What's New Archives for
January 2, 2002 to March 26, 2002
Too much Sun.
Yet cactus flowers grow!
Too much poverty.
Yet homeless men and women live!
You can be like water in the desert for the homeless men and women of Chicago. Help them reach their full potential by supporting our Spring Benefit Dinner
Water in the Desert
We already have many great raffle prizes, including
Proceeds benefit our programs that help the homeless. Bring a friend and have an evening of food, fun, and raising money for the homeless of Chicago.
Invitations will be mailed soon! To purchase your tickets on-line, click here.
We are the fortunate recipients of a donation of office furniture! We'll be needing this office furniture for an expansion of our case management services that we are planning for this summer. (More on the expansion in a future What's New.) The items we will be receiving are:
These items are being donated by the law firm of Witwer, Poltrock & Giampietro, who is moving to a new space that already has enough of the above items.
In order to accept these items, we need to be able to move them and store them until about the middle of the summer. The law firm's moving date is March 28, so they need the furniture out by March 27.
We'd need a large truck to move these items! We also need to store them. Any suggestions would be helpful! Call Diana or Fr. Larry as soon as possible - (773) 278-6724. Thanks!
Sometimes the questions is asked: "If you have able-bodied individuals in your shelter, what takes them so long to become housed?" Many factors come into play. A few are able to become housed with only a little help from a case manager. Most others, however, encounter delays over which they have little control. Some of these delays are caused by:
We help our guests to see the benefit of waiting and working towards a goal that sometimes seems very far away. During this long journey, we provide the food and shelter that's necessary to keep up strength and hope. Thanks for joining us in this good work!
~~We've Received a $2,000 donation for this work. Thanks!~~
Full-time volunteers are the lifeblood of our ministry at our overnight shelter and soup kitchen. We'd like to convert the volunteer's laundry room into a bedroom by moving the washer and dryer into the bathroom. This will add another bedroom at the shelter, bringing the total to 6 for volunteers and one for the supervisor on call.
The work includes:
We need the work finished by May when we'll have more volunteers than bedrooms.
The cost is estimated at $2,000. We're looking for a donor who can sponsor the work and/or volunteers to help do the work. If you can help, call Bill Baerentzen at the shelter (773) 265-6683 or (773) 991-4728 or e-mail him
Here is a quote from a speech delivered by Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of the Diocese of Las Cruces during a symposium on poverty and the Christian response. The symposium, called Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, was organized by Foundations and Donors interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA) and held last year.
"Secondly, I would like to reflect on the call to holiness and the issue of poverty - poverty as a spiritual challenge. The challenge of holiness is that wholeness to which we are called.
. . .
"... Our spiritual selves cannot be separated from our lives. Our lived-out discipleship in what we say and do is as much an expression of our spirituality as are our precious quiet moments dedicated to personal communion with God.
"I think all of us who have had any kind of experience with God would love to have time to go alone, by ourselves, and just think, or just be. We just do not ever have time to do that. We do not make time to do that. But, that is important.
"Our active lives can suffer from the lack of meaning, direction, depth, and authenticity if they are not fed by personal prayer and private reflection.
"On the other hand, our spiritual selves can be meaningless and empty if they do not spill out into the works of justice, charity, and solidarity. The way we relate with others is a test of our relationship with God.
"In his first letter, St. John says it very clearly. 'One who has no love for the brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen. (1 John 4:20). St. Matthew conveys the same idea. . . .
"Christian spirituality concerns and embraces a whole life of a person, a life renewed, transformed and transfigures by the spirit of God. It is not simply the interior life. It is directed towards the implementation of both commandments of Christ: to love God, and to love neighbor."
The Bishop had many good things to say... too bad I can't quote them all here! The report of the symposium can be purchased from the FADICA website at www.FADICA.org/direct_fall01.html. Look for the paragraph about Blessed are the Poor in Spirit at the bottom of the FADICA page.
If you would like to expand your involvement with the poor, get involved with our ministry. Consider one of the volunteer opportunities listed on our volunteer page or donate financial support on-line. Carry out the command to love God and love your neighbor!
If you'd like to hear more about the relationship between faith and helping the poor, inquire about the parish mission that our Executive Director, Fr. Larry Janezic, has available.
Our Spring dinner at the Berghoff Restaurant
Monday, May 20, 2002
(note the date change from the 13th to the 20th!)
Delicious German and American food, appetizer buffet, open bar, raffle prizes, good company, and more!
Mark you calendars now!
Raffle prizes, silent auction prizes, sports tickets, and other good stuff we can use at our Spring or Fall dinner to help raise money for the poor and homeless - watch your contribution generate donations!!
If you have something to donate, call Diana at (773) 278-6724 or email her
The following was given to Bro. Don by a guest who eats dinner at the Marquard Center. The guest did not know who wrote it. We would like to share it with you as a Valentine's Day gift. Here it is, as the guest gave it to us:
WE ARE, INCREDIBLY, THE BODY OF CHRIST. AND WE MAY NOT ACT LIKE OUR FATHER. THERE IS NO GREATER TRUTH THAN THIS: WE ARE HIS UNALTERABLY. HE LOVES US. UNDYINGLY. NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST (8:38-39).
