Union: US Province Ministering Through Apples and Pumpkins

Above, Sisters Josephine Brennan, Pauline Egan, Maris Stella Korb, Jan Ihli at Gladys Ray Detox and Homeless Shelter.


Sisters Geraldine Krom, Una Murphy, Philippa Wall, Olivia Scully

At Sacred Heart Community, Fargo, North Dakota, we had an abundant crop of apples this year. The sisters were kept busy in the kitchen peeling, slicing and preparing apples for the freezer. The apples will be used during the winter months for pies, bars, breads and yummy desserts.

One of our associates, Jess Gordon, introduced our small St. Joseph’s group here at Sacred Heart Convent to the ministry at the local Gladys Ray Detox and Homeless Shelter for our veterans living on the streets. Upon delivering a meal there which we had prepared for them, we


Sisters Maris Stella Korb, Jan Ihli, Philippa Wall, Josephine Brennan

noticed many pumpkins had been donated to the shelter. We brought them home with us and found ourselves once again in the kitchen turning pumpkins into pies, bars, muffins and breads. Since the shelter depends totally on donated food to feed their guests, the return of the pumpkins in the form of pies and bread was greatly appreciated!

This detox/shelter provides free and comfortable temporary overnight shelter for 25 men and 10 women who, because of insobriety/addiction to drugs, cannot have access to other shelter options. The Gladys Ray drop-in room is co-sponsored by the VA Health Care System in Fargo. Here they can get their basic human needs met.

This ministry was begun/inspired by the work of a local Native American woman, Gladys Ray, who reached out in compassion to these vulnerable individuals living on the streets. Several years ago the sisters at Sacred Heart Convent promoted the establishment of the center through advocacy and financial contribution. Gladys Ray would be so pleased to see how her efforts have grown.

St. Joseph’s group will continue to provide nourishment and hospitality to these homeless who come to the shelter by regularly bringing meals. To raise a bit of money for both the shelter and the Dorothy Day House for Christmas gifts, our group is selling rings made by a Vietnam veteran (Nick Ihli). With this money, we will provide thermal clothing, gift cards, caps, gloves, and items such as sugar and coffee.

The sisters experience inspiration and apostolic joy in serving the needs of the homeless. What a Nano thing to have done! What a Nano thing for us to do!