Detroit, MI. While many Catholic churches throughout the United States have closed in recent years, some portions of the church’s ministries fight to stay open. Today’s story features a new SPSE team at an old familiar site for Detroiters — St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen. While the church closed in 2017, the soup kitchen fought to stay open, since it provides some stability to the impoverished community with warm meals, free clothing, and dental and medical care for anyone in the zip code. The kitchen traces its roots back to when St. Leo’s High School closed in 1971. The alumni supported a soup kitchen ministry as a way to keep up the parish’s outreach to the struggling Detroit area. What a wonderful place for SPSE to set up and reach souls!
The following report comes to us from evangelist Patti and our SPSE team in Detroit, MI:
Our first experience at St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen was absolutely wonderful! Liz and I feel so blessed to have experienced this day. We started by introducing ourselves and telling the people we were happy they were there for a nice warm meal, and that we were also there to nourish them but in a different way: with prayer and with the love of Jesus. We had 25 to 30 people wanting to pray with us and even more coming to get rosaries, medals etc. Everyone was so gracious and wonderful, filled with so many stories, and so appreciative of us being there. Many had tears in their eyes as they thanked us.
Interestingly when we were setting up, we were a little bit nervous about this being our first time on our own. One of the clients came up and told us she was so happy we were here and wanted to hear all about Saint Paul Street Evangelization. She gave us encouragement and made us feel more relaxed, assuring us that we would be very welcome there. We were there to provide comfort and support, but SHE was the one who put US at ease!
Then when we were leaving one of the managers of the food service came up to us and asked us when we were coming back. He said we were welcome there as often as we wanted to come and thought that this was a wonderful addition to the soup kitchen. He ended saying, “where ever there is prayer it’s never bad”.
Praised be Jesus Christ! A warm welcome to our new team at St. Leo’s in Detroit. May they reach many souls for Our Lord during their time at the soup kitchen!