Church

 

 


 

Dear Family and Friends,

Christmas Greetings from Chicago!  I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving celebration. On the Saturday before Thanksgiving we had a wonderful Thanksgiving prayer service and brunch for 550 neighbors and 250 volunteers.  As the neighbors departed, each family received a turkey and all of the trimmings for a Thanksgiving feast.

We are now busy preparing our annual Christmas festivities for the neighborhood including Nativity scenes, delicious food and incredible gifts.  Please visit our website (missionola.com) for details on the various celebrations as well as pictures of events held throughout the year.

The Mission also continues to sponsor community dinners.  On average, 150 neighbors join us for a simple prayer service in the Church followed by a delicious dinner in the Church basement.  It is wonderful to see the neighbors getting to know each other better.  This has been another wonderful opportunity to share our Faith and build community in the neighborhood.

Our little Franciscan community here continues to thrive.  On September 4, Sr. Stephanie made her Final Vows and Sister Jess made her First Vows.  I enjoy working with such a wonderful and dedicated group of young Franciscans.  Please continue to pray for more wonderful vocations such as the ones the Lord has been sending our way.

 

During this year, in which Chicago has so frequently made national news for violence beyond most of our imaginations, I have some good news to share. Elijah, one of the teens who has been in our youth programs for many years, is graduating from high school in May and has received a full 4-year basketball scholarship to the University of Tulsa.  He has been mentoring younger kids in our programs and is showing by his example how hard work and a positive attitude can make a difference.  He is very grateful for the mentoring and support he received that kept him on the right path. Your generous support makes success possible for Elijah and many like him.  In our neighborhood with a 68% drop out rate, I am proud that our kids are all at or above grade level, have a safe alternative to the gangs and drugs that rule our streets, and have examples, like Elijah, to point them in the right direction.

We continue to help over 700 families a month with food, clothing and household goods.  Our retreat and volunteer programs keep us busy with hospitality in the former convent.

To do this necessary work here we need and appreciate your help. If you are able to make a donation to assist us, click HERE.  During this Holy Season and throughout the year, be assured of remembrance in daily prayers and Masses.  If you have any special intentions please contact me.

May God Bless you and your loved ones with a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

With Love and Prayer,