By Katherine Long | Editor

The Saint Marianne Cope Shrine and Museum will mark its namesake’s birthday and feast day January 23 with a special event and you’re invited — but don’t expect cake or candles.

The museum will host representatives from 16 local organizations that provide resources, services or care in the community, especially to those in need. All are invited to the museum to get to know the organizations, learn more about their missions and projects and, hopefully, find a way to become involved.

“We’re asking people to celebrate in honor of her [St. Marianne], and to honor her we should be giving,” said museum Director Kristin Barrett-Anderson. “That’s what she would appreciate, that’s what she would ask. I think that she would approve of what we’re doing.”

St. Marianne Cope was born in Germany in 1838, later emigrating with her family to Utica, N.Y. She ministered in healthcare and education throughout the Diocese of Syracuse as a Sister of St. Francis. She left Syracuse for Hawaii in 1883 to care for patients with Hansen’s disease, serving in that ministry until her death in 1918. She was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2012.

To best honor St. Marianne, the museum focused on identifying local organizations. “It’s so nice to see concrete efforts right here in our neighborhood,” Barrett-Anderson said.

The diverse group of organizations includes ARISE, Inc.; Artrage Gallery; Assumption Church’s Franciscan Ministries; Cathedral Academy at Pompei; Catholic Charities of Onondaga County; Cooperative Federal Credit Union; Cuse Pit Crew; Fayetteville Sewing Circle; Francis House; Joseph’s House for Women; the Samaritan Center, Sarah’s Guest House; St. Joseph’s Health; Syracuse Grows; Syracuse Northeast Community Center; and Yeshua Restoration Ministries.

“We want everyone to be able to give on their own terms and what they’re passionate about,” Barrett-Anderson said, so organizers aimed to find a range of groups that would welcome donations of time, money, skills or talents.

The hope for the open house syncs with the museum’s overall aim as well, Barrett-Anderson explained. “When we were building the museum, we asked ourselves every single day, ‘What do you want people to walk out the door with?’ The answer was always, ‘We want people to be inspired to do something.’”

“Making Spirits Bright: A Celebration of Giving” will be held at the Saint Marianne Cope Shrine and Museum, 601 N. Townsend St., Syracuse, on January 23 from
1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Free parking will be available at the St. Joseph’s Health parking garage. Following the event, a Mass in honor of St. Marianne will be celebrated at the Franciscan Church of the Assumption, 812 N. Salina St., Syracuse. All are welcome. Visit for more information.

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