André House

And you call yourself a priest!

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House and Priesthood

Fr Eric and Br Richard serving as porters

"One of the hardest things that we do in ministry, including here at André House, is to say 'no' to someone," writes Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C. "Many people come to us with different needs, and we really want to help them. But there are times when it simply is not possible. ... After several months of not hearing the 'you-call-yourself-Christian' plea/accusation, it recently has made a comeback. This resurgence made me reflect on why it sometimes bothers me." Read More


A Homeless Couple, a Faithful Love

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

André House

“When I arrived at André House, I found Doug and Julie sitting in the parking lot where they had been sitting for some years,” writes Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C., the Director of André House. “Several months ago, they celebrated their anniversary – 36 years together. Making it through 36 years as a couple was impressive enough. But this anniversary they shared that they were more happy and excited than they have been for a while. It was their first anniversary in decades that they could celebrate together in which neither was in jail, and neither of them was drunk or using drugs.” Read More


The Host of the Mass

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

The Eucharist

“At the end of the day, it does not matter where you celebrate the Mass – in a gothic church (like my sister’s parish), in a basilica or cathedral, or in a more simple setting such as a country chapel or the humble parking lot of André House,” writes Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C., reflecting on his nephew’s First Holy Communion. “The most important thing is what my nephew focused on this weekend – the host. At the Mass, Jesus is the host.” Read More


Christ in the Vet

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

Crucifix at André House

In Mark’s Gospel, Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C., recounts, “Only at the very end, after the crucifixion, do you find the climatic statement of faith about Jesus as Son of God. Working at André House, I was struck by who makes the major statement of faith. It was not an apostle, or even a disciple. It was the centurion, the soldier. As one might expect, there are more than a fair share of soldiers (vets) who are homeless.” Read More


God the Father’s Emotions

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

Fr

“Right now one of our guests living at our transitional house is experiencing extreme anguish. Last week his pregnant girlfriend went into the doctor to have tests done to find out the sex of their baby. Hours later she was in a car accident, and died during the night,” writes Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C., the Director of André House. “How does one make sense of this pain and anguish? How does this fit with an image of a God of love?” Read More


A taste of “no place to lay my head”

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House and Mission

Fr Eric Schimmel, CSC

“This experience gave me new awareness and sensitivity to the inner turmoil of not having a consistent place to lay one’s head,” writes Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C., the Director of André House, about having spent four nights moving from place to place. “Our homeless guests experience this every night. Some have a regular place they sleep – an assigned cot in a shelter, or a regular camp sight somewhere in the city. Most do not.” Read More


New Year, New Home

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House and Universities and Colleges

Moving into Andre House's new home

"The more I reflected on the comment by a Core Staff member about preparing a home for people of our Holy Cross Family the day after celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family, the more I saw other connections to the Christmas story," writes Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C., the Director of André House. "As Mary and Joseph traveled and searched for a home, but found no room, many of our guests arrive to Phoenix looking for a place to find shelter. The blessing of having a family – traditional nuclear family, religious family, or whatever family – willing to prepare a place for you and to welcome you is indeed a gift." Read More


Unwritten Rules of André House

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

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“In this season of hope,” writes Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C., from André House, “I would like to share three of my favorite “unwritten rules” at André House that help to keep this place one of peace and joy – for staff as well as guests. … Our unwritten rules may, in their own way, help prepare the way of the Lord.” Read More


A modern day prophet

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

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“This man’s zeal for the Lord surpasses mine,” writes Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C., of Neil, one of the André House guests. “As has happened several times before, I think of Ezekiel or some of the other prophets. I remembered when I first read full chapters of the books of the prophets in the Bible and being blown away. The pieces we get in the Lectionary never really communicate to me how crazy and outlandish the things are that God asked the prophets to do.” Read More


St. Francis and Homeless Pets

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

Annie with Dusty and Boots

On the eve of the Feast of St. Francis, Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C., the director of André House, shares about two homeless people and their puppies, Dusty and Boots. Along the way, he causes us to examine our consciences regarding what we see and value in our lives. Read More


Nomads in This World

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House and Mission

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Happy Labor Day to one and all! It seems only providential on this Labor Day that our regularly scheduled post comes to us from Fr. Eric who serves the homeless, and often jobless, at André House in Phoenix, Ariz. As in the past, Fr. Eric has produced a reflection for us that is a real witness to his labor of love on behalf of the poor there. Be nourished. Read More


André House: A new year

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

Fr

Believe it or not, August is already upon us! And with August comes the new season for our Spes Unica blog. We have secured a great line-up of regular contributors for this year, the majority of whom are new to Spes Unica to broaden and deepen the picture we give you of Holy Cross and more particularly the United States Province of Priests and Brothers. Yet we have decided to kick off our new year with someone familiar to all of you who follow our blog: Rev. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C. Fr. Eric, who is the director of André House in Phoenix, Ariz., has graciously re-upped for a second year of writing for our blog. And as usual, he has delivered a great post. Appropriately, he reflects on new years and transitions in light of his experience at André House. Read More


Sermon on the Street: Free to Depend on One Another

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

Fr

A belated Fourth of July to everyone!  We here at the Spes Unica blog hope and pray you had a blessed celebration of the birth of the United States.  We continue today with one of our regular contributors, Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C. , who checks in for us from André House in Phoenix.  He helps us reflect more deeply on the holiday we just celebrated. Read More




Sermon on the Street: Home Improvements & April Flowers

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

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Spring is in the air – at least in some parts of our country – and it is in Fr. Eric Schimmel’s latest blog post from André House in Phoenix. He shares with us about some spring cleaning, and its deeper meaning, at Andre House. Read More



Sermon on the Street: Open Hearts

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

King's College Students at André House

Today, we take a break from our Catholic Schools Week series to return to our regularly scheduled programming of “Sermon on the Street” by Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C., the director of André House. Providentially, he shares a story that we can say is really about education in the faith – both that of the volunteers who come to work at André House as well as his own. Read More


Sermon on the Street: Trees and Cupcakes

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

Fr

As we are still in the twelve days of Christmas leading up to the traditional feast of the Epiphany on January 6th, Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C., the director of André House for the homeless in Phoenix, spends his monthly column helping us unpack the true meaning of this holy season in a way only he can … through trees and cupcakes. Read More


Sermon on the Street: Great Pumpkins, Turkeys, and Taking Time to Remember

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

Fr Eric Schimmel, CSC

Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C., checks in with his latest post on his ministry with the poor and the homeless at André House in Phoenix. This month he shares with us a potpourri of stories from André House, including one about an 86-pound pumpkin and another about being “given the bird,” that help us enter into this graced season. (If that does not pique your interest, we do not know what will!) Read More




The Sermon on the Street: You must be out of your mind!

Author: Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C.

Posted In: André House

Fr

For two years, Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C., has been serving as the Director of André House – a ministry of Holy Cross serving the poor and the homeless in downtown Phoenix. From his ministry, Fr. Eric has some amazing stories about grace and blessing, and he will share some of those stories with us. Read More


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