- Francis House
- Knights of Columbus Blessed Mother Teresa Council #439
We served our first lunch in the basement of St. Anthony of Padua church in June 1996. On that day, there were volunteers who were ready to serve. But the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS was so profound that fear prevailed for those who were infected and affected by HIV and AIDS; only one person showed up for lunch. However, with continued perseverance and determination, Francis House was serving 12 people every Tuesday by Thanksgiving.
Only four years later, in 2000, Francis House moved to the former convent on Concord Avenue and opened on Fridays. It was around that time that Francis House became a service of Catholic Charities. Francis House continued to serve those suffering from the effects of the disease on a regular basis.
In 2006 Catholic Charities dissolved their partnership with Francis House and the program became a ministry of St. Anthony of Padua Church, almost fully funded by the Franciscans of the Holy Name Province (www.hnp.org). Susan Piliro became the director of the program and we were able to open three days per week, offering a friendship, a warm meal, and support services.