St. Andre Bessette Feast Day - January 6, 2022 review

January 6th was a very special day for Brother André’s. On that Thursday we celebrated the feast day of Saint André Bessette.

Every Saint has his/her own feast day, on which we celebrate the Saint and his/her accomplishments. I was happy to recognize Saint André’s great work. This Saint is called the door opener because he opened doors at Notre Dame College in Montréal where, among his many duties, he greeted visitors and tended to their needs. Despite his frail health and lack of formal education, many people began to experience physical healings after praying with Brother André. He was beloved by all the people with whom he came in contact! Brother André set an example of hard work and determination.

On January 6th I came to work with a big smile on my face! I was so happy, because it was Brother’s André’s feast day, and it was also my 22 birthday, sweet! My dad took me to work and everyone at Brother André’s greeted me cheerfully as usual. Some customers brought flowers to the cafe and when they found out it was my birthday, they gave them to me. I thought that was so nice of them. The flowers that they gave me were absolutely beautiful and, later that day, I took them home and we put them in a vase.

After the work day was done, our staff and families went to Mass. Everyone gathered upstairs in Epiphany church to celebrate Brother André’s life and accomplishments. Epiphany Church is gorgeous and the music is always beautiful.The end of mass, that day, was very touching because Mr. Fitzgerald gave a heartfelt speech about why he wanted to start Brother André’s. He was talking about Patrick and how much trouble he was having finding a job, so that inspired him to start this Café. I was really surprised when the group gathered around me and sang "Happy Birthday," after Mr. Fitzgerald spoke. We took some pictures together in front of the altar. I felt so special and it was fun to spend my birthday with such an amazing group of people.

Brother André Bessette is a perfect Saint to name this Cafe after because he faced similar challenges as some of our employees. Our mission here at Brother André’s is to provide individuals with disabilities employment while serving the community and giving people hope. I think it’s great that we are a working example that people with disabilities can still accomplish goals and contribute to society just as Brother André, himself did.

I’m honored to be a part of this amazing organization! Brother André’s has meant the world to me. I had always hoped I would find meaningful work in this world despite my disability. I feel lucky to be able to do what I love, which is writing, while spreading the message of inclusion. [Oh and one of my favorite perks is getting to eat some of Patrick’s delicious cookies when they don’t make the cut! :) ]