St Mary’s Drop-In Centre

Our Mission

St. Mary’s Drop-In Centre is a ministry of St. Mary’s Cathedral, living in imitation of Christ’s washing of the disciples’ feet, His commandment that: “I have set you an example that you should also do as I have done to you” (John 13). Recognizing the dignity of each individual, through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy (Matthew 25:32), we care for the material, emotional and spiritual needs, of the homeless and those most in need in the city of Kingston.

Services

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday

1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

 

We offer kindness, acceptance,

light meals, etc.

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Contact

Phone: 613 546 5521 Ext.5

Coordinator: Ann Lyng

ministries@stmaryscathedral.ca

 

Address: 260 Brock St Kingston

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Wish List

With the approach of the cold weather and cooler nights, many of our homeless guests are beginning to ask for sleeping bags, blankets and warm clothing. The Drop-In Centre has a very limited supply of these specific items on hand so we are reaching out to you for help.

 

Please contact Ann Lyng for an updated list of specific items and sizes needed. You can drop off the above items at the Drop-In Centre on Wednesdays from 1 pm to 4 pm when a volunteer will be available to receive your donation.  We do not have a lot of storage space so only the above specific items will be accepted at this time. Thank you in advance for your consideration in helping the homeless survive during the cold nights. God bless you.

Become a Volunteer

Volunteer your time to help one of our teams:

We need your help with staffing shifts, collecting/organizing donations, working at our Community Garden, and fundraising.

 

Our guests regard the church as a safe haven and we continually hear that our loving volunteers make all the difference. We strive to see Jesus in all those who come through our doors (Mt 25:40). We are always in need of more volunteers, particularly to staff the shifts at the Drop-In Centre and to provide pastoral care to our guests. To volunteer, please get in touch:

 

Ann Lyng

Coordinator of Ministries at St. Mary’s Cathedral

ministries@stmaryscathedral.ca

(613) 546-5521 Ext 5

 

“I love coming here. I feel special here; it is a break from the reality of my life. You treat me as a king and welcome me. No one ever wants me around but this place is an exception.” -Donovan

 

 

Art Class at the Drop-In Centre

News and Updates

Two amazing years! Through prayer, the generosity of our supporters, and over 10 000 hours of volunteer effort, we have had two incredible years at the Drop-In Centre! We have survived multiple waves of the pandemic, and through it all we continue to improve our services for our guests. Thanks be to God for giving us such an edifying and joyous mission to serve the poor in Kingston. Please read the full newsletter for information, updates, and celebrations from this incredible year!

 

Our numbers have increased steadily and consistently over the past two years. We currently serve 45-50 guests each weekday afternoon from 1-4PM. Close to 22 000 meals have been served since February 24, 2020. Our services offered have grown since opening, such as our shower and laundry facilities which are used on a regular basis by guests. We now distribute sleeping bags, tents, blankets, and clothing as needed.

 

We try to make our guests feel loved as they are all children of God. We do this by having birthday celebrations, building strong relationships between guests and volunteers, and hosting many events including art workshops, and holiday parties throughout the Liturgical calendar.

 

Our events have had great turnout, such as our Christmas Day dinner which transitioned to take-out this year due to COVID restrictions. In spite of this and in freezing rain, we were able to serve 125 people. Some of our events include annual St. Patrick’s Day and Easter celebrations!

 

We have been blessed by significant donations from our community. Two new freezers were donated by the St. Joseph’s KofC, as well as an industrial conveyor toaster from St. Mary’s KofC. We also can’t forget about the support from the students and staff from local Catholic schools, including our own Ecole Cathedral students!

 

Our events have had great turnout, such as our Christmas Day dinner which transitioned to take-out this year due to COVID restrictions. In spite of this and in freezing rain, we were able to serve 125 people. Some of our events include annual St. Patrick’s Day and Easter celebrations!

 

Soon we will begin the process of caring for our community garden plots again. 25 volunteers made the gardens possible last year, as you may have seen the vegetable markets held in 2021. Our Italian Nonnas cooked and froze soup for use this entire winter with the 3500 lbs of produce from the community garden. Our donated freezers accommodated the extra soup from the increased harvest of veggies, and the surplus vegetables we produced were donated to our community partners running other local food programs.

 

We were informed that St. Mary’s Drop-In Centre is the fourth largest food program for the poor in Kingston. It is incredible what God will provide in such short time. We could not have accomplished this without dedicated volunteers. If you are able to help in one of our ministries, please contact Ann Lyng. Not able to serve in person? We are in need of prayer warriors to join our Guardian Angel program. We match “Guardian Angels” to individual guests or volunteers so they can receive daily prayers for their needs or ministry. Prayer is so important to us, so please continue to pray for our ministry!

 

Our popular St Rita’s Sidewalk Café

How to Support the Mission

To continue providing much-needed services to the poor in Kingston, we need your support:

 

Prayer and fasting for our mission

 

Volunteer your time to help one of our teams: We need your help with staffing shifts, collecting/organizing donations, working at our Community Garden, and fundraising. Contact Ann Lyng if you can help.

 

We rely completely on the Providence of God. We do not accept funding from the government so that we always keep our Christ-centred mission based on Catholic social teaching. As such, financial support from the local Catholic community is crucial. Income tax receipts will be issued for all donations over $20. You can support us through (please specify that your donation is intended for the St. Mary’s Drop-In Centre):

 

  • Cheque made out to St. Mary’s Cathedral
  • E-transfer to smarys@cogeco.net
  • Online at Canada Helps (Button below)

 

Food and clothing donations can be dropped off Monday-Friday, 1-4PM at 260 Brock Street:

 

  • Soup cans, crackers, canned chicken and tuna,
  • Pre-sliced cheese and deli meats, white/brown bread.
  • Juice boxes and water bottle cases
  • Granola bars, maple cookies/chocolate chip cookies
  • Gently used or new clothing and furniture

 

Please contact Ann Lyng to inquire if we are in need of something you can donate, or for an expanded list of items we need.

Guardian Angel Program

 

Our Patroness

Saint Rita of Cascia

Patroness of Impossible Cases

 

Rita of Cascia was a wife, mother, widow, and member of a religious community. Her holiness was reflected in each phase of her life.

 

Born at Roccaporena in central Italy, Rita wanted to become a nun but was pressured at a young age into marrying a harsh and cruel man. During her 18-year marriage, she bore and raised two sons. After her husband was killed in a brawl and her sons had died, Rita tried to join the Augustinian nuns in Cascia. Unsuccessful at first because she was a widow, Rita eventually succeeded.

 

Over the years, her austerity, prayerfulness, and charity became legendary. When she developed wounds on her forehead, people quickly associated them with the wounds from Christ’s crown of thorns. She meditated frequently on Christ’s passion. Her care for the sick nuns was especially loving. She also counseled lay people who came to her monastery.

 

Beatified in 1626, Rita was not canonized until 1900. She has acquired the reputation, together with Saint Jude, as a saint of impossible cases. Many people visit her tomb each year.