St. Anthony Family Center

Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen Serving the Hillsdale County Community

St. Anthony Family Center

People from many different walks of life come to the St. Anthony Family Center. Some are grandparents raising grandchildren, some are single moms or dads, some are elderly with no children to help them, some are homeless, some are young families and dad has lost his job. Most just cannot afford to feed themselves or families on their incomes. The government has cut food stamps many by as much as 60%. They may be working, but this devastates their income and they come seeking help. Many are embarrassed and do not want to ask for help. Many have never had to ask for help before and you can tell by the lack of eye contact and the anxiety and fear in their eyes wondering if we may not be able to help them. At the Family Center we give people hope and spiritual guidance. We offer prayer to everyone who enters our office and 99% of the time they want it! Some families have made comments that our Family Center has the kindest and most caring people they have met. We are hopeful that this reflects our Catholic faith. Without the compassion , prayers and gifts of the people in our parish we would not have this opportunity to spread “Jesus” to others. Thank you and God Bless you for all you have done this year to support St. Anthony Family Center.

Shelly Taylor | Director St. Anthony Family Center

Family Center Happenings & Blessings

Family Center Blessings and Happenings January 27, 2019 Only a few people gathered for a delicious hot lunch yesterday at the Family Center because of the frigid temperatures and because of the predicted bad weather that was approaching. As Fred Yaniga led us in prayer before our meal I felt the need to observe our friends reactions to this. Most of them bowed their heads or perhaps closed their eyes. Some watched Fred as he was in prayer with a curious expression on their face. But, the one thing that stood out to me was when Fred said our Catholic prayer before meals blessing (Bless us our Lord and these thy gifts, etc...) that several people said the prayer and made the sign of the cross along with us at the end!  I know for a fact that these "friends" have not done this in the past. We have never asked them to. I have noticed that in my prayer with them also that they are following along with me as I make the sign of the cross. They are so happy to feel like they belong to our family here at the Family Center.  Our neighbors at Kings Kupboard food pantry at Trinity Lutheran Church are much the same comparison. Though we may choose to worship differently, we are all a part of God’s family. We share our abundance of food at times with Kings Kupboard as they do with us. In the beginning, I felt they were a little skeptical of us as Catholics. But, they see now, that we are all united in one God, our Father.  They are our friends in Christ our Lord.  We are all loved by the same Heavenly Father !!!
May 12, 2019
Family Center Blessings and Happenings
It was cloudy, rainy and damp day, when we opened our doors to the Family Center Tuesday. I wasn’t sure how large our lunch crowd would be due to the weather. After a few minutes our dining area filled up to capacity with friends searching for a place to sit. As usual, we had made enough food and everyone was well fed. It’s amazing how this always works out. God is so Awesome!! As I glanced around the room that day, I noticed many familiar faces but also many new faces. I wondered how this day would play out as already many friends were filling me in with the circumstances of their lives and some were updating me about things we had prayed about last time we had met. That question was revealed soon as the reception room overflowed with people needing food, and financial help. It is a bit overwhelming at times. Two friends who were new to the Family Center explained that they grew up Catholic but had fallen away for one reason or another. One was a man in his 30’s who said he had been in Catholic school, was an altar boy and had received sacraments. He had not mentioned this in our conversation until I asked him if he wanted prayer. He hung his head and said he felt a bit guilty coming to a Catholic food pantry when he wasn’t Catholic anymore. He said “I am sure that most the people who come here for help are Catholic.” I smiled and glanced toward the reception room and let him know that no one in that entire room was a Catholic as far as I knew. As we prayed I saw the troubled look disappear from his face. Everyone is welcome to our table of plenty at the Family Center, or should I say Jesus’ table of plenty.
June 2, 2019
As I walked into the Family Center Tuesday morning I had the feeling it was going to be a stressful day. You know the feeling—like some people may say, I just felt out of sorts. I wondered if perhaps we would have a huge crowd of people and lunch would be hectic or maybe something would just go terribly wrong. I just didn’t feel like myself. In fact I even dipped my hand in the holy water fount in church and glanced at our Blessed Mother and our dear St. .Anthony and quickly asked for guidance for the day. As the morning progressed and afternoon sped by, it seemed my worries were ill spent, because everything was going so well. Our numbers were low and our friends’ needs were not great. Towards the end of the afternoon everything changed. A familiar man who has been coming for groceries for years quietly stepped in. Now this man has been thru a lot in his life. The last two times I saw him, I discovered that he was homeless and living in a storage unit. However, this time something was terribly wrong. He is a man of very few words and when you speak to him, he doesn’t lift his eyes to meet yours. He is always so ashamed of his life and never wants to talk about it. This time his eyes were filled with tears as he choked out that he was now living in the woods with no tent, just a sleeping bag and a few articles of clothes. We had to change his food order to meet this need. In fact, he explained that everything he owned was soaked. If you remember last week’s weather you can imagine why. He said he had finally given up and just wanted to die. I called in another volunteer and we prayed with him. I noticed a flicker of hope in his eyes as he left. We just wanted him to know we cared. Another volunteer offered a tent he has and another an air mattress. Tonight I am thinking of him as it is supposed to rain all night. My heart is breaking for him. I am praying for his safety and that he can feel the love that God has for him.
Contact / Location

Contact info

123, New Lenox, Chicago IL 60606

Gathering Times


8:00am, 9:15am, 11:00am

Events / Calendar