[cfdb-table form=”Young Adult Camping Retreat”]
Karen Skalitzky is a church member and a spiritual director at Old St. Pat’s. A few years ago, she published a book titled, A Recipe for Hope: Stories of Transformation by People Struggling with Homelessness. The book is a collection of stories from men and women Karen met while volunteering at the Inspiration Cafe. If you are not familiar with the Inspiration Cafe, it is a cafe in Uptown offering “restaurant-style meals, case management, employment services, cultural events and subsidized housing units as a means for guests… to overcome homelessness and rebuild their lives.”
Beyond the much needed support services that are made available; the genius, beauty, and compassion behind the Inspiration Cafe is that people who often have no recourse other than to stand in line at a food pantry or soup kitchen are able to enjoy a meal in a sit down restaurant. They talk about it as dining with dignity.
While working as a volunteer cook and server, meals soon became meals and conversations for Karen. She began to ask the guests and other volunteers if they wanted to tell their stories. From those stories came this remarkable book.
Among all the poignant and inspiring stories, there is one passage that continues to stay with me. Karen is listening to a guest named Michael. At the end of their time, she is disappointed. The story was not really about Michael. Instead Michael spent all his time talking about a woman with whom he is in love. Karen invites Michael to talk more about himself. But always, the stories turn to the woman he loves. Karen is not sure this story will fit in the format for her book.
Karen concludes her reflections on this encounter with this passage.
“I take a break. Go for a walk. And it hits me, stops me cold. When have I ever looked at a man or woman on the street and thought about who they loved? Never. Michael’s story opened my eyes. We are all human. And we all love.”
If you have been around Old St. Pat’s for the last fifteen months or so, you have probably heard some of the talk about our North Lawndale Kinship Initiative. “We’re building connections with our neighbors to the west… This isn’t another service project… It’s about the way we want to do church… This is more like doing things with rather than for our neighbors…. We’ll build new relationships… We’ll better recognize the kinship we all share… Out of these new relationships may come a new vision… Together we can be a better city… It will be mutually transforming…” It’s all exciting stuff!
I found both inspiration and something of a gauntlet thrown down at one of our first Kinship Initiative events. My colleague on the staff of Old St. Pat’s, Keara Ette, was leading the group in a reflection on the meaning of kinship. In the course of her reflections she referenced the theologian, Gustavo Gutierrez. We Christians have a serious challenge, Gutierrez suggests. We say we care about the poor, but do we know their names? We say we love them, but can you tell me their names?
In her book, The Holy Intimacy of Strangers, Sarah York relates a story she heard from another author, David Rankin. It is about a time when he stopped at a restaurant for a quick meal.
It was one of those places that catered to what he calls “confused tourists and local residents who had pawned their taste buds.” I have been in many similar greasy spoon eateries, and I can imagine the scene that Rankin observed when a server took orders for a table where the customers appeared to be a mother, a father, and a young son. She wrote the orders for the parents and then turned to the child:
“What will you have?” she asked the boy.
“I want a hot dog! …” the boy began.
“No hot dog!” the mother interrupted. “Give him what we ordered!”
The waitress ignored her.
“Do you want anything on your hot dog?” she asked.
“Ketchup!” the boy replied with a happy smile.
“Coming up!” she said, as she walked to the kitchen.
There was silence at the table.
Then the youngster said to his mother: “Mom, she thinks I’m real!”
Catholic wisdom tells us our dignity as human persons comes from the fact we are made in the imago Dei. Imago Dei is Latin for the image of God.
The dignity of the human person is just Catholic Social Teaching “speak” for: I am real, I have a name, I am capable of loving. Maybe we begin to honor that dignity in ourselves and others when we believe that the other is a real person; when we take time to learn a name; and when we trust in the other’s capacity for love.
Bob Kolatorowicz serves on the staff of Old St. Patrick’s Church.
“Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, #357
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
The Justice Initiative was created to facilitate the efforts of Old St. Patrick’s Church to promote the work of social justice. We welcome new projects and your involvement! For more information about The Justice Initiative, please contact The Justice Initiative staff liaison, Bob Kolatorowicz, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 312.831.9379.
Season for Social Justice
… a time to provoke thought,
dialogue, and action …
As we begin the 2012-13 program year at Old St. Patrick’s, The Justice Initiative invites your participation in our seventh annual Season for Social Justice. While we know that our vocation to work for justice never goes out of season, we also know the benefits of time dedicated to a purpose. The seasons of Advent and Lent, experiences like retreats and sabbaticals, even the sacred time we give ourselves at Sunday Mass; can all serve as tools for deepening our understanding of who we are and what we are called to do. Dedicated time can renew and “re-source” us for our work in the world.
