St. Felix Centre Opens Second 24-Hour Respite Site
SM Celestine Giertych and SM Francesca Buczkowski  (at center) cut ribbon for 
St. Felix Centre 2 Site. Also attending were, from L:  S MaryAnne Olekszyk, 
pastoral services; S Christina Marie Kazimirek, 
Iris Bartraw, mission integration director; and SM Blaise Podruczny

St. Felix Centre, a sponsored ministry of the Felician Sisters of North America, located at 25 Augusta Avenue in Toronto, Ont., Canada, has been operating a 24-hour respite program in partnership with the City of Toronto since November of 2017.

In the fall of 2018, the City of Toronto requested that St. Felix Centre assume operation of a new type of respite program utilizing a style of semi-permanent structure.
Father Richard Wolak, of St. Stanislaus Parish in Toronto, blessed the new site, located in Liberty Village at King and Frasier Streets in Toronto with a ritual prepared by Senior Ministry Advisor Bill Hall.
From L: S Christina Marie Kazimirek, Iris Bartraw, SM Blaise Podruczny, 
SM Francesca Buczkowski, SM Celestine Giertych, and S MaryAnne Olekszyk, inside the new site

Felician Sisters, St. Felix staff, board members, and volunteers participated in the ceremony on December 20, 2018.

According to SM Francesca Buczkowski, president of St. Felix Social Ministries Board of Directors, the new site, “St. Felix Centre 2,” officially opened on December 22, just in time to provide Christmas shelter and warm meals for those in need.
Sister Francesca explained that this purpose-built structure provides accommodations, including meals, showers and laundry facilities, as well as housing and case work support for up to 100 guests.
Interior of St. Felix Centre 2

Respite Program Director Brian Harris said, “Our program is open to both men and women independently as well as couples, and the whole site is pet friendly. The expansion of our respite program to two sites will allow St. Felix Centre to continue the work started by Mother Mary Angela and the Felician Sisters.”

Both staff and volunteers welcome this new opportunity to serve the most marginalized while demonstrating to the Toronto community partners that programming built upon the Felician Core Values is the best way to support the recovery of guests on their journey towards more stable, independent living.