On Sunday, August 13th, the home built in honor of Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy was filled with sunlight and laughter as neighbors, volunteers and family gathered for a home dedication.
Father Andrew of Oregon’s Mount Angel Abbey blessed the home with these words, “God our Father, we thank you for the gift of your love and the gift of family. We come as one body in Christ to witness this blessing and to pray for your love and care for the family that is going to live in this building. May your blessings be upon them, and the people that helped – all the people who donated and all the people who shared – to make this dream come true.”
This home is the perfect fit for Kennedy, his wife Mary and their children – not only because it is spacious with room for the children to play and grow, but because it was built by the loving hands of Catholic parishioners.
Kennedy first heard about Habitat for Humanity in his home parish of St. Rita’s in 2009. It was then that he started volunteering with Habitat and, through his volunteerism, in 2011 Kennedy decided his own family could be a potential match for the program.
With faith, patience and prayer, Kennedy and his family waited for the right home and prepared to take on an affordable mortgage. For Kennedy, that meant taking on a second job. But Kennedy didn’t mind, saying “I don’t worry. I have patience. I can wait. Nothing can happen that is not in God’s plan.”
CEO Maureen Fife said of the Pope Francis house, “This house is a very tangible sign of the Catholic community celebrating Pope Francis’ year of mercy and his message of love and compassion and generosity.”
Many neighbors came to the dedication to welcome the family. One said, “On behalf of my family and all the families here at the Woods, we just want to welcome you – to your new home and to your community.”
“God wanted us to go into this house,” Kennedy said. And just like that, Mary and Kennedy have a home for their family – at last.