Take faith ‘Beyond Sunday’ this Lent

Beyond Sunday - Lent 2017 - graphic - st joseph catholic church - fort collins - colorado - 80521Click on the link for full Lent 2017 worship schedule, activities list

Get involved this Lent “Beyond Sunday”, and grow personally and spiritually, by choosing at least one faith activity outside of Sunday Mass. Highlights include:

  • Small Group Bible Studies. Weekly studies aimed at spending six weeks studying some aspect of scripture. There are 13 options to choose from, many targeting specific groups of people; seniors/retirees, empty-nesters, newly married, young families, men’s and women’s groups, and general studies open to all.
  • Sr Nancy Murray’s one-woman play as St. Catherine of Siena, 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 8, in the church. While not as famous as her brother, actor Bill Murray, she certainly inherited the family acting gene. Please join us for this engaging and enlightening performance.
  • Chris Muglia’s mini Lenten Mission. Acclaimed Catholic musician, songwriter, and speaker will be with us Sunday, March 26th and Monday, March 27th for a mini Lenten Mission. Chris combines moving music with a powerful speaking message to really draw us deeper to Christ. Talks start 6:30 p.m. in the Church, reception to follow.
  • Come to the Table. Gather with other Catholics once-a-month to share dinner and conversation. Designed as a way for people new to the parish to meet “established” folks and feel connected. Typically groups are all couples or all singles.
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Welcome new members!

Saint Joseph Catholic Church - September 2016Welcome! We invite you to become a member of Saint Joseph Catholic Parish! Registration forms are available at the Church entrance, parish offices or you may register online 24/7. Thank you for joining our family of faith! If you have questions, please feel free to contact any of our staff members.

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Mary’s Closet, beloved free store to the poor, suspending services April 1

Mary's ClosetA note from our pastor, Fr. Simon Kalonga:

Dear Friends,

After more than 40 years of serving the needy in our community, Mary’s Closet, a beloved ministry of St. Joseph Parish, will suspend its outreach on April 1, 2017. We are working diligently with local agencies so that the needs of the poor in our community can be met safely with adequate space.

Mary’s Closet has been a staple of our Parish ministry to the less fortunate since 1976. From its humble beginning as a small ministry started by parishioners Diane Hecker and Donna Beard, it has grown into the largest distributor of free clothing to the needy in Fort Collins. We are grateful for the all-volunteer staff who have worked tirelessly to provide this service to our community over these many years.

The difficult decision to suspend the services of Mary’s Closet was not made lightly nor with a lack of concern for our less fortunate brothers and sisters. It came after several years of growing concern dating back to 2006, at which time the volunteers managing the closet created a list of concerns ranging from safety and security to lack of space. The reality is that we can no longer provide this service and assure a safe environment for our school children. Our staff members are also at risk.

Following are the main reasons for suspending this mission:

Safety and Security

First and foremost, there is growing concern for the safety of school children, staff members, parishioners and visitors.  Although many of our Mary’s Closet visitors are good people, there is a growing number of visitors who have psychological or substance abuse issues. There is also a growing number of individuals who pose a risk of exposing children to attitudes and perverse behavior that can be harmful. Furthermore, there are some individuals who exhibit violent and aggressive behavior. Not only is there a potential for exposing our children and staff to danger, but also of placing Saint Joseph Parish in a very dangerous position of liability if something tragic were to happen.

  • The rear door of the Parish Center, which is in close proximity to the school, provides an opportunity for individuals to enter the building without knowledge of the staff. Even though we do our best to have Mary’s Closet visitors enter and exit through the front door of the Parish Center on Howes Street so as not to have direct access to the school, many do not comply.
  • Once they enter the building, there is no way to prevent individuals from wandering through the parish offices and entering the school.
  • Altercations with unruly visitors and theft within the Parish Center have increased.
  • The number of calls to the Fort Collins Police department has increased exponentially in the last two years, primarily to intervene in altercations with unruly visitors.
  • The number of people changing clothes outside the Parish Center and School has increased. In addition, individuals are frequently seen loitering and smoking in the bushes, behind the donation bins, or other places on school and parish property. 