This September, we invite you to join us in creating a dedicated time for deepening our understanding of Catholic Social Teaching and our vocation to create a more just and peaceful world. Our hopes are that the Season for Social Justice will:
- affirm and celebrate your good work on behalf of the social justice,
- invite you to intentionally anchor this good work in your Catholic identity,
- draw your attention to the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching and specifically to this year’s theme, the principle of the Dignity of the Human Person,
- support your efforts of building a better and more just world.
The Dignity of the Human Person
“The dignity of the human person originates from God and is of God because we are made in God’s own image and likeness (Gn 1:26-27).
Human beings have transcendent worth and value that comes from God; this dignity is not based on any human quality, legal mandate, or individual merit or accomplishment.
Human dignity is inalienable — it is an essential part of every human being and is an intrinsic quality that can never be separated from other essential aspects of the human person.
The principle of human dignity is the foundation of all the Catholic Social Teaching principles.”
Source: Education for Justice, The Center of Concern
The Season for Social Justice, Thoughts on the Theme
by Bob Kolatorowicz
Band of Sisters
World Premiere: Friday, September 14
Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 164 N. State Street, Chicago
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The 7 a.m., 12:10 p.m., Masses on Wednesday, August 15 will celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For your convenience, we have added a Mass at 5:30 p.m. We invite you to celebrate with us.
A key component of the North Lawndale Kinship Initiative is to connect the talents and expertise from members of Old St. Pat’s to the North Lawndale community.
Two interesting opportunities have emerged with our sister parish, St .Agatha’s. St .Agatha’s School needs help developing a marketing plan to boost enrollment, fundraise, and upgrade curricular resources.
Volunteer professionals in Marketing, Resource Development and Fundraising are needed for a few hours per month during the 2012 – 2013 school year. This ministry can greatly benefit and advance St. Agatha’s School and the Kinship Initiative. If you have this expertise and would like to volunteer for these project, please contact Vincent L. Guider, Old St. Pat’s Kinship Initiative Director at email@example.com, or 312.798.2374.
Project: Providing Marketing Assistance to St. Agatha’s School
Leaders of St. Agatha’s School say they need to attract 15 new students per year. One way the Old St. Pat’s community could help in this effort is to work cooperatively with the St. Agatha School staff and leaders in developing a marketing plan designed to help the school reach their target audience. St. Agatha’s already has a brochure and a method for attracting students, but — like any effort — it would certainly benefit from new perspectives.
No doubt within the Old St. Pat’s community there are members who have knowledge and professional background in marketing and who are willing to share these skills to add value to St. Agatha’s efforts to reach more families. This is a great opportunity for Old St. Pat’s members to use their professional skills in service to our sister parish in North Lawndale.
The first step in this project will be a visit to St. Agatha’s School to gain a better understanding of how the school functions and the benefits it offers.
Number of volunteers needed: Two to three to work in partnership with the St. Agatha School staff and leaders in developing a marketing plan to attract more students
Duration of Project: Three to six months.
Project: Fundraising Assistance to St. Agatha’s School
St. Agatha’s School needs students. In order to attract students; however, there needs to be some kind of tuition subsidy, estimated by St. Agatha’s to be in the range of $1,500 per student per year. If we are to help St. Agatha’s School attract students, we also need to increase the subsidy pool.
The task is to develop a fundraising plan. We invite Old St. Pat’s members who have fundraising experience, either as professional fundraisers or as fundraising consultants, to utilize their skills and experience in partnership with our sister parish St. Agatha’s in North Lawndale.
The first step in this project will be to visit St. Agatha’s School to get a better understanding of how the school functions and the benefits it offers.
Number of volunteers needed: Three to five to work in partnership with the St. Agatha’s School staff and leaders to develop and implement a fundraising strategy.
Duration of Project: Three to six months.
Opportunity: North Lawndale College Prep Senior Project
“Compassion is always, at its most authentic, about a shift from the cramped world of self preoccupation into a more expansive place of fellowship, of true kinship.”
Gregory Boyle “Tattoos on the Heart”
There is nothing more beautiful than helping a young person discover she or he is smart, inquisitive and resilient. Adults who have assisted young people on this journey to academic mastery are forever touched for they have entered into true kinship.
