Prayers for Robb Elementary School – Uvalde, TX

Good Evening Vincentians,

As we are sitting around the kitchen table this evening or maybe sitting out on the back porch enjoying listening to the children playing outside, I can’t help but think of the tragedy that unfolded today in Uvalde, Texas at Robb Elementary School.

This evening, there are 14 children ranging from 2nd through 4th grade who won’t be having dinner with their families, or doing their homework, or playing in their back yards. There is a teacher who will also not be going home to her loved ones. For all these families our hearts are broken.

We never know when it will be our time, but as adults, we know that it’s not natural for our children to leave this earth before us. We believe that when we drop our children off at school that they are in a safe place. We believe that those who are there teaching our children are loving them as much as we do as parents. This morning, those 14 families dropped their children off at school. They were looking forward to seeing their little ones after school to hear about what they learned today, who they played with at recess and any other exciting imaginative story their child would tell them on the ride home. Sadly, those 14 families will never hear those stories again.

We know that there was a teacher who loved her profession and would have done anything to help her class succeed. That teacher would be the ear to listen. That teacher would be their friend when they needed someone to talk to. That teacher was there for them. Every. Single Day. Now, that teacher is gone.

As a parent, how do you explain to your children what happened to their friends or their teacher today? How do you explain to a terrified child that when they go back to school in the fall things will be ok. How? It is hard for any of us who are parents to even comprehend what these families are going through this evening.

God has a plan and none of us know what that plan is. Right now, today, at the dinner table, before we go to bed, when we wake up tomorrow morning, we need to say a prayer. A prayer of thanks. A prayer for all those who left this earth. A prayer for comfort for these families so that they will be able to move forward after this tragic day. A prayer for love. A prayer for peace.

Whether your children are still living at home, or maybe they’re on their own, or maybe you have grandchildren, nieces, nephews … hug them a little tighter. Please keep all those involved in today’s horrific shooting in Texas in your thoughts and prayers. May they Rest in Peace.

God Bless,

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

IJP Hosts Successful Bundle Weekend

The IJP Conference hosted a drive for home goods and clothing on Saturday, May 7, 2022 from 8 am to 1 pm. The effort drew people from across the South Suburbs as it filled the SVDP trailer to the brim. 

Father Kris Paluch, the soon to be pastor of the new parish of Infant Jesus of Prague, St. Ireneaus, and St. Lawrence O’Toole stopped to meet Conference members. 
The drive offered the opportunity for Conference members to gather in-person for friendship and service.

Pictured above from left to right are Mike Hoffman, Karen Kristofik, Mike Lamb, soon to be Pastor – Fr. Kris Paluch, Brenda Wallace, Leslie Dudley, Denise Mandichak, Bernie Hoffman, and Pam Bartusiewicz.

A Mother’s Day Message

Moms are the heart of the home. They are the tender ever giving presence to their children. Their tenderness is matched by their strength. A mother gives birth and immediately tends to the tiny life that has just brightened the world. Giving every moment to care for their infant. Giving every ounce of energy for the benefit of the life she has brought into the world.

On this Mother’s Day, let us be grateful for intimate balance of tenderness and strength our mothers put forth to raise us. Whether they have birthed us, or took on the title of mom to someone who needed a mom, a mother’s love is unending, and unconditional.

Mother’s hold in their hearts a very special love for their child that never ends, it just grows. They feel the joy of the milestones and achievements. They ache with sadness ten fold when their child is hurt or disappointed.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a role model for all mothers. Many moms try to live up to the standard that Mary presented to us in raising Jesus. We must remember that moms come in all varieties, have different styles of mothering, and hold strengths and weaknesses in different areas. God knew what he was doing when he made us all different. The uniqueness of every mother allows for children to grow and be nurtured to be the best version of them.

On this Mother’s Day let us remember our mothers, let us be grateful for the gift of life they gave us. As adults, let us know them as people and appreciate the individualism they provide.

The strength of a mother is the beating heart of the home. Their love allows us as their children to grow and to have someone to always count on during our life.

Let us celebrate the mere fact that no matter what life holds for any of us, there’s always that person to go to we call mom. And when our mom’s have journeyed to heaven, hold close in your heart that she made you and you will endure because her love is ever lasting.

God Bless,

Harry Ohde, Volunteer President/CEO

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago-ADC

Donation Drive this Weekend: May 7 & 8

With Spring cleaning in full swing, please consider donating with dignity your gently used items at one of our upcoming Donation Weekend Events. For this upcoming May 7 & 8 weekend, we have one donation drive at Infant Jesus of Prague, 1131 Douglas Avenue, Flossmoor.

To see upcoming Donation Drives please visit our website at

Thank you for your support.

Donation Event Weekend: April 30 & May 1

As you begin your Spring cleaning, please consider donating with dignity your gently used items at one of our upcoming Donation Weekend Events.
For this upcoming April 30-May 1 weekend, we have two donation drives: St. Athanius, 1615 Lincoln in Evanston and St. Paul the Apostle, 6401 Gages Lake Road in Gurnee. To see upcoming Donation Drives please visit our website at

Thank you for your support.

Celebrating Ozanam Sunday, April 24

Dear Vincentians,

On this last weekend in April, we invite all Vincentians to celebrate Ozanam Sunday.

