Habitat for Humanity St. Louis will begin building The Pope Francis House next month in the Tiffany Neighborhood in south St. Louis for a family currently living in substandard housing.
An anonymous donor sponsored The Pope Francis House with $60,000 gift, seeking to inspire the St. Louis community to raise at least $40,000 more for construction.
“We have started to reach out to different (Catholic) churches in the community, and St. Louis University is also taking a significant role in helping build this home,” said Katie Harder, major gifts manager for Habitat.
The purpose of The Pope Francis House is:
– To honor Pope Francis for his commitment to social justice and reinvigorating the Catholic Church;
– To provide a unifying opportunity for Catholic and non-Catholic volunteers to work together toward a common goal;
– To further Habitat’s mission of building and preserving homes.
Sue Derdeyn, a parishioner of Ste. Genevieve du Bois Parish in Warson Woods and a former board member with Habitat, became involved with the organization in 2002 when her parish supplied funding and volunteers for a home in partnership with Home Depot. The home-building continued in partnership with other parishes until 2012, with seven homes built.
“It was an incredible experience of bringing our parish together,” Derdeyn said, adding that the home-building “makes a huge difference in people’s lives. I feel like it’s totally inspired by the Holy Spirit. There’s a lot of prayer and discernment that went into the founding principles of Habitat.”
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