Order distances itself from comments, will help Our Daily Bread relocate

May 09, 1999|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

The Oblate Sisters of Providence distanced themselves late last week from comments made by a fellow nun objecting to moving the Our Daily Bread downtown soup kitchen to East Baltimore.

Sister Claudina Sanz, superior general of the order, which has 127 members in the Baltimore area, said Friday that the nuns will work with Associated Catholic Charities Inc. during the relocation.

Sanz's comment comes after the Archdiocese of Baltimore was criticized Thursday by Sister Reginald Gerdes, who operates a Cherry Hill senior center. Gerdes said she objected to the archdiocese announcing the move before discussing it with the nuns, who operate a convent and the St. Frances Academy high school in East Baltimore.

About two weeks ago, the archdiocese announced that it would move Our Daily Bread from its Cathedral Street location downtown to a building at 400 E. Preston St. that was purchased and donated by Baltimore Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos. The soup kitchen has been criticized by downtown business leaders who say it draws panhandlers and loiterers to the business district.

Sanz agreed with Gerdes that the order was disappointed at not being included in discussions about the move. But she said the sisters will work with soup kitchen operators to help address neighborhood issues.

The order recently opened the Mary Elizabeth Lange Center for homeless girls in East Baltimore, Sanz said.

"Since [Our Daily Bread] is going to be there, we need to work together," Sanz said.

Pub Date: 5/09/99

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