Fruits of the Spirit

A woman named Hosanna seems perfect for Habitat Huron Valley’s “Catholic House” in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

The newly renovated home that Hosanna Vivas and her 12-year-old daughter Andrea moved into at the end of June was sponsored by the 12 Catholic churches in Washtenaw County and Saint Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital. The groups raised $30,000 for the home’s renovations and provided most of the labor.

“We get a lot of support through the Catholic community,” says Karen Shellie, Habitat Huron Valley’s manager of corporate relationships. “They all do fundraising, and they all supply volunteers. And we do open volunteer days to the public, so it’s really a whole community effort.”

The builds began in the late 1990s, and since 2001, the Catholic congregations have come together to build a Habitat home every other year.

Shellie, a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, says that this year her church and St. Thomas the Apostle used the entire Lenten season for their fundraising efforts. Members put the money they would have spent on what they gave up for Lent into the fund for the Habitat home.

Scott Wright, parish social ministry director at St. Francis, says they already are looking forward to sponsoring another home in 2015. “Our community is healthier,” he says, “when we all work together on projects like Habitat for Humanity, which show love for our neighbors and our neighborhoods.”

Tell us in the comments below how your involvement with Habitat — and the work going on in your town — helps build a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Give us your best examples of how Habitat’s work renews faith for a chance for you and your Habitat affiliate to be featured in a future issue of Habitat World!