunteers.
“This will be a very easy-going environment, and a very welcoming sort of monthly event,” Frey said of the ministry. “It will be as simple as sitting down, being at a table with others and receiving a hot meal. Participating gives you the opportunity to sit down and talk with someone else as opposed to maybe eating your breakfast alone. There are no obligations, no financial obligations, no follow-up activity and we’re not expecting anyone to be a member. This will be offered as pure community spirit.”
Participating in a church ministry can help people more integrate faith and fellowship into their daily life.
“As good as weekly worship is, I don’t see worship as an activity that is separate from your day-to-day life, as in, ‘I go once a week to church and then it’s done till next week.’ To me, that doesn’t make sense,” Frey said. “Faith is a part of our everyday life and it’s not something we do at a segregated time. Ministries, and we have many including those within the liturgy itself, help people connect faith into their entire life.”
As time progresses and church staff monitor the new ministry’s success, a monthly speaker or game component such as Bingo may be added to “The Community Café,” Frey said. The menu will always include a hot breakfast meal, like pancakes or eggs, cold options (cereals and fruit) and beverages (coffee, tea and juices).
Contributing Writer