News

SVdP Chicago Host Virtual Top Hat Variety Show on Sunday, April 18, 2021! Share your talent, become a sponsor, or donate today!

On Sunday, April 18, 2021, our SVdP Chicago Council is having its first-time ever, Top Hat Variety Show! It has been a difficult year for many of us and this is an opportunity for all of the Council’s Vincentians to come together for an afternoon. This virtual event will feature entertainment by our very own talented members, highlights of our Conferences’ charitable works during the pandemic, and prize-winning games and raffle. The primary focus for our Top Hat Variety Show is to provide a fun, entertaining opportunity for members to connect with one another and to keep up the camaraderie that was built at our past in-person events going strong! Let’s celebrate hope for the future and give thanks for the many rays of sunlight that peeked through this past year. Register to attend the event here!     Learn how you can become an event sponsor click here!         Make a donation!

SVdP Chicago Council is hosting the Top Hat Variety Show to raise funds to support the Districts, Conferences, and Vincentian programs that help local friends in need. The impact of COVID-19 has greatly increased the number of individuals and families seeking assistance for food, clothing, rental payments, utility bill payments, and medication/medical financial support. We are experiencing a surge in the volume of calls coming into the Council’s central office that do not fall within the jurisdiction of a conference. The Eviction Moratorium in the state of Illinois has recently been extended until April 3, 2021, which allows those impacted by COVID-19 to remain in their residences despite late and missed payments. However, we know that missed payments are piling up and a looming crisis hangs over the heads of many as they attempt to keep current with household bills while working to catch up with late rent balances.

This is one of the many examples of how SVdP Chicago will be in demand to provide support to our friends in need this spring and summer. Looking forward into 2021, SVdP Chicago would also like to invest in establishing two food banks to serve the Chicagoland area and help make a difference in the fight against hunger. Funds raised for the Top Hat Variety Show will not be used towards operational or administrative expenses for the Chicago Council.

SVdP Chicago has been reaching out in our local communities throughout Cook and Lake counties for over 168 years. We have the experience of being a force of good throughout times of war, global pandemics, economic crises, and social changes. Our volunteers serve with hearts full of love and compassion and the Society helps anyone regardless of race, religion, political association, or gender.

  • We’ve fed countless in need in Chicago and the suburban communities through our food pantries, holiday meal baskets, community dinners, and other local events.
  • We’ve clothed the homeless, struggling young families, and Veterans trying to make it during rough patches in their lives.
  • We’ve housed those on the brink or in the midst of homelessness through referrals to shelters, locating affordable housing, or paying rent during a short-term set-back. And we’ve continually offered hope to the most vulnerable in our communities when they’ve no place else to turn.

With your support and generous donation, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago and our dedicated volunteer members can take action against poverty, and together we will continue making a difference in our local communities!

Donate today, click here to be directed to our secure, online give partner Network for Good.

Congratulations to SVdP Vice President Mike Syslo!

We have some amazingly good news to share today! SVdP Chicago is proud to congratulate our Council Vice President, Mike Syslo, on being named the Chairperson of the National Governance Committee! This role is a reflection of the effort and commitment Mike has given to The Society and we wish him great success as he begins this new chapter in his Vincentian journey.  Never fear, he will still remain our Vice President and we are most grateful for that. God bless you Mike for your good works and service!

Ozanam Orientation – March 22, 23, & 24. Registration Now Open!

SVdP Chicago is hosting a New and Improved Ozanam Orientation on March 22, 23, and 24, 2021. It is a 3-part webinar series that will begin at 6:30 pm each evening. End times: 3/22- 8:45 pm, 3/23- 8:50 pm, 3/24-8:10 pm

In order to get credit for attending this required program, you must attend all three parts. You may attend one or two of the parts now and pick up the rest at a later date. This is a virtual interactive presentation rather than in-person training and requires your attendance through the use of a computer, iPad, Smartphone, or like device. To participate, you cannot attend simply by telephone (landline) because you must see the presentation as well as hear it. Additional Information will be sent when you register.

Who should attend?
– New members – to learn who we are, what we are about, and how you can help to transform our culture.
– Existing members – to get reacquainted with how you can help to transform our culture.

What Will Be Discussed?
– As a Member, Do You Know Your Title?
– What is Our History?
– What is Vincentian Spirituality?
– What are SVdP’s Cultural Beliefs?
– What are SVdP’s Key Results?
– What is SVdP Culture?
– How You Can Help Transform SVdP?
– Do You Understand Poverty?
– Why do we make Home Visits?

Register Today! Email Mike Syslo at mike.syslo@outlook.com with your Name, Conference, District, Phone, Home Address, and Email Address. Additional information will be sent to you via email after you register.

