Updated 2/2/21 – Spiritual Growth and Formation Opportunities 2021

Dear Vincentian,

We are sharing information on upcoming Formation and Spirituality opportunities that are being made available by the SVdP National Council along with some other valuable information today. All events are being presented virtually. An upcoming opportunity that we will receive more details about later this week is the Spiritual Advisor Formation & Training offered by the National Council on February 23rd-25th. Delivered in person, it usually runs from 9am-3pm, the Council is splitting it up over the three evenings virtually, led by Tim Williams and by James Davis, Spiritual Advisor for the South Central Region, and a member of the Formation Committee.

The Training will be covering Vincentian Formation, Roles and Responsibilities, Tool and Reflections, and Discernment and Consensus. Watch for more details in the weekly National E-Gazette, on our Facebook page, and website! Not signed up to receive the weekly E-Newsletter from National? Click here to email jwitzel@svdpusa.org

Formation & Training for Spiritual Advisors
Offered by The Society of St. Vincent de Paul National Council
February 23 – 25, 2021
7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. CT

For new Spiritual Advisors, those thinking of becoming a Spiritual Advisor, or those who just want a better understanding of what a Spiritual Advisor does, join us for this three-part session

In this three-part virtual Formation and Training, you will learn about Formation, the role of the Spiritual Advisor, tools, resources, and reflections you can use, and Vincentian Discernment and Consensus.

This is designed for all Spiritual Advisors and Associate Spiritual Advisors and recommended for Conference and Council Presidents. Any members interested in becoming Spiritual Advisors are also welcome to attend.

Click here for more information and to Register

 

2021 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering
“Make justice your aim”: Rebuilding Together
February 6-9, 2021, Virtual Gathering

The Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (CSMG) brings together people from around the country working to combat hunger, poverty, and injustice at home and around the world. SVdP National is among 18 national Catholic organizations that are part of this gathering. This year, we will pray, learn, and advocate together on the disparities revealed by COVID-19 and re-imagine new models of justice and solidarity.

The people we serve, while increasing in number over the past year as Covid19 has ravaged all corners of the world, are ever more vulnerable than at any time in recent history. The magnitude of the problems they face is beyond what we can tackle on our own. We all know that for most the trigger to seek assistance is always at the last minute when the dreaded eviction notice or utility cut-off notice has been received. Like any other disaster, it is up to us to prepare for the inevitable. The moratoriums are not solutions we can take comfort in as they merely extend that stillness before the storm.

In his latest encyclical – Fratelli Tutti the Holy Father beckons us to look deeper into the parable of the “Good Samaritan”. The poor have been beaten up and now on the side of the road left for dead. We see their needs. After doing what we can (providing food), we must seek the assistance of the “inn keeper” in the form of our legislature to help us create a more equitable world. No other organization has a more intimate knowledge of the plight of the poor as Vincentians do. Please consider joining other Catholics by participating in this year’s Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (CSMG). Please click the link below for registration details:

USCCB – Catholic Social Ministry Gathering – CSMG 2021

Check out special opportunities and events for young leaders in Catholic social ministry and learn more about the Diversity Outreach Initiative as well.

This year the fee is greatly reduced – a mere $50 for the whole workshop per person. For those that are interested in learning further, there is the day for visits to Capitol Hill – again these will be done virtually and are done by state. We have an Illinois State Captain – Cheryl Sommer (CRS), so for those that will sign up she will reach out to you and give you details.

 

The Demands of Encounter Today
Spring 2021 Lecture Series

Join the Loyola Institute for Ministry for its virtual lecture series entitled The Demands of Encounter Today. The three lectures (Feb 8, Mar 15, Apr 12 – 7:00-7:30 pm Central) explore the demands on us of Pope Francis’s call to create a culture of encounter. This series is intended to draw out theology’s public implications and so inspire people to work for the transformation of our Church and world with special attention to racial justice. All lectures take place at 7:00 pm Central Time and are free and open to the public.

The first lecture takes place Monday February 8 at 7PM Central time. Click here for more information and to register.

 

Poverty Awareness Training
If your Conference is making plans for 2021, why not include a refresher on poverty awareness?

Dr. Donna Beegle, a nationally-recognized expert on understanding, fighting, and overcoming poverty, produced If Not Me, Then Who? Empowering Our Neighbors especially for Vincentians. In this 7-video series, Dr. Beegle busts poverty myths, shares a deeper understanding of the lived reality faced by poor and vulnerable families and gives us the tools and resources we need to accompany them to stability.

You can access Dr. Beegle’s entire curriculum at the National SVdP Systemic Change website by clicking here.

A Christmas Message from SVdP Chicago’s Volunteer President/CEO

Harry’s Christmas Wish List

It’s Christmas Eve we await the birth of our savior. The greatest gift God gave us. There is really nothing else that matters today. The gifts, the decorations, and hustle and bustle. These things are all symbolic of preparing for the birth of our Lord. But the true meaning of Christmas resides in our hearts and is about the love we extend to one another through our acts of kindness, just as our Savior taught us.