Last year, more than 50 volunteers from Old St. Pat’s helped students from North Lawndale College Prep (NLCP) complete their Senior Project. Senior Project is NLCP’s high school version of a master’s thesis. During the Senior Project, students practice college-level work through an extended, self-directed deep-dive into a single driving question. As there are 200 seniors participating in this project, 200 volunteers are needed to serve as experts, mentors, and panelists.
Can you help? The commitment is modest:
- One meeting on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 from 11 a.m – 1:30 p.m.;
- One meeting on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 from 11 a.m – 1:30 p.m.;
- A one-hour meeting sometime during either March 25 – 29, 2013 or April 23 – 24, 2013.
Only six hours, but a chance to substantially improve a student’s chances of college success. For more information and to sign-up to volunteer, please go to www.nlcphs.org and click the Senior Project link.
NLCP will host a Senior Project information meeting at the NLCP Collins campus at1313 S. Sacramento, Chicago, on Thursday September 20, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. Please come and see examples of previous years’ Senior Projects as this is an excellent opportunity to have all your questions answered and meet the students. But be forewarned, to meet them is to begin true kinship.
Volunteers are needed to teach 7th and 8th grade math at the House of Mary and Joseph Shelter — Old St. Pat’s Outreach to the homeless of Chicago. the time commitment is one – two hours hours per week daytime, Monday – Friday. For more information, please contact Beth Marek, Director of Outreach, Old St. Pat’s at 312.831.9361, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Development
Welcome to Old St. Patrick’s Church! It is through your presence, Old St. Pat’s is able to provide compelling educational programs, invaluable Outreach services, rewarding volunteer opportunities, and spiritual nourishment for all. We would be delighted if you would consider sharing your time and talents within the Old St. Patrick’s community.
Many visitors or new members ask, “Why the term, Member?” instead of the common term, “parishioner.” This Membership language is intentional. No, you are not joining an elite club and no, there really aren’t member perks. However, you are choosing your spiritual home. You are choosing to pray with us, serve with us, and provide your generous gifts with us. You are choosing this sacred place as your spiritual home. We entrust the Mission of Old St. Pat’s to its Members.
Our current generation of members joins with those of the past in striving to build an experience of Church that is genuinely welcoming, mission oriented, and Christ centered. We welcome men and women, people of all races and ethnicities, young and old, gay and straight. We welcome rich and poor, searchers and seekers, Catholics and people of other religious traditions. We are gifted by your presence.
To learn more about Membership or to check your membership status at Old St. Patrick’s, please reach out to Molly Galo. If you are ready to become a Member of Old St. Pat’s, please fill out our online registration form from the link below.
[contact-form-7 id=”5135″ title=”Pentecost 2012 Question”]
Theology and Lunch (or Coffee!)
Do you ever find yourself
pondering questions on God, Catholicism, life, spirituality, theology, morals, Jesus…?
We should talk.
Religion and spirituality are often a huge part of peoples’ lives that are not talked about nearly enough. If you have doubts, questions, thoughts, I would love to hear them. I have often found in my own spiritual journey that the most helpful people were the ones who would listen to my questions and offer guidance/insight. My hope is that I can try my best to offer similar guidance to some of you in the Old St. Pat’s community.
A little about who I am: my name is Erin and I am currently at Old St. Pat’s as a ministry intern. I am also going to graduate school and am in my second year of the Master of Divinity Program at the University of Chicago Divinity School. I am not a therapist, social worker, evangelist, or certified life guide, but I am open-minded, relaxed, and passionate about people/religion. I got this idea because I heard about a similar program working out well in a fellow Catholic community.
If you are interested, please email me at email@example.com to schedule a time to meet. I am available on Sundays and Mondays. We will meet at the Old St. Pat’s offices, Fr. Jack Wall Mission Center, 711 Monroe, Chicago, or we could even meet for a caffeine boost at the near-by Starbucks. We can meet for 45 minutes. Just bring yourself and your thoughts!
As history continues to be told about Old St. Patrick’s Church in these past 30 years, one of the major components that seem to be a common thread woven through the stories is about the very intentional Outreach this church has made to the young adult population. Thankfully, a marvelous mission with a creative spirit has fostered a place where young adult Catholics can feel at home and be part of a church that is actually relevant to their lives. In 2012, though the landscape of this church has changed and grown in such multi-faceted dimensions, we have thankfully become not only a place of young adults but “seasoned adults,” youth, and growing families.
