Fifty years ago, an intrepid Catholic social worker quit her day job to pursue her strongly felt calling: to lift every homeless person off the Houston streets as possible in her lifetime. In 1968, she established a private charity to operate a single home for women in Midtown. A half-century later, countless thousands of needful men and women have passed through the many open doors of Magnificat Houses, Inc. (MHI).
Born in 1923, founder Rose Mary Badami turns 95 as her organization celebrates a half-century of service to the homeless, the hungry and the mentally ill. Magnificat now encompasses 15 neighborhood residential homes, our Clubhouse offering mental health support, an emergency shelter for women, and Houston’s longest running soup kitchen, Loaves & Fishes, opened in 1973.
Mayor Sylvester Turner has been named honorary chairman of a 50th Anniversary Gala to celebrate Badami’s life and work, it was announced today by John Boyles, executive director.
“Despite incredible, ongoing hardships, Rose Mary’s vision never faltered,” Boyles said. “Whatever society and circumstance threw at her, she managed to incorporate into her mission — simply, to put the Corporal Works of Mercy into practice. Feed the hungry? Shelter the homeless and shunned? She was on it.”
Over the years, as conditions warranted, Badami added special services for societal outcasts such as ex-offenders, AIDS victims, the disabled and elderly, and women who chronically live on the streets. She personally interviewed and welcomed every new resident, guiding each toward finding purpose in community. Many street-bound men and women found themselves empowered and eventually moved out to full independence. Others have called Magnificat home for decades.
“We would love to hear from those Rose Mary touched, any resident or volunteer who could share a memory,” Boyles said, announcing the preparation of a hardbound book for presentation at the Gala in October. Contributors may contact editor Casey Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Our 50th Anniversary Gala also launches our next 50 years of service as we—with guidance from the Holy Spirit—expand our outreach, partnerships and residential scope,” Boyles added.
The Gala, featuring dinner, auction and entertainment, will be held on Saturday, October 6. For ticket information, sponsorship and auction opportunities, parties may contact chairman Suzanne Young at email@example.com.
Since 1968, Magnificat Houses has sheltered, clothed, fed and provided mental health support and spiritual guidance to men and women – of all mental abilities, social backgrounds, religions and cultures – as they rebuild their lives in community. We privately operate 16 residential homes, a Clubhouse for the mentally ill and a large downtown soup kitchen — not as an agency, but as a ministry motivated by the belief that all are created with dignity and worth. Magnificat Houses, Inc. is a faith-based, non-profit, charitable, 501(c)(3) organization, in adherence with the Federal Internal Revenue Code and chartered by the State of Texas in 1968. Our EIN is 23-7003471.