Virtual Conversation – Human Trafficking: The Pandemic No One Is Talking About

Taking place on Friday, April 9, 2021, join others via Zoom for this important forum hosted by Catholic Charities South/Southwest Regional Services and the Institute for Politics, Public Service, and Social Justice at Governors State University.
To attend via Zoom, click here.
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Institute for Politics, Public Service, and Social Justice at Governors State University invite you to attend a virtual conversation on April 9, 2021, addressing human trafficking.
Human trafficking has left no part of the world untouched, and Chicagoland is no exception. Our vulnerability stems in part from our location in the middle of the country and having modes of transportation (highway, rail, air, and water) that allow for limitless movement of people. Additionally, the unevenness of our social landscapes, enclaves of impoverishment, and significant populations of at-risk groups such as youths, school dropouts, runaways, and undocumented workers, offer enticements for human traffickers.
This discussion highlights initiatives human trafficking agencies are currently engaged in:
Naomi’s House – Amanda Bagnall
New Name – Anne Polencheck
Rahab’s Daughters – Sharmila Wijeyakumar
Refuge for Women – Chicago – Karen Schultz
Selah Freedom – Kara Thompson
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago – Hilda Bahena, Legal Assistance Department Director
Moderator – David Deeds

Good News from the Prince of Peace Conference

Prince of Peace Vincentians in Lake Villa gave out holiday meal boxes for Thanksgiving and Christmas for the first time in 2020. Previously Prince of Peace held monthly dinners for those in need in the community but since the pandemic, those meals have sadly been canceled. The meal boxes provided a wonderful, safe alternative for our friends in need to enjoy at the holidays.

The conference distributed 67 ham dinners for Christmas. Several of the meals were provided to youth and their families who are part of the Youth Conservation Corps program in Waukegan, whose mission is to empower young adults to succeed through education and training. Pictured are some of the youth from the program, the smiley faces are in place to respect the privacy of the young people… and they’re fun! The conference was also able to provide extra hams to local food pantries in Lake County.

Thank you to all who helped organize and carry out these events! Your work is making a difference! Thank you for sharing your good news with the Council!

40 Items – 40 Days Lenten Challenge

We LOVE this idea! It’s the 40 Days, 40 Items Challenge. Here’s the deal:  Instead of giving up something for Lent – the 40 days and 40 items challenge is a way of giving back. Each day of Lent, remove one item from your home, which you don’t use or wear anymore, and place it in a bag.  It can be clothing items, shoes, boots, accessories, household items, small kitchen appliances, kitchen utensils, cups/plates/bowls, blankets, sheets, electronics, furniture, toys, and more!
Our Thrift Stores are NOT able to accept Mattresses, Organs, and Pianos. 

At the end of Lent, donate these items to SVdP Libertyville or Orland Park Thrift Stores.
Click here for store hours and contact information. 
Did you fill more than 1 bag? We have all heard if something doesn’t bring you Joy or get used after 1 year of owning it to donate.  Now is your chance to organize, declutter, and give back to help others.
Your donations will be shared with our Friends in Need!
Are you up for the Challenge?  Start Today!

Leyden Township Town Hall Clothing Donations a Success! Thank You!

We asked for your help to help those displaced and needing clothing after a motel fire in Melrose Park.  Your response blew us away! We are incredibly grateful to everyone who came out in cold, snowy conditions to donate.  

On hand was Melissa, with Leyden Township, Jim P. – SVdP Chicago Disaster Coordinator, Dennis – our SVdP Driver, and Harry O. (not pictured because he was taking all the photos!) –  SVdP President

Dennis, Jim, and Melissa On-Site to Accept Donations

     

All donations were processed and sorted by our Libertyville Thrift Store Staff and Volunteers and made ready for distribution to the 47 adults and 2 children in need.

Your donations are very much appreciated, thank you for answering the call and helping our neighbors in need!

Critical Call for Clothing Donations – Sat. 2/13 10AM-3PM at Leyden Township Town Hall

We are reaching out with a critical call for Clothing Donations Only this Saturday.  SVdP Chicago Disaster Services is involved with assisting 46 adults and 2 children who have been displaced due to a fire earlier this week.

Our SVdP Chicago truck will be answering the call for need this Saturday, February 13th.
It will be located at the Leyden Township Town Hall Parking Lot
2501 N Mannheim Rd. Franklin Park, IL, 60131
from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm to accept clothing donations only.

Your donations are very much appreciated, thank you for helping our neighbors in need!

 

New SVdP National Website is Live and Ready to Use!

The New SVdP National Website is now LIVE!

Click here to visit www.svdpusa.org now!

We hope you enjoy the improvements that were made and SVdP National would love to hear your feedback!  They would appreciate if you would fill out a brief survey after you cruise through the new site. To complete the survey, click here.

The Member’s Site is will be updated in the near the future, according to SVdP National. We will share with you when those updates are complete!

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.