About 200 people joined in hopeful prayer Tuesday morning at the fourth annual South Pasadena Prayer Breakfast at the Holy Family Catholic Church.
The breakfast, featuring the Rev. Megan Katerjian as keynote speaker, focused on the aged-old concept of hope coupled with the challenges of being homeless that oftentimes is fueled by a sense of hopelessness. Katerjian is the executive director of Pasadena’s Door of Hope, which works with families teetering on the brink of homelessness.
“I’m here because I love that there’s a group of people coming together to pray for our community,” Katerjian said just prior to taking the stage to address the attendees. “I think that caring for the homeless is a big part of that. I’m talking today about the theme of hope in transition. It’s important for a group of people like this that care about our community to bring that hope to the world’s biggest problems, among them homelessness.”
Katerjian also said that last year saw 11,000 people leave the rolls of homeless but also saw 9,000 join the ranks of those living without a permanent address. Door of Hope, which has been in operation since 1985, has two homes where homeless families come and live for six months to a year before getting their lives back on track, she said.
The organization is one of the only homeless providers that can house any kind of family together, including single moms, single dads, two-parent families, together with their children. Keeping families together is the foundation upon which Door of Hope was founded, according to a written statement by the South Pasadena Prayer Breakfast Committee (SPPBC).
“The mission of the Prayer Breakfast is to gather South Pasadena to pray and to serve,” said the Rev. Lincoln Skinner, SPPBC chairman. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to come together to really connect with the bigger picture of why we’re here and to respond to that and go in the community and serve. One thing we are always trying to develop is a sense of community here in South Pasadena. You can never do enough of that. You can never build enough community. There’s always people wanting to get plugged in, wanting to feel a bigger part of the city and that’s what the Prayer Breakfast helps to do.”
Standing nearby was the executive director of the YMCA for So Pas and San Marino, Rick Politte. He agreed with Skinner.
“We are an organization that believes in building community, so YMCA’s work to connect people and to build relationships is an important reason why we support an event like this,” Politte said. “We have been a sponsor of the event for the last three years.”
Others in attendance also agreed, saying it’s all about the community of South Pasadena.
“This is where the faith-based community comes together and puts aside their different beliefs for the good of the community and share ideas, share philosophies,” said Interim So Pas Police Chief Brian Solinsky. “It’s one of the unique things about South Pasadena where everyone comes together regardless of what our faiths are. It’s another way to break down barriers. Law enforcement in South Pasadena has a great relationship with all our faith-based organizations.”
The breakfast also extends its financial arm to South Pasadena. Tickets for the breakfast cost $30 each and raises between $10,000 and $12,000 for local charities, according to officials with the Prayer Breakfast.