Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletMay 27, 2022

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Church Uses 'Safe Haven' to Bring Violence, Poverty-Plagued Community Together

by the WNYT Staff, July 30, 2015

SCHENECTADY - Inside St. Joseph’s Place in Hamiliton Hill, a round table discussion with visitors and some volunteers focusing mostly on the recent violence in the neighborhood.

“This violence, young people killing each other, the killing of young people you know,” said Terence Roots.

It's Roots's third visit here. He says it's like a fellowship where different people in the community come to enjoy each other's company.

“To me it's just like a safe haven. It's wholesome. You got the physical, mental and spiritual appeal,” he noted.

The spiritual appeal comes from the fact that the drop-in center is a mission of St. Joseph’s Parish in Schenectady. Sister Linda Neil along with Sister Ann Christi Brink, opened it up in honor of Father Michael Hogan.

“This was his vision, his desire to have a place like this in Hamilton Hill,” Neil explained.

She says Father Hogan passed away last August. They opened up the center in September on the day that would have been his 75th birthday. She says he deeply cared about Hamilton Hill and this is part of his legacy.

“He really love the people in Hamilton Hill and they loved him,” Hill rememebered.

She says it's also where the church needs to be right now, especially after what Pope Francis said recently.

“Pope Francis has said that the church is like a field hospital. Some days, that's what our place is. People come in with all different kinds of wounds,” she concluded.

(Click HERE to finish the article and watch a video about St. Joseph’s Place! Thanks to WNYT TV.)

Sister Linda Neil (left) and Sister Ann Christi Brink (right) with a friend at St. Joseph's Place