Homeless, unemployed visitors appreciate outdoor crucifix at Sophia’s Kitchen

The steeple of St. Joseph Church in Peoria rises behind the new crucifix, made by Heritage Restoration and Design Studio and recently installed in front of Sophia's Kitchen. (Provided photo)

People who are homeless, unemployed and underemployed have found a kindred spirit waiting for them at Sophia’s Kitchen in Peoria. He’s the one on the crucifix in the parking lot at 103 S. Richard Pryor Place. Fully divine and fully human, Jesus knew what it was like to be in pain, said Father Jim Pankiewicz, […]

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Entire student body of St. Joseph, Pekin, celebrates patron’s feast with pilgrimage

Sister Merlinda, FAS, greets Kim Terry and her third-graders from St. Joseph School in Pekin, who are decorating brown bags that will be used to serve lunch to patrons of Sophia's Kitchen at St. Joseph Church in Peoria. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Say “pilgrimage” and people usually think of the Holy Land or Ireland or Spain. For students at St. Joseph School in Pekin, however, Peoria proved to be a wonderful destination when they celebrated their patron’s feast day on March 19. The entire student body — 131 students — boarded buses to travel to St. Joseph […]

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‘Little Free Pantry,’ other ideas helping to fill needs, stomachs at Sophia’s Kitchen

Claire Crone, director of Sophia's Kitchen in Peoria, restocks the new Little Free Pantry. People may take what they need at any time. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Providing a sack lunch and beverages five days a week isn’t enough at Sophia’s Kitchen in Peoria. Claire Crone director, said it is important to serve people in the way they need, not in the way that works best for the sandwich program. A survey of the patrons taken in June gave the staff and […]

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‘Awesome’ response to Lenten lunch boxes brings in $4,672 for Sophia’s Kitchen

More than 750 Sophia's Lenten Lunch Boxes were taken by Peoria-area Catholics and used to collect spare change and other sacrificial giving for Sophia's Kitchen.

Lenten sacrifices continue to bring Easter joy at Sophia’s Kitchen in Peoria. Before Lent began, people in the Heart of Peoria Catholic Community were invited to help feed the hungry at Sophia’s Kitchen by placing spare change or the price of a cup of gourmet coffee or nice meal into little catering boxes that were […]

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Filling Sophia’s Lunch Boxes helps to feed the hungry Jesus in downtown Peoria

MacKenzie Brown, a confirmation student from St. John Parish in Woodhull, affixes a sticker giving instructions for the use and return of a Sophia's Lunch Box during a recent day of service at Sophia's Kitchen in Peoria. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Jesus is hungry. The volunteers at Sophia’s Kitchen in downtown Peoria see him in 300 to 700 faces every day as they place sandwiches, nutritious snacks and something warm to drink into waiting hands, and words of encouragement and prayer into aching hearts. This Lent, they’re inviting you to help by filling Sophia’s Lunch Box […]

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With new Spiritual Center, Sophia’s Kitchen feeds hungry bodies, spirits

With her hair tinted pink, the signature color of the Sophia Sunday celebration, Claire Crone stands next to the photo of Sophia Donald, while the girl's parents, Vicky and Barry Donald, stand to the right. Proceeds from the July 17 benefit go to Sophia's Kitchen in Peoria. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

They come to the window of Sophia’s Kitchen for a meal every day, but the couple who attended the Sophia Sunday celebration on July 17 saved all week to buy the pork chop sandwiches, baked beans and chips that were being served. “They said it was their one chance to give back,” according to Claire […]

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