Sometimes life gets in the way....emergencies happen and you find that you cannot make this month's rent; or you are behind with your utilites; maybe are in need of food to feed your family. Whatever you need, you are not alone. Please call us. Society of St Vincent de Paul at Mary, Mother of God Parish members are here to help you in your hour of need. We are here to accompany you on your journey no matter the need....no work of charity is foreign to the Society. We serve the poor in charity, but we are not an agency.
Voice of the Poor (VOP) is the advocacy arm of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. With members representing every section and demographic of the nation, we identify issues critical to those living in poverty and need, and help bring attention to them so communities and elected officials can help develop strategies and tactics that will provide the most effective and efficient means to reduce or eliminate poverty. While financial assistance is important, it is even more important to serve personally, showing our neighbors that God is always with them, even in their darkest hour. He wants to help, loving them so much that He sends His people to serve, comfort, and to pray with them.
The Pope Francis Center Chicago is a beacon of hope for individuals and families facing adversity. Our organization is dedicated to providing essential services and resources to those in need. We offer a variety of programs, including applying for benefits assistance, mail-drop services for our unhoused brothers and sisters, counseling services, and job training opportunities. Our center also provides access to healthcare referrals and supportive housing options. With the support of our compassionate staff and volunteers, we aim to inspire positive change and help individuals overcome obstacles. Together, we can create a stronger and more resilient community.
If you seek to live your faith through works, to "love God", as St Vincent de Paul with the strength of your arms...." please consider joining us. We serve the poor in charity, but we are not an "agency".
Fr. Alejandro Lopez, OFM Conv. Pastor
Caring for the unhoused
• No person should be forced to live in bodily fear or in substandard conditions. Every person needs access to minimum living conditions — safety, access to sanitation, food, clothing, shelter, medical assistance. • Particular attention must be given to those who are unable to care for themselves — children and youth, the elderly, sick, addicted, mentally ill. • There is no substitute for an involved, effective, and committed government. We believe local, state and federal governments must make poverty a priority and become involved in addressing solutions, including fully funding programs that tackle homelessness. • Every person deserves an education. Practical, hands-on job training that teaches a job proficiency and provides those with limited skills the opportunity to earn a decent income can go a long way to building self esteem and dignity. • Workers must earn enough to be able to provide shelter and a decent life for their families. Communities cannot be satisfied with a minimum wage that is lower than the cost of living. • Safe, reliable, affordable child care is critical. Welfare to work programs must include funding for quality child care. • It is shameful that any veteran need resort to homelessness. More attention and care must be given by the Federal government to meet the needs of veterans, particularly those with physical and mental health challenges, as they progress back to the community.
Caring for he working poor
As Vincentians visit low-wage families, they see up close that these families cannot make ends meet. The dollars they are paid do not begin to cover the basics required for survival (i.e., food, clothing, shelter, utilities, child care, transportation, health care). Members experience first hand the cry of the poor. They witness families whose cupboards are bare, parents who have no money for medicine for sick children, a Mother’s cry in desperation because she cannot afford shoes for her children. Economic facts (1) based on cost of living and consumer price indexes, comparative living costs, as well as Bureau of Labor statistics, validate that the current federal minimum wage is set too low to meet basic needs.
Answering the call to serve our new neighbors
In today's increasingly interconnected world, the movement of people across borders has become a defining feature of our global society. As Catholics, we are called to view this phenomenon through the lens of compassion, solidarity, and social justice. The arrival of migrants in the United States has profound effects on our communities, and it is essential to examine these impacts from a Catholic perspective. In this article, we will explore the positive effects of migrants on our communities, while also recognizing the challenges they face. Enriching Cultural Diversity One of the most evident and beautiful effects of migrants in the United States is the enrichment of our cultural diversity. America has long been referred to as a "melting pot," where people from all corners of the world come together. From the Irish immigrants of the 19th century to the Vietnamese refugees of the late 20th century, each wave of migrants has contributed to the tapestry of our nation. The Catholic Church, with its global reach, welcomes migrants into its fold, making parishes centers of diverse cultures and traditions. From the Mexican fiestas to the Filipino Simbang Gabi, the presence of migrants enhances our communities with unique customs, languages, and traditions. This cultural exchange fosters understanding and tolerance, helping us embrace our common humanity and celebrate our differences. Economic Contribution Migrants make substantial economic contributions to the United States. They often take on jobs that others may not be willing to do, such as agricultural work, construction, and service industry jobs. This willingness to fill labor gaps boosts the economy, benefiting both local communities and the nation as a whole. Furthermore, many migrants start their own businesses, creating jobs and stimulating local economies. In doing so, they follow the principles of Catholic social teaching, which emphasize the dignity of work and the importance of providing for one's family. Revitalizing Communities In some areas of the United States, the arrival of migrants has helped revitalize declining communities. By settling in underserved areas, migrants bring life, energy, and renewed hope. They often contribute to the refurbishment of neighborhoods, open small businesses, and engage in community-building activities. Catholic organizations, such as Catholic Charities, often play a crucial role in assisting migrants and refugees in their transition to life in the USA. Through programs that provide housing, employment assistance, and language classes, they help migrants become active and engaged members of their communities. Strengthening Faith Communities The Catholic Church in the United States has been significantly shaped by migrants. Immigrant communities often form the backbone of many Catholic parishes, injecting them with vitality and faith. These communities contribute to the growth of the Church in the USA and remind us of the universality of our faith. Our Catholic tradition teaches us to welcome the stranger and to care for the marginalized, and migrants often embody the face of Christ in our midst. Challenges Faced by Migrants While recognizing the positive impact of migrants on our communities, we must also acknowledge the challenges they face. Migrants often experience language barriers, discrimination, and legal obstacles that can be overwhelming. The Catholic Church has a long history of advocating for the rights of migrants and refugees, echoing the Gospel message of love and justice. Conclusion In the United States, migrants bring a rich tapestry of culture, economic vitality, and spiritual growth to our communities. As Catholics, we are called to welcome and support migrants, following the teachings of Jesus Christ. We must remember that migrants are not merely statistics but individuals with unique stories, dreams, and aspirations. By embracing the blessings of migration and addressing the challenges, we can build a more compassionate and just society, reflecting the values of our Catholic faith.