Groundbreaking ceremony at Gracenter

A groundbreaking ceremony at Gracenter marked another milestone in the ministry’s 60th anniversary year of its construction. The undertaking 60 years ago was accomplished totally through the generosity of volunteers from 11 labor unions who donated their time and talent and 52 companies who donated the materials.

Because of this incredible Good Shepherd story, we chose the theme BUILDING  THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS for our anniversary year and gala that was held in September. Today, we are thrilled to be building once again through new partnerships, thanks to an amazingly generous grant from a women’s drug and alcohol treatment program in San Francisco called Stepping Stone.

Sunday, November 21, 2021, was a historic day with our new partner. The day dawned clear and bright for the groundbreaking ceremony at Gracenter for a new building. About 30 people attended including representatives from the Gracenter Board, Good Shepherd Guild, Sisters, residents, staff, volunteers, and supportive friends from our Portola neighborhood in San Francisco.

Lifelong volunteer Patrick Ryan joins in groundbreaking ceremony at Gracenter

Patrick Ryan, one of the carpenters who built Gracenter in 1961, has been our good friend and volunteer ever since — even at 101 years old! We asked him to be one of the first to dig with a shovel at the groundbreaking ceremony. Patrick also assisted Jean Marie Fernandez, RGS, with the blessing of the site for the building.

The new building will allow Gracenter to expand with an additional five bedrooms and a bathroom. It fulfills our dream of increasing the number of women we serve in our residential treatment program that provides supportive recovery services and transitional housing to women.                                           

Together we celebrate and strengthen women in recovery. They, in turn, strengthen their families; and strong families create safe and peaceful communities, which is something our world desperately needs.   

Marguerite Bartling

Marguerite Bartling

Sister Marguerite Bartling is the Executive Director of Good Shepherd Gracenter in San Francisco, California. Gracenter helps women without resources break free from drug and alcohol addiction and create a hopeful future for themselves and others.