Back to School at St. Walter & St. Benedict in Blue Island

On August 5th, St. Mary Magdalene Conference members Dennis Ziolkowski, Carol Juarez, Marivel Rodriguez, and others, stuffed almost 200 backpacks with school supplies! The supplies included pens, paper, crayons, pencils and other items.

Thanks to the generosity of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul Chicago Council, St. Benedicts/St Walters school will be able to provide back to school backpacks for almost 200 children in the Blue Island area. Almost 80% of the children who attend the St Benedict and St Walter campuses receive financial assistance and the Society’s generous contributions will be put to good use.

We had an opportunity to speak briefly with Fr. Dennis Lyle, Pastor at St. Mary Magdalene Parish (he was originally from St. Benedict). He was appreciative of the backpacks and school supplies and the work of the SVdP volunteers in stuffing the backpacks. St. Mary Magdalene has 8-10 people who come on a regular basis to SVdP meetings. Fr. Lyle and another volunteer are the only ones able to communicate with the Hispanic community. When asked how long SVdP was established at their parish, Father Lyle believes it was in 2021 when they had their first bundle weekend. Fr. Lyle said there is a great need in the community for a St. Vincent de Paul. His philosophy is “Each parish should reach out to those in need in their immediate area.

“St. Mary Magdalene Parish has two schools: St. Walter School (K-4th grade with approximately 75-80 students) and St. Benedict School (5th-8th grade with approximately 160 students).

SVdP Chicago is happy that we were able to help out and make a difference.
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