HAD GOD NOT SAID THOSE WORDS. I WOULD BE A FOOL TO WRITE THEM. NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST... BUT HOW DIFFICULT IT IS FOR SOME TO EMBRACE THIS TRUTH.
YOU THINK YOU'VE COMMITTED AN ACT THAT PLACES YOU OUTSIDE OF HIS LOVE. A BETRAYAL. AN ABORTED PROMISE. YOU THINK HE WOULD LOVE YOU MORE IF YOU HADN'T DONE IT. RIGHT?
YOU THINK HE WOULD LOVE YOU MORE IF YOU DID MORE. RIGHT? YOU THINK IF YOU WERE BETTER HIS LOVE WOULD BE DEEPER, RIGHT? WRONG WRONG WRONG
GOD'S LOVE IS NOT HUMAN. HIS LOVE IS NOT NORMAL. HIS LOVES SEES YOUR SIN AND LOVES YOU STILL.
DOES HE APPROVE OF YOUR SIN? NO. DO YOU NEED TO REPENT? YES.
BUT YOU REPENT FOR HIS SAKE OR YOURS? YOURS. HIS LOVE NEEDS NO BARTERING. HIS EGO NEEDS NO APOLOGY. AND HE COULD NOT LOVE YOU MORE THAN HE DOES RIGHT NOW.
~ AUTHOR UNKNOWN
May each of you have a happy Valentines Day!
Our Case Managers help our guests find whatever services they need to improve their lives or end their homelessness. But how do they do it? One statistic from our year end tabulations gives the answer. Here's how the Case Managers' activities breaks down:
This activity was performed during 5,105 separate client meetings in 2001. We provide our guests with more than just a bed and food!
Most of the time, we at the Outreach go about our daily tasks without much discussion about how our work relates to the bigger picture. Fr. Larry's work on the parish mission he's presenting this Spring has made us more aware that many of the themes of Catholic Social Teaching relate to our work with the homeless. Here are a few quotes from Catholic social teachings...
"In the Catholic social vision, the human person is central, the clearest reflection of God among us. Each person possesses a basic dignity that comes from God, not from any human quality or accomplishment, nor from race or gender, age or economic status. The test of every institution or policy is whether it enhances or threatens human life and human dignity. We believe people are more important than things."
- U.S. Catholic Bishops, A Century of Social Teaching, 4.
" It is the strict duty of justice and truth not to allow fundamental human needs to remain unsatisfied, and not to allow those burdened by such needs to perish. It is also necessary to help these needy people to acquire expertise, to enter the circle of exchange, and to develop their skills in order to make the best use of their capacities and resources."
- Pope John Paul II, On the Hundredth Anniversary of
Rerum Novarum (Centesimus Annus ), no. 34.
"Flowing from our God-given dignity, each person has basic rights and responsibilities. ... People have a fundamental right to life and to those things that make life truly human: food, clothing, housing, health care, education, security, social services, and employment. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities - to one another, to our families, and to the larger society, to respect the rights of others and to work for the common good."
- U.S. Catholic Bishops, A Century of Social Teaching, 5.
"Poor and vulnerable people have a special place in Catholic social teaching. A basic moral test of society is how its most vulnerable members are faring. This is not a new insight; it is the lesson of the parable of the Last Judgment (see Mt 25). Our tradition calls us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first. As Christians, we are called to respond to the need of all our sisters and brother, but those with the greatest needs require the greatest response."
- U.S. Catholic Bishops, A Century of Social Teaching, 6-7.
Information about Catholic Social Teaching can be found on the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, www.usccb.org
If you're interested in learning more about Fr. Larry's mission, which can also be presented as an adult education program.
We're proud to announce a new opportunity for individuals and groups to volunteer at the shelter. Up until now, we've been using two volunteers a night to make sandwiches and pass out soup when the guests come in. Now we need seven every night.
Old St. Pat's Church has been coordinating the wonderful teams of people that have been doing this work for many years.
With our new staffing plan, we'll be needing more volunteers at our shelter every night. Old St. Pat's will be able to help with some of this expansion, but we need the help of a lot more groups.
Volunteers will work from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. They'll make sandwiches, pour soup into cups, give a sandwich and cup of soup to each guest, and hand out towels in the men's dorm. The volunteer who works in the men's dorm handing out towels must be an adult male. High school students are welcome as long as some of the volunteers are adults. To read more details about what the volunteers will do, go to our Volunteer at the Shelter page.
Since this is a new opportunity and we need to increase the number of volunteers as soon as we can, we need your help in promoting this opportunity to whomever might be interested. Churches are the logical choice - but don't just stop at the front office, think about Men's Clubs, Women's Clubs, Social Action Committees, Youth Groups , and Small Christian Communities.
