IGC Picnic and Sing

Clipart of a picnic basket on a blanket in the sunshine
Designed by Wannapik

Monday, August 9, 6:00 p.m. at Meridian Park

Intergenerational Choir members are invited to a picnic and sing at Meridian Park/Good Shepherd Center. We will meet by the gazebo and covered picnic shelter on the SW side of the main building. Please bring your own picnic supper. There are some picnic tables available under the shelter, but others may prefer to bring a blanket or folding chairs and eat on the grass. Yard games and musical instruments are welcome. We will sing using social distancing outdoors; bring a mask to wear if you prefer. Come prepared to start a song that you like and that others are likely to know as well. (No songsheets.)

Meridian Park/Good Shepherd Center is located in Wallingford on N. 50th Street between Meridian Ave N and Sunnyside Ave N. A parking lot is available on the east side of the Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N. Walk to the south end of the parking lot and follow the path around to the other side of the building. Street parking is available on Meridian.

Information: Judy Oerkvitz, joerkvitz@hotmail.com, 206-799-9841.

3 Responses

  1. Richard Groomer says:

    I might consider attending an IGC picnic–but never any event at the Home of the Good Shepard. If you are appalled by the unearthed cruelty by other residential schools operated by the Catholic Church this is one such place. My younger sister was held here in the 60’s. She committed no crime but was considered insubordinate so the parish priest convinced my parents to send her there. The young women were forcibly made to work in an industrial laundry and were allowed outside only 10 minutes daily. Once I was able to sneak into where my sister was held and will never forget the despair that I witnessed. My sister escaped by jumping out of an upper story window which caused her damage she bears today. I know many people of our community think of the Good Shepard Center as a valuable resource. I can only think of it as a monument to evil inflicted on generations of young women by the Church.

  2. Richard, thank you for sharing this lived experience of a truth that is not known to many people. The history of grievous harm that has been done by religious institutions — in this case as so many others, by the Catholic Church — is rightfully coming to light. May it also be so for the Good Shepherd Center. I am so sorry for the injury your sister bore and still bears. Your anger, grief, and unwillingness to attend events on the property are understandable. I see that while the City of Seattle has owned the property since 1975, and transferred the buildings shortly thereafter to Historic Seattle for use as a multi-purpose community center, there is no apparent mention of the site’s history as a place of abuse. Silence around this history will not support accountability and healing. I hope acknowledgement will come from the City of Seattle and Historic Seattle, and particularly from the Catholic Church, that formal acceptance of responsibility and the necessary process of atonement and reparations may be engaged by those most closely involved, on behalf of the entire community. May those of us dedicated to religious justice do our part to surface and advance this important recognition. Love to you and your family, Richard.

  3. Judy Oerkvitz says:

    Dear Richard,

    I am so sorry to learn about your sister’s and your family’s experience with the Home of the Good Shepherd. Thank you for having the courage to share this with me. These kind of practices were shameful and hurtful to many of the most vulnerable children and young people in our community, even more so because they were inflicted by people in positions of authority of a once respected religious organization. It is understandable that you do not choose to visit this location because of hurtful memories of past events.

    I chose this location for our IGC Picnic because it has been owned by the City of Seattle for over 40 years and has been repurposed as a large, beautiful park with playground, picnic area, play fields, and a community garden. The buildings house a number of schools and non-profit organizations which benefit our community in many ways. It is centrally located and offers sufficient off-street parking so as not to impact neighbors when large numbers of people come to events. It is a relatively handicapped accessible and is accessible by Metro bus.

    If you choose to attend the IGC Picnic & Sing, we welcome you. I offer you time to briefly share this history with the members of our group if you would like to do so. If this is not a comfortable option for you, we look forward to seeing you when IGC meets back at church soon, hopefully iin the fall.

    With hope for healing,
    Judy Oerkvitz