By: Dominique Johnson
On August 18th the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Juneau celebrated the grand opening of their new thrift store. The celebration began with a prayer from Bishop Andrew Bellisario C.M., a Vincentian.
The Bishop asked for the intercession of St. Vincent and Blessed Frederic Ozanam, “That this thrift store will be a place where you will continue to aid the poor, clothe the naked, to give counsel and advice to those in need.”
The ceremony continued with Deacon Mike Monagle sharing a brief history of how the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Juneau began. “It began with a can of beans,” Monagle shared, when Paul Paradis grabbed a can of bean from his pantry and said to a group of parishioners of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Juneau, “Here is the beginning of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Juneau.” Deacon Mike then pulled out a plaque with the can of beans which started the local society.
Since its founding St. Vincent de Paul of Juneau has grown into an organization that provides housing to 125 low income households and provides other forms of aid to those in need, with the funds generated by the Thrift Store.
Deacon Mike in his address recognized the work of Dan Austin, the former General Manager of St. Vincent de Paul, who died in July. “This was his dream, to see a new thrift store come to fruition,” Monagle said, “and we are looking forward to the store continuing Dan’s dream of meeting the needs of the poor and the homeless in Juneau.”
Deacon Mike concluded by thanking the founding members of St. Vincent de Paul and their family members who were in attendance, along with the current board members, staff and volunteers.
Bishop Bellisario then thanked those who were a part of the Society and said, “As a Vincentian, it really warms my heart to see the Vincentian charism very alive here in Juneau.” The bishop then prayed the prayer of blessing and blessed the new building with holy water.
Following the blessing the St. Vincent de Paul board cut the ribbon on the entrance of the new store.
The new St. Vincent de Paul thrift store is located at 9151 Glacier Hwy in Juneau. For more inforation about St. Vincent de Paul and their services visit svdpjuneau.org