News

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

Please click here to view upcoming opportunities

 

WISE VIRTUAL EVENT
January 28, 2021
7pm-8:30pm
With Ron Mulvaney
WIPA program director
Work incentives planning and assistance
Illinois assistive technology program

This event is sponsored by the Illinois division of rehabilitation services
Learn information about:
Social Security Work Incentives
SSI, SSDI, and DAC
Healthcare options while working
Medicare and Medicaid

Description: Do you have questions about working while on benefits?
Can I work and still keep my Social Security (SSI and/or SSDI) benefits?
Can I work and keep my healthcare benefits (Medicare and Medicaid)? • Who can help me understand how working will affect my benefits?
Who can help me find a job?
How can I apply my Ticket to Work to help with employment?

If you or someone you know is on Social Security Disability and wants to work, but is not sure how to get started, the upcoming WISE (Work Incentive Seminar Event) is the place to be!

TO JOIN THIS EVENT, FOLLOW THE LINKS BELOW:

To Register and Join via Zoom Click Here
For more information view flyer – Click Here

 

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.

Support Catholic Education – Academy of St. Benedict the African Donation Opportunity

Academy of St. Benedict the African Donation Program
6020 S. Laflin Ave Chicago, IL 60636
Patricia Murphy, Principal: pmurphy@academystbenedict.org
Jennifer Farrand, Assistant Principal: jfarrand@academystbenedict.org

 

Our Goal is to share ways that individuals can support students/families of the Academy of St. Benedict the African.

Why support St. Benedict the African school and students/families?

  • School is located in the West Englewood Neighborhood of Chicago
  • Average income of families is <$25,000 (tuition is over 18% of gross income)
  • Many single mom/dads and grandparents as primary caregivers
  • 100% of students qualify for Federal Free Lunch Program (used as a tool to measure need based aid programs)
  • There is no Parish or School Board to help support families in need that wish to have their students attend.
  • SBTA works with the CPD to establish and maintain a positive relationship with the school community and law enforcement to keep students as safe as possible and help build the community.
  • Education is documented to be the primary tool for students to break the cycle of poverty.

Impact of COVID-19 on St. Benedict the African school

  • Enrollment is down by 30 seats as of October 2020
  • Early Childhood Program was suspended for the 2020-21 school year
    • Loss of funding due to program not happening
    • Loss of students/seats
  • Currently only Special Class is Art
    • E. Class is limited due to COVID-19
  • Resources are stretched thin
    • Each student must have individual supplies and tech equipment. No sharing due to COVID-19 procedures

Impact of COVID-19 on Families

  • Many families are impacted by job loss/unemployment due to the pandemic
  • Less financial resources available to families to afford tuition and fees to attend

How can you support St. Benedict the African school and families?

Sponsor-a-Student

  • Help pay tuition payments of $250 each month
  • Help pay After Care Program fees of $150 each month
  • Help provide financial assistance towards technology, book, and other fees charged at beginning of school year or when student enrolls.

School Wishlist

Please visit the school website at https://www.academystbenedict.org/  to learn more about The Academy of St. Benedict the African. 

Vehicle Donation Program – Donate Your Vehicle and Help Support Your Neighbors in Need

Donate Your Vehicle and Make a Difference in Someone’s Life!

The National Vehicle Donation Program is coordinated by The National Council of The Society of St. Vincent de Paul® (SVDP USA), a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers tangible assistance to those in need on a person-to-person basis. Your vehicle donation will help fund St. Vincent de Paul Society’s programs in your local Chicagoland communities. Your generosity is greatly appreciated! Donate a car to The National Council of The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul USA and help those in need. Each vehicle donation helps SVDP USA Feed, Clothe, House, and Heal those in need. Make a difference today!

We accept all types of vehicles:

we accept all types of vehicles: cars,trucks, motorcycles, trailers, boats and more.

Making a car donation is EASY!

It’s as easy as picking up the phone and speaking to a live operator. If you have any questions just call one of SVdP National’s friendly operators toll-free at 800-322-8284 seven days a week.  You can also click here to start your donation online.