This morning I reflect on the year. So much has happened to our world. The media reminds us all day long of the doom and gloom. There are snippets of good however overshadowed by the sadness and misery. I pray for those that are ill. I pray for those that have left our world and the grieving families left behind. I pray for those without jobs seeking assistance for food. I thank God for the opportunity to follow in the actions of his son, reaching out to those in need. Bring witness to neighbors helping neighbors and coming together for the sake of the needs of someone else.
Yes, our world may have been turned around and upside down during 2020, but we must look at the good that was performed, sacrifices of our front-line heroes, and efforts beyond from strangers expressing concern to those in need. The greatest gift we bring forth to 2021 is the kindness and compassion of mankind.

Faith has prevailed! Allowing us to shine our light and carry forward with love in our hearts. Enriching the lives of those around us with small gestures and true extension of sharing the love in our hearts. Through masked faces we turn our attention to looking in the eyes of those we encounter; for in our eyes, we see the love of God. My wish this Christmas is for the world to embrace the gift of faith and love to one another:

My wish list this Christmas for our world is that:

  • The Covid-19 vaccines are effective, and the crisis ends. Bringing health to all.
  • Life gets back to a normalcy enriched with all we have learned.
  • Those in need of jobs find a path to provide for their families and hunger will end.
  • That the homeless will find shelter and warmth and peace in their hearts.
  • That God continues to bring forth those in need so we may embrace them and assist them on a path void of poverty
  • May all of you feel Gods love in your heart and that your faith will bring peace and kindness within.
  • May your light continue to shine, faith remain deep within your heart, and the love of God remain within.

Merry Christmas everyone! Let us rejoice in the birth of our savior!

God Bless,
Harry Ohde
Volunteer President/CEO
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago

Toy Drive at SVdP Libertyville & Orland Park

Help Give Hope this Christmas Season to Local Families in Need.

Providing holiday toys for children is a struggle for many low-income families, this year especially due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your donation of New, Unwrapped Toys to SVdP Libertyville & Orland Park Thrift Stores will make an immediate impact for a child, a family this Christmas. All donations will receive a $10 Coupon to shop our store (whichever store your donation is made at), as our gift of thanks for your generosity. Together, we can make a difference!

 

 

December 8th- Feast of the Immaculate Conception

The feast of the Immaculate Conception is one of the four main festival days on which Vincentians are asked to celebrate. This feast day celebration dates back to the very beginning of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and can be traced to Frederic Ozanam himself.

Frederic Ozanam had a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, from his youth to his death. Frederic was insistent that the Society take Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception as its patroness. The first members of the Society chose December 8th as their special Marian feast twenty years before the formal proclamation of the dogma in 1854 by Pope Blessed Pius IX and a year after Frederic’s death! Vincentians implore Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, their patroness, to intercede for their Councils and Conferences, their lives and ministry. (SVDP Manual, p.34-35)

Since the earliest days of the Society, members have shown great devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. Prayers before and after each meeting are offered to place us under her protection and guidance. Ozanam, our principal founder, developed a great spirit of piety by fervent devotion to the Blessed Virgin and this virtue was expressed in the text of the decree for the introduction of his cause for beatification. Shortly after the beginning of the Society, Ozanam formally proposed that the Mother of God – Mary Immaculate – should be the heavenly patroness of the Society and suggested to members that the Hail Mary be prayed at each Conference meeting.

December 8 marks not only the Feast of the Immaculate Conception but also:
• the canonical establishment of the Confraternity of Charity- 1617;
• the day on which the first group of the Ladies of Charity in the United States begins at St. Vincent’s Church in St. Louis – 1857
• one of the four major feasts chosen by the Society of St. Vincent DePaul in 1834
• the day on which many groups of the Sisters of Charity Federation renew their vows.

Reference Source:

“Feast of the Immaculate Conception” VinFormation, February 07, 2017, https://vinformation.org/en/vincentian-formation-resources/prayers-celebrations-seasonal/feast-of-the-immaculate-conception/

#GivingTuesday, Thank You for Your Support!

SVdP Chicago is grateful for your support!

On #GivingTuesday, December 1, 2020, our community came together in a celebration of generosity and truly made a difference. Because of you, we were able to raise over $15,000.00 to help our neighbors in need this winter! Each gift is essential to The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago and our members to ensure that we can answer the call for help, to help families stay in their homes, pay their necessary bills, keep food on the table and clothes on their backs, and continue our volunteer-based programs and services.

Your support makes Hope grow, through the hands of our volunteers into the hearts of the many we serve. Thank you!

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

If you would like to offer a donation in the spirit of #GivingTuesday please click here.

Holiday Honey Baked Ham Fundraiser

Make It A Picture Perfect Holiday With Honey Baked Ham Gift Cards!