Frédéric Ozanam was born on April 23, 1813, in Milan, Italy. On April 23, 1833, Frédéric and six friends founded the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Also, St. Vincent de Paul was born on April 24, 1581. So to commemorate these events the Society in the United States celebrates the last Sunday of April as Ozanam Sunday.

Frédéric was a husband, father, professor and servant of the poor. He founded the Society of St. Vincent de Paul as a young student with others of the Sorbonne, University of Paris.

Frédéric Ozanam left his home in France, in the Fall of 1831, for Paris. He registered in the School of Law at the Sorbonne, University of Paris. He worked together with Mr. Emmanuel Bailly, editor of the Tribune Catholique, in bringing back a student organization which had been suspended during the revolutionary activity of July 1830. They called their new organization “The Conference of History.” The group met on Saturdays to discuss any and everything, but no politics.

At one of their meetings, a student questioned Frédéric and the practicing Catholics in attendance. The student said that the “Catholic Church had done a lot of good work in the past”, but “What does the Catholic Church do now?” Frédéric called for a meeting in Mr. Bailly’s office with his six friends on April 23, 1833. This was his 20th birthday. Inspired by their words, Frédéric decided to begin the “Conference of Charity” to assist the poor. Mr. Bailly, the married layman, was chosen to be the first President. Shortly thereafter, they changed the organization’s name to The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in honor of their patron.

Today, the Society has grown to over 800,000 in over 150 countries worldwide. The members operate through “conferences”. A conference may be based out of a church, community center, school, hospital, etc., and is composed of volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to help those in need in their community.

God Bless,

Harry Ohde – President/CEO

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago-ADC

Donation Drive This Weekend: April 22, 23 & 24

This weekend there are several Donation Drives scheduled starting today, Friday, April 22, at St. Theresa, 433 Benton Street, Palatine.

Then on Saturday, April 23 & 24, the St. Theresa Donation Drive continues and St. Linus, 10300 S Lawler Avenue, Oak Lawn, and St. Daniel the Prophet, 5300 S Natoma, Chicago begin.

Please remember to donate with dignity gently used items. To see upcoming Donation Drives please visit our website at

Earth Week “Invest in the Planet” & “Invest in Our Homeless Friends in Need”

This week is Earth Week and the theme is “Invest In Our Planet”. So what does Earth Week have to do with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul you might ask? Well, let us share a few informational facts and tidbits.

During Earth Week, we are educated through social media, television, podcasts, and so on, on our environment, climate change, recycling, etc. Our Homeless Friends in Need encounter many of today’s environmental hazards from soil and water contamination, air and noise pollution, and being exposed to severe weather events.

Because of climate change, our Homeless Friends in Need are susceptible to illness and death, again mainly because of the air pollution and any underlying respiratory and cardiovascular conditions which they might have that are most likely never seen by a medical professional. Sadly, those that are sheltered or unsheltered, the short- and long-term homeless, will experience negative health outcomes.

We have been able to take every day recyclable items and make them into something useful for the homeless. At the Mt. Greenwood Community Church they started a “beds for the Homeless ministry. They help the homeless by recycling plastic bags into mats! They meet once a week and make mats that provide a bit of cushion and are moisture resistant on a cold wet ground.

A local carpenter in Chicago was featured on ABC7 Chicago in November 2020. He was born and raised in the Robert Taylor Homes and now, besides being a carpenter for a living, builds tiny homes for the homeless. He uses extra pieces of scrap materials from jobs that will be tossed out and purchases necessary items with donations he receives, to build tiny “studio” size buildings for the many who live on the street.

So how can you help our environment and our Homeless Friends in Need:

·     Save your plastic grocery store bags. Find a local ministry that makes plastic mats for the homeless. Did you know it takes hundreds of bags to make a mat? These ministries can never have enough.

·     For those who are carpenters, reach out and lend a hand, use your experience and consider donating time to help build small shelters for the homeless. Reach out to community organizations. See if there’s a need for this type of project in your community. If not, find a place that has a need.

·     For the rest of us, maybe we don’t use plastic bags at the grocery store because we have our own reusable bags. Maybe we are not builders. So how can we help? A monetary donation to Investing in Our Homeless Friends in Need program can help a thousand times over. Something as small as $5 can mean the world to someone who has nothing.

We hope during Earth Week you will “Invest In Our Planet” and consider “Investing in Our Homeless Friends in Need”. Click on the link below to make a difference in someone’s life.

Be a part of something special.

May 8 Is Mother’s Day. Did You Get Your SVdP Mother’s Day Card Yet?

Mother’s Day …. A yearly celebration where we celebrate that special woman in our lives who has loved us unconditionally

SVdP Chicago is excited to offer a Mother’s Day card for that special woman in your life this Mother’s Day. Someone’s mother could be an Aunt, Grandmother, Friend, etc. Whoever this special person is, let her know that you’re thinking of her this Mother’s Day and appreciate everything she has done for you with this unique, one-of-a-kind card.

Proceeds from the sale of these cards will go towards providing clothing, food and other necessities to help our friends in need.

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.

Let’s work together to to eliminate homelessness in Chicago and Cook and Lake Counties in Illinois in 2022.

Thank you in advance for your kindness and support.

CLICK HERE to order your Mother’s Day Card today!

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