North Lawndale Initiative Town Hall Meeting

Please Join Us!
North Lawndale Initiative Town Hall Meeting
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Old St. Patrick’s Church Hall
6:15 p.m. (following the 5 p.m. Mass)
Light refreshments

Attending to the needs of the community has always been an important part of the life and mission of Old St. Patrick’s Church. The longer history, reaching back to the founding of the parish in 1846, contains an impressive record of how generations of Old St. Patrick’s members responded to community needs for education, job training, housing, and other social services. St. Patrick’s High School, Marillac High School (now merged with Loyola Academy), Mercy Home for Boys and Girls (originally called The Working Boys’ Home), Catholic Charities, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and Marillac Settlement House are among the many service organizations that had their origin at Old St. Patrick’s or shared our campus for a time.

Imagine the thousands of lives that were touched. Imagine the stories that could be told!

Our shorter history, beginning with the revitalization of Old St. Patrick’s in 1983, also gives a good accounting of how people at Old St. Patrick’s have continued to respond to their neighbors in need. Our Outreach Ministry sends hundreds of volunteers who provide a variety of important services at more than twenty different sites throughout the city. Frances Xavier Warde School offers not only the highest quality education, but by design, serves an economically, ethnically, racially, and religiously mixed student body reflecting the rich diversity of our city and the genuine catholicity of our faith. Our campus is home to caring and highly successful social service providers such as: Horizons for Youth, The CARA Program, the Career Transitions Center, Harmony, Hope, and Healing, and the Global Alliance for Africa. Old St. Patrick’s members frequently sponsor and support food and clothing drives, blood drives, special collections for scholarship funds, Catholic Relief Services, and the Campaign for Human Development. Our special relationships with LIFT, Coprodeli, and Friends of Fabretto help extend our outreach around the globe.

Thousands of lives are touched and many of you can tell those stories.

With such a rich history and so much going on today, there can be a temptation to take the foot off the gas pedal. Not so with the people of Old St. Patrick’s. Seeing the work yet to be done, Old St. Patrick’s celebrated Pentecost this past June by advancing a bold new vision. Expressing that vision in a question, we ask: in the years to come, how might Old St. Patrick’s enter into relationship with people in North Lawndale in a way that recognizes our kinship with each other, is open to mutual transformation, and creates a better city?

Join us for this “town hall” meeting for what is sure to be a great conversation. We will discuss: why North Lawndale? what do we mean by kinship and mutuality? how is the initiative different from our current efforts? what are the possibilities? how do we plan to begin?

In the years to come, what lives will be touched, what stories wait to be told?

We begin with service, service is good but you don’t want to stop there. Service is the hallway that leads to the ballroom, but the ballroom is kinship. The measure of our compassion is not in our service of those on the margins but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them. One of the great privileges of my life was knowing Cesar Chavez. I remember once he was being interviewed by reporters and they said, “Wow, these farm workers really love you”. He smiled and he shrugged and he said, “It’s mutual, it’s mutual.”

– Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J.