How it Works

  1. Call us at 800-322-8284 or contact Elvia Rojas at the SVdP Chicago Central Office at 773-779-6700 Extension 107
  2. We will tow your vehicle at no cost to you.
  3. 3. Get a tax-deductible receipt and help our cause.

Visit The Official National Vehicle Donation Program for St. Vincent de Paul Official Site for more information.

St. Christopher Conference Annual Giveaway Spreads the Joy of Christmas

Volunteers distributed toys and presents, fresh groceries, gift cards, and Hope this Christmas Season to 128 Families.

The St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry operated by the St. Christopher Conference hosted their Annual Christmas Giveaway event this year for families and individuals and were able to help many have a holiday meal and celebrate. The food pantry generously provided a $20 food voucher for fresh meat and a box of side fixings for the meal including potatoes, stuffing, canned vegetables, jello, cornbread, cookies, milk and candy. This year the Greater Chicago Food Depository delivery arrived the day before volunteers packaged the items for distributions, so they were also able to give fresh cantaloupes, mangos, and eggs.

Each week, Monday – Thursday from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, the food pantry at St. Christopher, located at 4130 147th Street in Midlothian, is open to serve those in need. While the normal service area is Crestwood, Midlothian and Posen, they are now serving families from many Southside locations as a result of increased demand and support from the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Catholic Charities. The community also lends its support to the pantry with students at Bremen High School and Dylan Gluszek from Midlothian, IL, operating food drives during the month of December that help to stock the shelves for many months.

Gifts were given out to children under age 10 and were donated from a toy collection run by the Midlothian Community Policing Committee (from Midlothian, IL). Donations were received from the Midlothian Police Officers Association and donation boxes were available at local businesses for donations. This year, due to COVID-19 precautions, in lieu of “Giving Tree tags” for parishioners of St. Christopher Parish to purchase requested items, donors were asked to donate gift cards. This enabled a contact free way to keep the spirit of giving alive. The collection yielded over 250 gift cards in denominations from $10 to $30 for Dollar Tree, Five Below, Target, Visa and Walmart. All families with children over 10 years old were given gift cards as well as families without children to share in the bounty received by the Conference.

Thank you to our St. Christopher Vincentians for all your efforts to spread the joy of Christmas in your community! Through your hands, Hope grows in the hearts of our less fortunate brothers and sisters.

This winter, the call for the Society and our volunteer members to help local neighbors in need is immense. Due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are responding to a significant rise among those we serve for food, clothing, and housing assistance. If you would like to make a donation to help us, help others please visit our secure, online giving page https://stvincentdepaulchicago.networkforgood.com/projects/119193-annual-holiday-appeal-2020.  Your support is truly appreciated!

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

Our Lady of the Woods (District X) Twins District IX for St. Gall Mobile Event

Volunteers help to make the season brighter for those in need on the Southside of Chicago.

St. Vincent de Paul members from the Our Lady of the Woods Conference in District X “twinned” District IX for their contact-free December Mobile Pantry Event at St. Gall Parish on 12/16/2020. Twinning is a concept in the Society where one Conference (volunteers organized at the Parish level) connects resources with another Conference to better serve those in need within a community.

Every Wednesday from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon the food pantry at St. Gall serves about 250 – 300 needy families from the community with groceries which range from milk, poultry, vegetables, fruit, and non-perishables. For the event on December 16th Vincentians from District IX led an effort to distribute food and essentials, along with toys and holiday cheer items. OLOW Vincentians baked and wrapped Christmas cookies, collected winter hats and gloves, and new toys to share. Paul Dederichs, from Our Lady of the Woods shares “It is inspiring to hear about the energetic commitment of District IX members towards the food pantry at St. Gall Parish throughout the year. It was a privilege to be able to contribute and work beside them during this Christmas event!”

Over 500 vehicles came through the St. Gall parking lot on the chilly, grey December morning. Over 500 families were served with food, toys, and love. Thank you to our volunteers for being the light shining through the darkness and sharing the joy of Christmas. Through your hands, Hope grows in the hearts of our less fortunate brothers and sisters.

This holiday season, the call for the Society and our volunteer members to help local neighbors in need is immense. Due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are responding to a significant rise among those we serve for food, clothing, and housing assistance. If you would like to make a donation to help us, help others please click here for Secure, Online Giving.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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/