Edmunites’ mission expands

Published 2:03 am Saturday, November 6, 2010

Construction continues on the Edmunite Catholic Center of Hope, which will open Dec. 1. -- Tim Reeves photo

Since their arrival in Selma in 1937, the Edmunites have toiled in this community, helping the poor and assisting to bring social justice to the region.

One of the most popular aspects of the Edmunite mission in Selma and the Black Belt is the Bosco Nutrition Center. The center was established in 1986 to provide meals to the needy, 365 days a year from its headquarters on Union Street.

Over the years, the number of meals has increased from about 100 per day to more than 200 a day, said Father Richard Myhalyk, pushing the Edmunites into seeking additional space to deliver food to hungry people in Selma.

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Several months ago, the Edumunites began a construction on an all-purpose center on Griffin Street bearing the price tag of about $1 million.

Central to the project is an expansion of the Bosco Nutrition Center to continue the feeding project. But with the additional space, more services will emerge, according to Myhalyk.

The Catholic Social Outreach will move into the complex, as will a senior citizen’s day care program. The new buildings will also house a couple of hygiene showers and places to change clothes. Myhalyk said homeless and others could use the facilities.

Myhalyk said one of the many uses of the building could come if a tornado or hurricane should strike in the area. “It could be used as a disaster relief center ,” he said.

The Bosco Nutrition Center, which once was Don Bosco Boy’s Club, will serve other purposes, yet to be determined, Myhalyk said.

Under consideration is a youth center, similar to the old Boy’s Club, which at one time provided an outlet for children who might be tempted to take to street life without any viable options present, Myhalyk said.

Plans for now are for a building dedication Dec. 1 with The Most Rev. Thomas J. Rodi, the Archbishop, coming up from Mobile for the dedication.