Edmundite Missions celebrate 85th anniversary

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 9, 2022

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The Edmundite Missions celebrated its 85th birthday Wednesday afternoon in a manner befitting the organization’s track record for community service in Selma.

Members of the Edmundite Missions prepared meals for the hungry at the Bosco Nutrition Center via a lunch and dinner service. The lunch featured hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, watermelon and birthday cake, while dinner consisted of fried chicken, collard greens and macaroni and cheese.

Edmundites President and CEO Chad McEachern said he was proud to celebrate the milestone and help serve over 1,000 meals throughout the day.

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“We stand on the shoulders of giants,” McEachern said. “What a special time to remember the legacy of all the Fathers and Brothers of the Society of St. Edmund, religious Sisters from over ten communities, and lay people who have given of themselves to create this legacy of service.

“While we are all enjoying celebrating these past 85 years, we’re also busy building the foundation for our next 85 years.”

The center serves as a cornerstone for conducting the Edmundite Missions’ endeavors.

“The Edmundite Missions mission statement is to be a Catholic organization, rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, providing food, clothing and shelter to poor and marginalized children and families, young adults and seniors of all faith traditions to meet their immediate needs while addressing the long-term issues of systemic poverty in the Deep South,” McEachern said. “Bosco continues our long-standing tradition of feeding those who are hungry but it is also a hub for so many of our programs. What began as a program focuses solely on filling stomachs, has evolved to become a program helping solve the nutrition crisis in our community, providing nutrition education and more.”

McEachern said the organization has shown its ability to adapt and evolve in the past 85 years.

“The Edmundite Missions has never been an organization that comes to the community and dictates what services are needed,” he said. “We strive to be collaborators with our neighbors and offer the services the community desires. Since becoming President and CEO ten years ago, answering the call of the community has meant an increased emphasis on education programs, building a state of the art community and recreation center and more. I’d say the organization looks a lot different than it did 85 years ago, but the driving principles of dignity and walking alongside those we serve as never changed.”

Maybell Campo-Nutt and her husband Ronald McNutt stopped in for a meal at the center Wednesday afternoon. She said the two were in the process of transitioning from one business to another and having the center as a viable food option has really helped them.

“They’re just so full of love,” Campo-Nutt said of the Edmundites staff. “They remember what you need. He needs to have hot water because he chokes when he eats, and they get it every time. We would be asking for hot water, but now, we don’t have to.”

Johnathan Washington, a Selma native, also stopped by the center for a lunchtime meal and commended the center for providing meals in a city where some may struggle or may not have the means to afford to eat.

“Bosco provides everything,” he said. “When we don’t have anything to eat, we always come here to eat because it blesses our stomachs. We thank God for another day of this … People will be saying this and that about Bosco, but to me, Bosco is a perfect place to me because it helps people who don’t have anything in life.”

McEachern said Bosco Nutrition Center opens for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for anyone who may be hungry, whether for actual food or for fellowship.

“Food will always be in our DNA,” he said. “It’s important to know that people in the community can count on Bosco for a dignified place to eat, escape the elements, and experience the hope and joy of Christ.”