Marian Centre opened in 1966 in response to an invitation by Archbishop Michael O’Neill that Madonna House Apostolate come to Regina to serve the transient and downtown men.
The people of the Archdiocese of Regina responded overwhelmingly with labour, funds and materials to convert an abandoned printing shop into a place of refuge and peace. Since then we have continued to do little things, and we praise and celebrate God who touched and changed hearts though it all.
Marian Centre provides meals and used clothing for men in need. We try to witness to a spirit of simplicity and poverty. But most of all, we try to offer friendship and warm hospitality to all who enter. There is no charge for meals, no question asked, no judgement made.
The dining room is on the main floor, as is a recreation area for reading, playing cards, and other games. We average more than 150 men for the hot noon meal which is served Monday through Saturday. We also have available to the general public a lending library, specializing in books on the spiritual life.
At Marian Centre we believe caring for the poor is the duty of every Christian. But more than a duty, it is a privilege, for Christ said, “What you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me.” He invites us to feed him in the hungry and clothe him in the naked. And as we do, we become aware of our own inner poverty and dependence on the Lord for sustenance.
Many of those who come to Marian Centre live their lives on the street or in dismal rooms. They come here to find a place where they can belong and feel at home. Many lonely pensioners come as much for companionship as for a meal to stretch their limited income. Some are physically disabled. Some have been released from mental institutions to fend for themselves in an inhospitable world. Some come from the country, strangers to city ways, and lost in the shuffle. Many are young men and women already discouraged and devastated by addiction. There are those who are between jobs and transients looking for work. And there are others who worked hard all their lives, but now are simply worked out. Each has his or her own story, some beautiful, some sad. For the staff, they become friends whom we love and pray for.
Prayer is what Marian Centre is about too. We, the staff of Marian Centre, joined Madonna House because we were hungry for God, and prayer has always been at the heart of our life here. It is prayer that gives us love to give, prayer that helps us go on serving from day to day. We pray for those we serve, for our volunteers, benefactors, for all those who enter our doors, and for all the people of the Regina area. And we count on your prayers as well. Our little chapel, where the Eucharist is reserved, is central to our lives.
Marian Centre receives no support from the government or grants of any kind, and its staff receive no salaries. We continue to be beggars on a day-to-day level, calling forth the support of the whole community to care for their brothers in need. Countless people from Regina and the surrounding area provide food, clothing, money, prayers, and many hours of work. As one staff worker put it: “The most God-revealing wonder of Marian Centre to me always was the fact that the abundance of food was always there when needed. God’s great love and care for his beloved poor was palpable to me.” We are grateful for your donations.
Volunteers are always welcome at Marian Centre, to join us in the many little jobs that need to be done each day. These include kitchen and cleaning duties. If you would like to help, please call us and we will arrange a time you can come.