Less than 11 months ago, I was lucky enough to have a short meeting with Father Chris Donley in a bagel shop, of all places, to discuss an idea that my wife Terri and I had for opening a coffee shop employing adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, like our son Patrick.
To say Father Chris had his hands full at the time would be an extreme understatement. He was running a new parish with multiple worship sites that included the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s homeless ministry (Red Door). His newly formed nonprofit, Move a Mountain Missions (MMM), which serves the most vulnerable and poor locally and in developing countries was growing by leaps and bounds. Father Chris and MMM were very busy raising hundreds of thousands dollars for Mustard Seed in Jamaica which cares for abandoned children and adults who are mentally and physically disabled. At the same time, MMM was also bringing 70 young students from Pittsburgh to Mustard Seed to serve and work with the residents.
Despite a million reasons to say “no”, Father Chris instead welcomed us to join Move a Mountain Missions and Brother Andre’s Café was born! Thank you Father Chris for helping us start Brother Andre’s which is going to be a life changing ministry for so many! We are overwhelmed by your generosity and support! We are so blessed and thankful to have you in our lives!
Thank you also to everyone on the incredible Move a Mountain team! Who would have guessed that starting a coffee shop in the middle of a pandemic would be so much fun? Megan Donley, Dan Gallagher, Caroline Sczweck, Kevin Petnuch and Marisa D’Amico are all as talented as they are kind. Patrick loves his “new friends” from MMM as much as we do!
We are always amazed how many doors opened to us during this process. Thank you also to the following companies and individuals who helped us with their expertise, generosity and patience!
- Divine Mercy Parish
- Garrison Hughes Advertising – Bill Garrison, Amanda, Corey, Ben, Duncan and Vince
- Brian Lindauer, Esq. (Goehring Rutter and Boehm)
- Phloem & Co – Nikki Orsborn
- Kiva Han Coffee and Crazy Mocha – Ed Wethli, Ali and Ree
- Arch Masonry
- John Kolling
- Friday Marketing Group – Roger Friday
- A.T. Merhaut, Inc. – Tom Merhaut
- Oakmont Candle Works – Tabatha Flanick
- Cindy Krowsoski
- Operation Cookies
God is so good! We can’t wait to get started!
October 13, 2020