PITTSBURG — The Lord’s Diner was officially blessed by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita Tuesday.

Bishop Carl A. Kemme blessed The Lord’s Diner to kick off its open house. The diner was open for visitors to tour the facility, ask questions and pick up volunteer applications and schedules. Executive Director Matt O’Malley said he happy to be so close to opening.

“It’s fulfilling to know we are finally close to performing our mission,” O’Malley said. “So far I’ve made 20 phone calls a day, and now I’m ready to serve people who need serving.”

The diner will serve a free meal from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. every evening of the year once it opens. O’Malley said the diner will open either at the end of 2016 or beginning of 2017.

The open house had a large turnout, and O’Malley said he was glad to see so many community members in attendance — many were from other non-profit service organizations.

“All of the great non-profits we have here in Pittsburg don’t need to be tiny islands trying to do everything,” O’Malley said. “We want to work together and let them know that we’ve got dinner covered so they can focus on their other services.”

O’Malley said The Lord’s Diner couldn’t have gotten this far without the community. The Pritchett Trust paid for all the equipment in the kitchen as well as the heating and air system in the kitchen. Crossland Construction contracted to do the remodeling work to the building.

“This is a true community kitchen,” O’Malley said. “The community is making the meals, funding the meals, and the community is eating the meals.”

Bishop Kemme agreed that community was a big part of what The Lord’s Diner stand for.

“It’s not just feeding the hungry,” Kemme said. “It’s feeding them a good meal in a place that is worthy of their presence, with people to enjoy their company.”

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.