John Berry Elected SVdP National President – Effective 10/01/2023

Dear Vincentians,

The SVdP-Chicago Council congratulates and extends their thanks and well wishes to John Berry who has been elected the new SVdP National President succeeding Ralph Middlecamp who has served 6 years as the current SVdP National President. John’s position will become effective October 1, 2023.

John has been an active member since 1996. He has been very active within the Society for many years and has also been involved in other civic, cultural, community service, and church activities.

Valentine’s Day Cards to Help the Homeless

NOW AVAILABLE! Valentine’s Day Cards for your Special Someone …

Dear Vincentians & Friends,

SVdP Chicago is excited to offer you the opportunity to send a Valentine’s Day Card/s to those special people in your life during this season of love and kindness.

We have found a unique way to Put a Little Love in Your Heart and also in the hearts of our friends in need who are homeless. Proceeds from the sale of these cards will go towards providing winter clothing and other necessities to keep our friends in need warm during the brutally cold Chicago winter months and beyond.

We will hand address and sign the card/s from YOU! This is a 5×7 double sided full color professionally printed card (see above) that will be mailed in a red envelope. The cards are $10 each.

During this season of love and kindness we hope you will join us in “Putting a Little Love In Your Heart” and helping our friends in need. Let’s work together to to eliminate homelessness in Chicago and Cook and Lake Counties in Illinois in 2023.

To order your card/s, please click on the link below:

He Had a Dream …

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., who was Inspired by both his Christian faith and the teachings of Mahatma Gandi. He led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950s and 1960s to achieve legal equality for African-Americans in the United States. Dr. King was a social activist who played a key role in the American Civil Rights movement until his assassination in 1968. He wanted equality and human rights for African-Americans, the economically disadvantaged, and all victims of injustice through peaceful protest.

Dr. King … “had a dream”. As he stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a monument to the president who a century earlier had brought down the institution of slavery in the United States, he shared his vision of a future in which “this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’

Those who are homeless, hungry or lonely … they have dreams too. There are countless numbers of men, women, and children in our neighborhoods, state, and country that have a dream. A dream to have a roof over their heads, not to be hungry, and the need for a job so that they can have the life that you and I have.

As a country, we still are a work in progress when it comes to what Dr. King sought: equality and human rights for – African-Americans, the economically disadvantaged, and all victims of injustice through peaceful protest. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers assistance to all regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender or political opinions. Through our prayers and the servant work of the Society we strive every day to help our Friends in Need. We will continue as a Society to be an integral part of the community by doing our part of being there for those in need. By providing food to those that are hungry. By helping those who are homeless. By feeding those who are hungry. By helping those who also “Have a Dream”.

50 Years. One Half Century. Thousands of Friends in Need.

The SVdP Chicago Council recently honored Emmet Cassidy, from the St. Joseph Conference in Homewood, Illinois, for his 50 years as a Vincentian.

In that time Emmett has helped several thousand people who were hungry, homeless, in need of clothing, and challenged by addictions. 

In November, Harry Ohde, Volunteer President/CEO of the Chicago Council, presented Emmet with a plaque recognizing his legacy as a Vincentian and a statue set depicting St. Vincent. 

The District XII Council, represented by Mike Lamb, also presented Emmet with the Society’s 175th anniversary medallion and accompanying book to commemorate Emmet’s impact in the South Suburbs. Emmet recently took on the role as President Emeritus and remains active and engaged in helping neighbors in need with the next generation of Vincentians in his Conference.”  

Congratulations Emmett and God Bless You for 50 Years of being an active Vincentian with the St. Vincent de Paul Chicago Council and St. Joseph Conference.

SVdP Chicago Needs Your Help to Close the Pawnbroker Loophole

Dear Vincentians and Friends,

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago Council endorses the passing of Illinois HB 5840 and Illinois SB 4241. We are asking for your help to close the Pawnbroker Loophole in Illinois.

We are asking all Vincentians, their families, friends and co-workers to contact their State Representative and State Senator to let them know they support HB 5840 in the General Assembly and SB 4241 in the Senate. There is a very narrow window of opportunity, during the Veto Session, to make this happen.

The 240% APR charged by pawnbrokers should be illegal. Their business is based on draining money from people who are struggling. There are safer and better alternatives.  Many of these were developed to provide options for consumers who have been historically shut out of the financial mainstream.

