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

October 20, 2019
Family Center Blessings and Happenings
Last Tuesday as we put the finishing touches on our lunch of macaroni and cheese and pulled pork sandwiches it looked as if we may have quite a few leftovers. The room was scantily filled and I was already figuring on storing the leftovers in the freezer for another meal. Suddenly, after we prayed and began serving food to our Friends, the seats began to gradually fill with people and before I knew it the whole room was filled with Friends. In fact, we had to set another table for the overflow!!! Everybody wanted to come to the table of plenty to share fellowship, food and God's word through the five-minute talk Fred Yaniga gives every Tuesday based on the Sunday's gospel reading. Since there were so many for lunch, I knew of course that our day was going to be very busy. I was right! As the dining room emptied, the reception room was filling with those in need for groceries. Of course, in my mind, I knew that also meant the need for prayer would be great today; and it was. As they gather in the reception area, I see all sorts of people. People I know because they frequent the Family Center and strangers to the Family Center who you can tell are strangers because they seem apprehensive. One such man was laid off because of the GM strike. (About the l0th person these past weeks in this same condition). His unemployment was not near what his previous wages had been and he was exhausting all his money for mortgage and bills. He explained that he felt so bad about coming, but felt he had no other choice to provide for his family. I assured him that he was doing the right thing by coming here. I expressed how much God was proud of him for humbling himself this way. I wasn't sure he was going to accept prayer. But, he did and I believe I saw tears in his eyes when we had finished. I know the Holy Spirit was working to give him strength for the next days ahead and hope. But, the most miraculous event of all came later that day when my phone rang. It was a young woman with a young family who was in dire need. She has come to the Family Center in the past for food, but has been doing well financially with her husband's new job and she hasn't been here for a few months now. But, now things had changed. She explained how her husband had lost his job, someone in her family was very sick, family members were not speaking and fighting, the car had broken down and was expensive to be fixed. They had just managed to start to get the bills paid up since her husband was just hired a week ago for a new job and now yesterday her car broke down while taking her husband to work and she feared he would lose another job and didn't know how they could afford another mechanic to fix the car. I thought during this whole long explanation in the phone call that she was going to ask me for money!! I thought this is how it usually goes, they explain the whole bad situation, and then come in for the kill by asking for money to help them. I could just predict it. It wasn't that I didn't want to help her, but, it is so hard, because there is an overwhelming need. I often wonder if that is how Jesus felt when he had so many asking to be healed. (I think that's why he jumped in his boat and headed across the lake when it was too much!!) I had to ask God to forgive me for being so judgmental when she only asked that I please put her and her whole family on the prayer list at St. Anthony Church. She was feeling so bad and she knew we would pray for her and her family. No talk of money, just prayer to our Father in heaven to guide them in their dark times and to be with her as she struggled with anxiety about her situation. Although I felt so bad for being quick to judge, I am so grateful that Friends feel they can ask us for prayer. I am grateful that we have established such a friendship with so many here at the Family Center. This is the reason we are here, right? Not so much for that physical food, but the spiritual food. The only food that really matters. By the way, I don't have a boat or a lake so I am not going anywhere.
October 6, 2019
Family Center Blessings and Happenings It is the beginning of the month and our food shelves, after seeing and feeding 33 families, are quite empty.  Like Old Mother Hubbard, our cupboards are bare.  But, we know that this Thursday, which is the first Thursday of the month, is when our food from the Battle Creek Food Bank arrives.  We begin ordering the last two weeks of the month, when our shelves are relatively still full and it is amazing how they dwindle down to nothing after the course of a couple weeks. So, Thursday, we will be receiving 9,000 pounds of food!!! The more we order, the more people show up--coincidence?? I don't think so. Last Tuesday, two of the people who came for lunch and groceries had the same problem. Unforgiveness.  Both people wanted prayer about someone they could just not forgive.  One of them was simply a  bully who  was relentless with mean phone calls, letters, and verbal abuse and making them miserable.  Another was a lot deeper as it was a person who had shot their sister to death!  Both didn't know how they could forgive.  Both were extremely unhappy and felt poisoned with this unforgiveness.  I think most of the people who visit the Family Center deal with this in one way or another.  In fact, I do myself.  We know we have to forgive, but it is not that easy.  I, of course, explain how Jesus died for our sins and forgave all those who murdered Him.  I guess the fact is that we just have to do it!  I explained how to renounce that unforgiveness every time it creeps up on them.  Simply by saying "In the name of Jesus Christ, I renounce the evil spirit of unforgiveness" every time they feel that poison seeping into them, will help. After all, I want God to forgive me, so we just have to forgive, no matter the pain or anger or how hard it is.  One person asked me how God could possibly forgive all the bad he had done in his life. He asked how he could ever make up for it all.  I smiled as I said to him, we as humans, could never understand how much God loves us, we are God’s children! At this moment because he was so sad about what he had done, he was probably forgiven. He looked up at me and said "really?", and I said "really!"  He smiled back.
Contact / Location

Contact info

123, New Lenox, Chicago IL 60606

Gathering Times


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

Events / Calendar