Christ The Bread of Life Parish
11:30 am- 1:00 pm
History of St. Ann’s Soup Kitchen
Some recollections by Fr. Bonadies, Soup Kitchen Founder
While in my second year of service to St. Ann Church in Hamden, I was troubled to observe many people pushing grocery carts with their belongings in them around the neighborhood of the Church. I realized that there were many poor people in the vicinity which had previously been an active working-class environment of 1st generation immigrants who made up the St. Ann Community. Before long, I concluded that the place was radically changing as the Italian parishioners were moving farther away from the Church. Our beautiful Church structure was fast becoming a relic of the past with no relationship to the present population. As in previous years, St. Ann reached out to her children with the assurance of the Church’s concern for their welfare; I realized that the new role of St. Ann’s was to reach out to our new neighbors to tell them that they were, indeed, important to the Church too. To assure them that the same Christ who embraced the Italian immigrants with love and concern for their lives and welfare, still was present in that beautiful Church structure and concerned for them too. It seemed that one way to offer this assurance was to sit them down, feed them and offer some assistance to their own homes through an Emergency Pantry.
Farther down Dixwell Ave., a small Evangelical Church called Christ Chapel was trying to do a similar task and we hoped by their joining forces with St. Ann Church, we might more efficiently pursue the Apostolic endeavor and so the “St. Ann/Christian Union” Soup Kitchen was formed. Their endeavor was pursued for a couple of years until it collapsed sadly, due to a number of internal irreconcilable problems of management.
Among a number of initial problems we faced at the start were the objections of certain parishioners who were adverse to our undertaking such a great responsibility outside of our own people. The question was posed to the most moral of objectors that if they could show that this project was not according to the mind of Jesus Christ, then we would discontinue. Silence ensued.
Thus the St. Ann Soup Kitchen pursued. We embarked on a collaboration for a time, with some government help, to try to do some food service training, which sadly also collapsed due to some mismanagement of funds by the collaborating agency – still St. Ann Soup Kitchen continued. Various groups have undertaken to involve themselves with St. Ann Soup Kitchen. All the Hamden parishes have been extremely supportive with funds and support. The Knights of Columbus have given whole-hearted support and as a result of all of these, the St. Ann Soup Kitchen has continued to this day, proud of the fact that it is the single apostolic work of their kind owned and sponsored by the Archdiocese of Hartford and maintained as this demonstration of Christ’s love for the poor and the Church’s response to the Savior’s Injunction. “Feed my lambs and feed my sheep.”
On June 29, 2017, St. Ann Church merged with St. John the Baptist, Church of the Blessed Sacrament and Church of the Ascension to form Christ the Bread of Life Parish. Although St. Ann Church is closed, the Soup Kitchen continues to run as it always has.
Christ the Bread of Life Parish intends to support the efforts started by Father Bonadies. Although the Church building is currently up for sale, we will relocate the Soup Kitchen if it becomes necessary to do so.
As Father Bonadies stated, this project follows the teachings of Jesus Christ, and Christ the Bread of Life plans to continue just that.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’
Lucy (203) 562-5700
St. Ann's Soup Kitchen
930 Dixwell Avenue Hamden, CT
1st and 3rd Friday 9 am- 11 am | St. Ann’s Church Lower Level
Please call for information 203-562-5700
St. Ann’s Clothing Closet
Located behind St. Ann’s Church on Arch Street – Hamden, CT
1st and 3rd Friday 9 am- 11 am
In case of emergency need, please call 203-407-0187
Interested in Volunteering?
Whether you want to volunteer daily, once a week, or once a month, we love to have people come and help us serve those in need.
Please contact Lucy (soup kitchen, food pantry) 203-562-5700
Please contact Sheila (Clothing Closet) 203-407-0187
St Ann’s is a non-profit organization. We depend on the generosity of others to help continue to feed those in need. Anything that you can afford to donate will go directly to help those in need. Thank you for your generosity.
Please make checks out to:
St. Ann’s Soup Kitchen
And mail to:
Christ the Bread of Life Parish
322 Circular Ave.
Hamden, Ct 06514