Make your voice heard today and contact your state legislators now by emailing your

legislators directly through this link:

To read the full context of Illinois HB 5840 from the Illinois General Assembly website, click HERE

To read the full context of Illinois SB 4241 from the Illinois General Assembly website, click HERE

Please forward and share this information with your family and friends and take a couple of minutes to email your State Representative and State Senator stressing to them that you support both Illinois HB 5840 and SB 4241.

God Bless and Thank You for Your Support,

Harry Ohde – Volunteer President/CEO, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago-ADC

In Memoriam: Jim Plepel, Former District VIII President

Dear Vincentians and Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that a great Vincentian and friend has passed this morning, Jim Plepel. Jim was a mainstay of SVdP Chicago for many, many years and was the former District VIII President. He was also on the Spiritual Committee, Formation Committee, and an SVdP-ADC Disaster Services Representative.

Please join together in praying our St. Vincent de Paul Society prayer for Jim and his family during this difficult time.

Lord Jesus,

You who willed to become poor, give us eyes and a heart directed toward the poor, help us to recognize you in them – in their thirst, their hunger, their loneliness, and their misfortune.

Enkindle within our Vincentian Family unity, simplicity, humility, and the fire of love that burned in St. Vincent de Paul.

Strengthen us, so that, faithful to the practice of these virtues, we may contemplate you and serve you in the person of the poor, and may one day be united with you and them in your kingdom. Amen.

Visitation and funeral arrangements have been made for our dear friend Jim Plepel. Jim’s family and friends will be received at Conboy-Westchester Funeral Home, 10501 W. Cermak Rd. (two blocks west of Mannheim) on Tuesday, January 3, from 3–8 pm.

All to meet Wednesday, January 4, at St. Bernadine Church, 7246 W. Harrison St. (Harrison and Elgin), Forest Park for visitation at 10:00 a.m. before a Funeral Mass at 11:00 am. Interment Queen of Heaven Cemetery.

Click HERE for more details.

A Giving Tuesday Video Message from Harry Ohde, Volunteer President/CEO – SVdP Chicago

Dear Vincentians & Friends,

#GivingTuesday is finally here and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago asks that you please consider us as your charity of choice today. Your donation will directly benefit our local neighbors in a time of need and give them the gift of hope this holiday season.

Please click on the link below to view a video message from Harry Ohde, Volunteer President/CEO – SVdP Chicago:

On this Global Day of Giving, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is having two raffles thanks to our generous donors.

For any donation of $100 or more made on Tuesday, November 29, 2022, between 12:01 am and 11:59 pm, a raffle ticket for each $100 donation will be entered. Our two winners will be announced on Friday, December 2.
Our raffle prizes are:

·        1-Night Stay at the Hyatt Place Indianapolis Airport
·        $300 Southwest Airlines Gift Card

We are also very excited about our $5,000 MATCH CHALLENGE given to us by an amazing donor! This “match” means that for every dollar you donate, our donor will match it, up to $5,000. For example: You donate $50 + the donor’s match of $50 = $100 for St. Vincent de Paul! It’s a very exciting time for us and we sincerely hope you will consider making a donation today.

If you would like to be entered in our raffle to win one of these great prizes or if you would like to make a donation, just click on this link to go directly to the St. Vincent de Paul Chicago donation page:

You can also scan the QR Code below with your cell phone camera and go directly to our website to make your donation. It’s that simple!
Lastly, if you prefer to mail in a donation, please make your check payable and send to:

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul
PO Box 233
Blue Island, IL 60406
Attention: Harry Ohde
Please make a note in the “memo” section: Giving Tuesday

Together, we will make a difference.

God Bless and Thank You for Your Support.

Online Shopper? Consider AmazonSmile … You shop. Amazon Gives.

If you already use for online shopping, you can link your account to AmazonSmile and support SVdP Chicago! You will make a .5 percent donation with every Amazon purchase by using AmazonSmile.

Here are 3 simple steps to start donating today:

Step 1: Go to log in using your email and password as if you were at

Step 2: Search for the Society of St Vincent de Paul-Chicago and select us as your charity.

Step 3: Shop, Amazon Smile, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to SVdP!

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