Just for today, however, I would like to give thanks and praise to a segment of our young adult members who really “knocked one out of the park” last Friday with our first annual Broadway on Adams St! Through the great inspiration of Michael Neary, Mark & Aimee Scozzafave, and Megan Buckley, the young adults of Old St. Pat’s stepped forward, initiated, and produced one of the most enjoyable evenings you will find on a Friday night in January! If you find your way to the 5 p.m. Mass on Sunday at Old St. Pat’s, you will find a tremendously energetic and wildly talented group of young adults who primarily make up the choir for this particular Liturgy. Through their love for song and kinship, this marvelous group put together a cabaret of tunes from 24 different musicals including 42nd Street, Guys & Dolls, Wicked, and Rent to name just a few. I am so grateful to these talented performers and especially to Keara Coughlin on our staff who directs our Young Adult Outreach. Along with our RCIA (of which this year we have another great number of 39 young adults who are preparing for initiation into the church at Easter), Keara and her team of young adults continues to foster a great spirit of welcome and excitement for church through numerous service opportunities, faith sharing groups, socials, book club conversations, and events such as Broadway on Adams.
I am tremendously grateful for the presence of so many young adults who find their way to Old St. Pat’s. When it comes to church life, the practice of faith, and people in those years of their 20’s and 30’s, they can be pretty tough and a somewhat confusing time. While I am well pleased by the many dimensions of Old St. Pat’s, I hope and pray we continue to keep a strong focus on our young adult population. I am particularly excited and grateful to our young adult members who continue to increase and enhance our Liturgical ministries and especially our 5 p.m. Mass on Sundays. Like all of our Liturgies, my hope is to see them grow and flourish. My deep thanks to all of you who create life at Old St. Pat’s and especially our young adults in 2012.
Side note: many people have been asking me about a comedy thing that you may have seen advertized on WTTW. Many months ago, I was asked by a friend of mine (who himself is a young adult; and whose wedding I presided at last year) to participate in what is called The Chicago Stand Up Project, sponsored by WTTW and Zanies Comedy Club. Pat McGann, my friend, is one of the lead hosts at Zanies and he is the one who got me roped in to this thing! After a few meetings, I finally hit the stage back in November and tried my hand at stand-up comedy. The show will be televised on all the Fridays of February and my segment will be aired on Friday, February 24 at 8:30 p.m., Channel 11. It was quite an experience and great fun. But trust me, I am not quitting my day job to pursue a life in comedy! The Chicago Live advertisement you saw in the Chicago Tribune was strictly an interview with Rick Kogan to talk about the project. How do I get myself into these things?
Have a good week and keep laughing,
Fr. Tom Hurley
North Lawndale College Prep
First Meeting: Monday, November 21, 2011
Our North Lawndale Initiative took a huge stride forward last Sunday, November 6, 2011, as almost 300 Old St. Pat’s members and friends joined us at our first Old St. Patrick’s / North Lawndale Community Meeting. Exploring the ideas of kinship and mutual transformation, we considered how two communities only seventeen blocks away (yet, in some respects, worlds away) might enter into a new relationship.
In addition to brainstorming about some of the “big ideas” for building bridges between the communities, we all had a chance to listen to the inspiring story of North Lawndale College Prep, an innovative and highly successful two-campus charter school. Mr. John Horan, President of North Lawndale College Prep, literally rocked the room as he spoke to the challenges and the possibilities for North Lawndale and Old St. Pat’s.
As we continue to pursue the possibilities raised in the brainstorming conversation, we have, at the same time, an opportunity to begin building relationships with the community of North Lawndale through a project at North Lawndale College Prep.
North Lawndale College Prep (NLCP) is asking for our assistance with their Senior Project. As a graduation requirement, each NLCP senior must complete a Senior Project. The Senior Project is the academic hallmark of the NLCP experience. The Senior Project consists of a major research project and presentation before a panel of reviewers. In order to make this experience richer, NLCP is in need of “experts” to assist the seniors in the formation of their projects.
Senior Project Experts are asked to volunteer for the following:
1. Commit to an understanding of Senior Project’s ambitions. Detailed information is available
2. Commit to be the Senior Project Expert for at least one NLCP Senior;
3. Commit to three meetings with the senior, each for one-two hours.
- Meeting #1: Monday, November 21, 2011
- Meeting #2: Wednesday, January 25, 2012
- Meeting #3: One meeting during the week of March 27 – 30, or April 23 – May 7, 2012.