You can purchase gift cards to Honey Baked Ham this holiday season and give back to St. Vincent de Paul Chicago! Honey Baked Ham offers more than just their signature delicious glazed ham, they also have Family Meals, Honey Baked Turkeys, Sides, and Desserts.  Take the stress out of your holiday meal and order from Honey Baked Ham!

Visit https://bit.ly/2JIYhjg to purchase.  You can use your HoneyBaked Gift Card to shop online or in-store at any HoneyBaked location nationwide. And the most satisfying part? 20% of your purchase goes directly to support SVdP Chicago and help our neighbors in need!

DELIVER EARLY THIS YEAR
Shipping demand is high…. but good news! Our products ship frozen. Get your Honey Baked Ham delivered early this year & thaw 48 hours before the festivities.
Learn more about shipping products directly https://shipping.honeybaked.com/

 

SVdP Libertyville Thrift Store’s Tent Event Sale a Success!

A huge THANK YOU to all our staff and volunteers for working hard this weekend, in challenging outdoor weather conditions, to make the Tent Event Sale at our Libertyville Thrift Store a success! Your dedication and service are the backbone that fuels the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Chicago, and our local Districts and Conferences, to be a force of good in our communities!

We would also like to thank all those who came out to shop the tent and store over the weekend and those who dropped off donations!  Every time you shop, donate to or support our thrift stores, you become part of a greater cause to help our neighbors in need.  You are providing food, clothing, shelter, job training, and hope of better tomorrows. You are helping a veteran in need, a mother who has hungry children, a victim of domestic violence, someone ill who needs assistance to get proper medical treatment, someone who is lonely and dealing with mental health issues, and families who have experienced bumps in the road. We deeply appreciate your support!

Check out what the Daily Herald wrote about our Tent Event Sale!

Looking for more ways to help?

 

September is Hunger Action Month, Help Fight Hunger in Your Local Community Today!

September is Hunger Action Month, a nationwide campaign mobilizing each of us to take action against hunger in our communities.  Feeding those in need is a cause that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and its volunteer members take to heart!  During this time of economic uncertainty, global pandemic, and high unemployment, raising awareness and funds to help solve hunger in our communities is urgent.  Food insecurity increases sharply for our many as the weather cools and we enter into fall and winter here in Chicagoland.  Many of our local food pantries missed out on springtime food drives that usually take place in coordination with the Easter season, due to COVID-19 Stat-at-Home orders, and are now looking to replenish shelves in order to prepare for the anticipated higher demand.

You can directly help make a difference in your community by making a donation to The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago.  Visit our Giving Page here to make a secure, online donation and to learn more.  You can also visit our Thrift Stores located in Orland Park and Libertyville.  We accept gently used clothing and household items and use all the proceeds to support our giving programs. Learn more about our Thrift Stores – click here. 

Building Bridges Together

Pictured left to right: Kathleen A. Donahue-Coia, Acting President, Administrator, and CEO – Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago; Lorraine Parisi, Director of Operations, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Archdiocese of Chicago; Debby Lambert, Catholic Charities of Lake County Board of Advisors Chair

On Tuesday evening, October 22, our Director of Operations, Lorraine Parisi and SVdP Lake County, was honored by being named the 2019 Catholic Charities Building Bridges Award Recipient. The Catholic Charities Lake County Board of Advisors annually recognizes a parish or group in direct support of Catholic Charities’ mission. The Building Bridges Award began in 2007 to acknowledge those who partner with Catholic Charities to build a bridge between poverty and self-sufficiency.

In particular, Catholic Charities is grateful for the partnership with SVdP, Lake County. SVdP has been a strong partner of Catholic Charities and has served those in need for over 167 years. Having someone to turn to is everything for a person in crisis. SVdP has been there to help pay the rent, to provide food and clothing, and to offer hope.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society continues to grow and expand their reach to those dealing with poverty. Through donation drives, thrift store programs, and fundraising events, SVdP serves our neighbors in need. Under Lorraine’s leadership, a voucher system was developed allowing Catholic Charities families to receive vouchers to “shop” at the Libertyville Thrift Store to meet their basic needs – clothing, household items and furniture. Recently, a new partnership was formed with Catholic Charities where SVdP provides space for their Diaper Depot operations. Through the generosity of SVdP, the Diaper Depot warehouse is located in the back of the Thrift Store and allows for a more efficient distribution system. Through this partnership, Catholic Charities and The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Lake County are truly Building Bridges . . . Together!

Lorraine was joined by her proud husband Tony and daughter Elisabeth at the award event along with fellow SVdP Board of Directors Members; Harry Ohde, President/CEO, SVdP Chicago Council, Father Gerry Kelley, SVdP Chicago Council Spiritual Advisor, Holly Robinson, Secretary, SVdP Chicago Council and Kristin MacMurray-Schmelter, Board Member and President of District 1, Lake County.

Please congratulate Lorraine for her leadership and giving spirit that forged this important partnership between Catholic Charities and SVdP Lake County. Lorraine, you make us proud to serve!

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