Yes, your prayers and ours have been answered!

Posted Posted in Updates

We’ve just been given a beautiful house in Saint Paul for homeless, expectant women!

These amazing events began in November 2013, all of which we attribute to Divine Providence, your ongoing support and the wonderful benefactor who bought us a house. Here’s what happened. We were ready to interview prospective guests, homeless, pregnant women. We had even chosen an ideal house, a former Franciscan convent, perfectly maintained, with six bedrooms. But we had no way to make it ours! Our board and friends made a holy hour at church. The next     day, we heard from a private benefactor who said, “I am  buying that property you found for Philomena House.” A few days later, we accepted our benefactor’s purchase offer. What’s more, our contact at Positive Alternatives, Minnesota Department of Health, called to say, ”We found some money for Philomena, provided that you have a house.” We had the house. We’ve also been given monetary gifts from the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Community Foundation. These gifts, along with your sustaining cash donations, gave us the impetus to move in.

Immediately after Christmas, our benefactor installed a new kitchen, renovated the downstairs bath and polished the oak floors. All his ideas to give us contentment and delight. A battalion of volunteers is cleaning four floors, and people are donating furniture and utensils. We’ve set our Open House for Sunday, May 25, 2014, feast of the finding of St. Philomena’s bones in Rome’s St. Priscilla Catacombs.

Moving day was March 22. People gave us beautiful furnishings, barely used, matching upholstery pieces for our first floor rooms. Our board member, Duane Sanocki donated a refinished cherry wood desk for our first floor office. Sharon King, our housemother, is thrilled with all donated kitchen utensils. And more to come from kitchen and outdoor tools showers. Rene Miller and her quilting group from Holy Spirit Church in St. Paul gave us eight baby quilts. Students from St. Thomas Academy and friends did the heavy lifting. Then they sat down to a chili lunch at our newly refinished, cherry dining table (the chairs don’t match!). The movers were Sue and Jim Evanoff’s three sons, Dan, Michael and Joe, along with their four friends, Dan Gehrz, Tony Nebe, Adam Farrell and Sam Hummel.

Thanks and God bless you all!

Surprise! Saint Philomena has come to our house!

Posted Posted in Updates

We’re writing you to report a real and remarkable event in the making of Philomena House.  Recently a woman gifted us with an actual relic of our little martyred saint.

The relic itself is a tiny dark speck on a piece of white cloth inside a round silver case that we placed in a gold metal reliquary about four inches high.  Inside the silver case is a paper tag bearing these words: Philomenae V. M. (Philomena Virgin Martyr). The case is sealed with wax embedded with the Vatican seal. Although we have no papers, the packaging seems to indicate that it is a first-class relic.

Our benefactor is Mary Henseler, a local artist who creates religious jewelry from antique finds. Mary tells us that she rarely sees relics, so she wanted to own this one. After she had held the relic for several months, she learned about Philomena House at a deanery meeting where Bernie spoke. She thought immediately that the Philomena relic should belong to us.  So she publicly presented it to Bernie in May at the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women.  That event is how we came to be owners of this precious gift, which we truly believe to be the working of Saint Philomena.  We think she has carried us to a turning point in our search for a residence we can call home. (We hope we can tell you more in our next newsletter.)

Thank you all for your generous gifts!  Remember, Philomena House is a federal tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization.  With your tax-free contributions, you save babies’ lives from the horror of abortion. You also ensure the well being of their desperate mothers.

P.S.    Find (and “Like”) Mary Henseler on Facebook, at “She Sells Sanctuary.”
P.P.S. We are available to speak to your group about our work.