Facility Space

  • The current space can no longer serve the number of people who need this type of help. There has been a dramatic increase in the demand for Mary’s Closet services. Ten years ago, a busy day in Mary’s Closet saw roughly 20 people. We now see 50 to 80 people per day and have to turn people away at times because of overcrowding.
  • The closet has only one exit; particularly risky when the waiting room and the closet are crowded.
  • Mary’s Closet is currently located in the basement of the Parish Center. This location is a growing concern in terms of safety. The majority of the volunteers are of retirement age, making the stairway a potential hazard.
  • The Parish Center is an old building which currently has no access for them. Persons with disabilities are therefore unable to visit Mary’s Closet for their needs.

Mary’s Closet Path Forward

  • Joseph Parish continues to work with Catholic Charities and the Sr. Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope to find a location and an agency better equipped to provide these valuable services, especially to homeless men and women in our community. Although nobody has come forward, our hope is that this will happen soon.
  • We are thankful to be able to continue our mission of serving the poor in our community through our monthly financial support of Catholic Charities, support to Gabriel House, regular food drives for the Larimer County Food Bank, and our annual Jesse Tree.

I ask you, my dear parishioners, to join me in prayer asking the Lord to provide a means in this community to continue the most important work that Mary’s Closet has provided. We humbly ask God to provide for a group or an agency that can help our brothers and sisters in need; providing support in a safe environment with staffing equipped to meet the needs of our homeless and poor, while being able to serve all who seek help.

In Christ,

Rev. Simon Kalonga


Fr. Simon Kalonga

Rev. Simon Kalonga

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Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila celebrating Fr. Simon’s installation Mass

Fr. Simon Kalonga

Fr. Simon Kalonga

Join us as Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila celebrates the installation Mass of our very own Fr. Simon Kalonga, Pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church, 11:30 a.m., Sunday, March 26 in the church. Remember, ample parking is available in the old Steele’s market lot across the street from the church. Reception with refreshments to follow in Meredith Hall. All are welcome!

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Reserve Easter lily to honor loved one

Easter lily - st joseph catholic church 003 - fort collins - colorado - 80521Don’t miss the opportunity to donate an Easter lily in honor or in memory of your loved ones for the Sanctuary during the Easter Season. The names of those being honored or memorialized will be placed in the bulletin and on the side altar. The suggested donation is $15 per lily. Participation in this program provides you a great way to memorialize your loved one and also help defray the cost of making Saint Joseph Catholic Church a beautiful place to worship during the Easter season. Stop by the parish offices to reserve your lily. More information: (970) 482 – 4148.

Easter Lily Program

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Sr. Nancy Murray as St. Catherine of Siena, one-woman show Wednesday night

lent 2017 - sr nancy murray - one woman show - st catherine of siena - st joseph catholic church - ft. collins - colorado - 80521

Sr. Nancy Murray, sibling of actor Billy Murray, brings her one-woman show as St. Catherine of Siena to St. Joseph Catholic Church, 7 p.m., March 8.

Join us for Sr. Nancy Murray’s one-woman play as St Catherine of Siena. Wednesday, March 8, 7 p.m. in the church. While not as famous as her brother, actor Bill Murray, she certainly inherited the family acting gene. Please join us for this engaging and enlightening performance. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., reception to follow. Admission is free.

Her show is called “St. Catherine of Siena: A Woman for Our Times,” and though it began nine years ago as a handful of benefit performances, it bloomed into a cottage industry for Murray and the nuns back in Adrian. It is not a hip show or even particularly spectacular theater: It tells the story of the 14th Century Italian Dominican teenager who served the needy and sick and lobbied (successfully) to restore the pope’s seat to Rome. It has 14 characters; Murray plays all of them, wrapped in a white tunic, her faux Italian accent slipping into that famous Murray deadpan.

“St. Catherine” has been so popular — with requests for performances coming in daily from church groups in Australia and Vietnam, parishes in Florida and East Timor — that, in 2004, Adrian Dominican asked Murray to make the show her outreach, her way of bringing a paycheck into the congregation.

Other sisters work in hospitals. Some do social work. Performance has become Murray’s ministry. She has been so busy at it, the show has its own office, with an intern. Indeed, Murray has been so in demand that she spends at least half the year on the road.
Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune

You might also enjoy our other Lenten activities.

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