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Bishop Bob's summer message

Dear family and friends,

Greetings from Chicago! Despite the pandemic and our polarized country, the Lord has used the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels to be a center of hope to the 3000-4000 families a month we have served throughout 2020-2021. We wanted to share a few of these stories that give us hope for re-building our community and the unifying power of God working through anything- even the pandemic.

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One neighborhood family has come to the Tuesday pantry every week during the pandemic. They recognized the needs of the many at-risk people on their block who were unable to leave their homes. As the months went by, they delivered food to more and more people. By Thanksgiving 2020, they were delivering food to over 10 families on their immediate block. They were taking multiple trips to the pantry to transport 500-800 lbs. of food to these families every single week.

A Tuesday is not complete without a phone call from Ella, one of the seniors who receives food from our senior delivery program. Her life has been filled with tragedy after tragedy, including an incarcerated son and the loss of many loved ones. 

Every Tuesday she calls to offer blessings and thanks for the food we sent and to check in on how we are doing. One of the only people Ella sees each week, like many seniors on our senior delivery list, is the driver delivering her food. Despite it all, Ella exudes optimism and reminds us how blessed we really are.

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Sr. Jess gave an air mattress to neighbor who had lost her house and livelihood last fall. The neighbor used this air mattress for months as she moved through multiple temporary housing situations.
Recently, the woman saw Sr. Jess at the pantry and described how the air mattress was such a gift to her as she traveled, found housing, and eventually bought a real mattress. This woman then passed on the air mattress to another neighbor who had just lost his house and was in a similar struggle.

The Mission wants to build upon the hope and blessings of our outreach during COVID to strengthen our community by completing the renovation of former Our Lady of the Angels School building as our new outreach center. When the outreach center is complete, our indoor food pantry will be back in action and our seniors’ program will be re-starting in a larger space.

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We will soon be serving hot breakfast at the pantry out of our brand-new kitchen, providing access to toiletries, clothing, and furniture, as well as, very soon, medical counseling and basic health checkups. And this is only the beginning.

Being a bishop has been an extraordinary privilege and increases my awareness of the urgency to evangelize and build the Church. When we finish the new outreach center, we will be able to host up to sixty people here for retreat and service immersion experiences. We want others to encounter Christ in the poor, in prayer, and most importantly, in the Eucharist.

If you can donate to support the end of the outreach center (former school) renovation project and our ongoing outreach, we would be extremely grateful. 

Our Franciscan community continues to thrive. Please know of our many prayers for you and your intentions. Please feel free to contact us with any intentions at olamission@gmail.com.

God bless you,

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Bishop Bob Lombardo

Mission of Our Lady of the Angels, 3808 W. Iowa St., Chicago, IL 60651, 773-486-8431