Father Charles Strobel, the founding director of Room In the Inn and a 1961 graduate of Father Ryan High School, will be honored for his lifetime of service to the community at Father Ryan’s 43rd Annual Legacy Gala.
Father Strobel founded Room In The Inn in 1985 to serve the basic overnight housing needs of the area’s homeless population during the winter. The program has grown to include almost 200 congregations and now provides additional housing, health, employment and counseling services.
The Legacy Gala is an annual event that honors individuals from the school’s 97-year history who have made a significant impact on Father Ryan, whether in the classroom, on campus, or in the community. This year’s gala will take place on Feb. 5, 2022, at the Music City Center.
“The mission of Father Ryan High School is to be a living experience of the Gospel,” Father Ryan President Jim McIntyre said, “and no one has embodied and expressed that mission better than Father Charles Strobel. As a priest dedicated to his parishioners, as a person who has always looked to serve his fellow man, and through his life, his love, and his heart, Father Strobel has set an example that continues to inspire this community. We are truly honored by his presence and look forward to celebrating him and his work at the Legacy Gala.”
Father Strobel started the service that became Room In The Inn while pastor of Holy Name Church in East Nashville, where one cold winter night he welcomed area homeless men and women into the parish gym.
He founded Room In The Inn in 1985 with four churches participating. Today, the program engages more than 7,000 volunteers providing winter overnight housing to more than 1,500 Nashvillians.
“Father Ryan was and continues to be an influential force in my life,” Father Strobel said. “From the leadership and example of the faculty and staff there, to the friendships that I formed, to the spirit of service and faith that is ever-present, Father Ryan High School has shaped me and provided me the example of love for all of God’s children. Through its students and teachers, who are regular and eager volunteers, this school has provided life for Room In The Inn and its many guests. I am honored to be part of this celebration and look forward to celebrating this outstanding school.”
A native Nashvillian, Father Strobel grew up in the Germantown area of North Nashville, serving Mass and attending class at Assumption Church and School, just 50 yards from his front porch. After graduating from Father Ryan High School, he entered the seminary and was ordained in 1970 at the Cathedral of the Incarnation.
He served and taught in Knoxville, was associate pastor at Holy Rosary Church in Nashville, and became pastor of Holy Name in 1983. Since the establishment of Room In The Inn in 1985, Father Strobel has been focused on its mission and programs.
Room In The Inn provides a range of services for individuals in the community who are dealing with homelessness. These include winter housing, education and workforce development, recuperative services, transitional and permanent housing, and other support.
This year’s Gala begins with a silent auction at 6 p.m. and includes dinner at the Music City Center followed by a live auction, as well as dancing to The Music City Sound. Additional information is available at fatherryan.org/gala.