Work groups might be interested too. Are you looking for a team building experience? Volunteering might help your employees see how important it is to work together (and maybe even how important it is to have a job!)
Are you a professional who's looking for a unique opportunity to build relationships with clients? How about volunteering together? With the work hours being from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., there's time for dinner before or socializing afterwards.
Do you have friends that you see all the time but are getting tired of the same old restaurants? Why not invite them to volunteer and go out afterwards?
Colleges, schools, family groups, prayer groups, support groups, and any other kind of group imaginable can all benefit from working together as a team to bring needed food and shelter to the homeless of Chicago.
Copy and paste the following link into an e-mail to whomever might be interested:
or have them look up the page at www.franoutreach/part time at shelter.htm Then follow up with a phone call to see what they think of the opportunity.
Can't get seven volunteers together? If you can get five, three, or even one volunteer (yourself?), we can match you with another group. We appreciate every volunteer group, no matter how small!
By reaching our to your friends and contacts, you'll be helping us all to reach out to the homeless of Chicago. Send an email, make a call, and/or talk to a friend or colleague today. Its one small step towards making the world a better place!
Any questions about volunteering? Call Ben, the Supervisor of the Men's Dorm at the shelter, at (773) 265-6683 or (773) 495-2721 or email him at
How many shelter nights, meals, and other services did we provide in 2001? Here are the final results...
Franciscan House of Mary & Joseph
shelter nights - 87,933
meals at the shelter - 158,954
showers at the shelter - est. 40,000
guests turned away because we were filled - 1,190
meals at the Marquard Center soup kitchen - 52,478
showers at the Marquard Center - 1,169
bags of laundry washed at the Marquard Center - 1,095
Case Management Program
(serves guests from shelter and soup kitchen)
number of separate issues addressed with guests - 5,974
Individuals and groups often ask us what kinds of things they can collect for us. Here is a list of things we use on a regular basis that you or your group can collect or buy for us.
Personal care items & how much we use per month at the House of Mary & Joseph shelter and the Marquard Center showers
shampoo - 60 full sized bottles at HMJ
shampoo - 115 hotel/sample size at MC
conditioner - 30 bottles
hand lotion - 30 bottles at HMJ, 2 at MC
hair spray - 30 bottles
hair gel - 30 bottles
petroleum jelly - 60 jars at HMJ, 2 at MC
combs - 60 at HMJ, 50 at MC
disposable razors - 150 at HMJ, 110 at MC
deodorant - 60 sticks at HMJ, 2 at MC
toothbrushes - 210 at HMJ, 50 at MC
toothpaste - 60 tubes at HMJ, 2 at MC
shaving gel - 15 cans at HMJ, 2 at MC
soap - 450 full size bars at HMJ, 115 hotel size bars at MC
fem. hygiene products - 90 pads
Food products & how much we use per month at the shelter
sugar - 300 lbs.
coffee - 30 3 lb. cans
salt - 30 26 oz. cans
canned fruits and vegetables (suitable for soup or breakfast)
canned meats suitable for soup (chili, tuna, stew)
small bath towels
sheets (New! We can now accept any size, flat or fitted)
silverware (forks and spoons)
Things we want to buy ourselves, but for which you can make a contribution
plastic sporks (spoon/fork combination)
Clothing we usually need We don't have much room to store clothing, so we give out only a few items and provide referrals to clothing distribution agencies for the rest.
hats and gloves
donations from individuals and groups
matching grants from employers
wills & bequests
restricted donations for specific projects or items
For items we need at the moment but don't need on a recurring basis, use this link to our Wish List.
To participate in our on-line Buy-A-Supply program, use this link to our Buy-A-Supply page.
How can you get these items to us? We can pick them up. Call us at (773) 278-6724 or email us
Any questions? Call Carin or Diana at (773) 278-6724 or email us.
At Franciscan Outreach Association, we set our budget for each new year in the previous October. We start with the current year's income and expense and adjust them for what we hope will occur in the coming year.
For the year 2002, our budget is $828,757. This is an increase in $135,657 over the 2001's budget of $693,100. We're stretching to try to provide the most services to the homeless and poor as we can.
The expenses in the 2002 budget are:
The total amount is very low for the amount of services we provide. This is because we conduct our program with only a small number of salaried employees. The full-time volunteers, who bless us with a year of their lives, and the 2,250 part-time volunteers who help us each year enable us to provide a great deal of services on a very small budget. Also, the Franciscan friars who work for us work for only a part of what non-Franciscan would require - this helps us deliver a high volume of good quality services for a low budget.
On the income side, approximately half comes from grants and the other half from donations. We've set our sights high next year because we want to do the most we can for our guests. We aren't ones to keep any excess funds to ourselves - we share them with our guests by adding more staff as soon as we think we can.
Pray that we will be able to find enough new income sources to meet the growing needs of our guests. Their future depends on it!
To donate on line using click here.
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