What's New Archives for
April 2 to July 30, 2002
A new parish mission by Fr. Larry Janezic,
Executive Director of Franciscan Outreach
Called to Be Sign & Symbol
A Parish Mission Exploring
Catholic Identify in Culture and Spirituality
In the brochure for the mission, Fr. Larry writes:
"It is still apparent that even in the current clerical crisis that Catholic identity is strong. Millions of people affiliate themselves with parishes throughout the United States. In addition, there are many who do not affiliate themselves with a parish yet consider themselves Catholic. What makes us Catholic? How is it tied to the way we see ourselves as individuals and as community?"
"'Called to be Sign and Symbol' is a three talk series which explores Catholic identity from the perspective of culture and spirituality. What are the essential aspects of our Catholic heritage? Why is our heritage so precious to us?"
The topics for the talks in this mission are:
Day One: How we came to know we are Catholic
How did we first become aware of our faith? Who taught or formed us in the faith? This talk will highlight the influence of culture in faith formation.
Day Two - What the world sees as Catholic
What are the essential trademarks of our Catholic heritage that are universally recognized? This talk will highlight aspects of Christian spirituality that are recognizably Catholic. We appreciate our Catholic heritage through our celebration of the Sacraments and a faith that calls us to action.
Day Three - Our evolution from Vatican II and future challenges.
Has our Catholic identity changed since Vatican II (for better or worse)? What dimensions of Christian spirituality have evolved since Vatican II. What challenges do we face?
These talks can be presented as a 3 night parish mission, an adult education series, or a retreat. The series can be presented to parishes, Secular Franciscan groups, or other interested organizations. Fr. Larry can give the mission in English or Spanish.
For more information or to schedule a mission call him at (773) 278-6724.
Save the Date!
Our Fall Benefit Dinner will be on
October 28, 2002
The Guest Speaker for the evening
Fr. Andrew Greeley
Sociologist and Author
Mark your calendars for an interesting evening!
Statistics for the shelter for the first six months of 2002 are in!
We've provided 44,205 shelter nights for the first six months in 2002. A shelter night is one person for one night. Here's the chart:
If we use the numbers from the second half of last year to estimate the numbers for this year, we'll end up at 88,470 shelter nights for 2002. In 1998 it was only 85,293.
The turn away rate is also interesting. This is the number of persons we've turned away from the shelter because we were filled to capacity. Here's the chart:
If we use the numbers from the second half of last year to estimate the total for 2002, our turn away rate for 2002 will be 1,395. In 1998 it was only 333!
While we dream of the day that emergency shelters are no longer needed, we're not there yet! Please be generous in your financial support of this good work.
We're just about to mail our Summer Newsletter. You can be the first to read some of the articles on-line! Use the links below to access selected stories from the newsletter. Here are two of the articles in the newsletter:
To receive the newsletter by mail, complete the following form. We'll send you the Summer newsletter and the Fall one when it comes out.
The parish missions that Fr. Larry has been doing on the topic of Catholic Social Teaching have been well received. He has conducted parish missions at:
Each series discusses the Church's social teachings in light of family life, cultural life, and civic responsibility.
If you'd like information about hosting a parish mission on Catholic Social Teaching or another topic, email Fr. Larry for a brochure or more information.
Sometimes our work means the difference between life and death for our guests. One of our case managers, Anne, reports that in the last year she has encountered at least six guests at our soup kitchen who were seriously considering suicide.
All six guests are alive today after having spoken with her in her office or being sent to the hospital to receive immediate treatment.
The story of one such guest shows how much of a difference our case managers can make. The name of this guest and some of the details of the story have been left out to protect his privacy.
This man was a guest of our soup kitchen for several years. He lives on the streets. One day, another guest who was a friend of his told the case manager that he was talking about killing himself. The case manager took the man aside and encouraged him to come to her office for a break. She wanted to assess the degree to which his suicidal thoughts had reached and whether immediate intervention was necessary.
After a short time, this wary, tough man decided to take a chance and talk to her. He talked for over an hour. His life had been full of trauma, the details of which we will not mention.
Yet despite all the negative aspects of his life, the case manager could see goodness in this man. He told her about his acutely developed sense of justice and how he sticks up for women and animals that are being beaten, often at risk to himself. He also feeds stray squirrels, cats, and raccoons that visit the place where he stays. He was open and trusting of her and honest about himself and his feelings. They laughed and cried together. She helped him see that he brings a lot of goodness to the world around him.
That night, he left the case manager's office with hope in his eyes. He agreed to see a counselor who specializes in street-based homeless persons. He swore on his honor and with a firm handshake that he would not hurt himself.
He continues to come to the soup kitchen. One day he
said to the case manager: "You'll never know how much you helped me by
talking to me that night. I still think about some of the things that you
said that day and it helps me feel like I belong in this world." He still
has a difficult road to travel in life, but he now has faith that there is
a way other than suicide to alleviate his deep heartache.
Please, pray for our guests and case managers!
Want to organize a unique summer outing with friends? Plan a
~~~ Garage Sale Cruise ~~~
Gather some friends who like to shop and cruise the neighborhood on a Friday or Saturday morning looking for deals! Look at it this way... you can shop, buy things, and not even have to find a place in your home to put them!
These are the items we need that you might find at a garage sale...
silverware (forks and spoons)
small bath towels
sheets (New! We can now accept any size, flat or fitted)
irons for clothes
Clothing (these items only)
hats and gloves
Send us a photo of your group shopping for us and we'll post it on our website! We can even pick the items up from you if that's most convenient ... ask for Carin at (773) 278-6724 . Have fun shopping!
Our Spring Benefit Dinner "Water in the Desert" at the Berghoff Restaurant was a success! The 163 persons who attended had a great time! The winners were:
At FOA, we use donated automobiles for the following purposes:
We are interested in all kinds of cars, including mini-vans, work vans, and passenger cars. We won't just sell it to make money, but use it in our programs. We'll keep the car as long as it we can rely on it to work. (Unfortunately we are not interested in cars that don't work or need a lot of repairs.) We'll make repairs for as long as doing so is cost-effective.
Since we are a 501(c)(3) corporation, your donation is tax deductible. We'll give you the tax papers you need to file for the deduction.
So if you or anyone you know has a car to donate, think of us. Your car could be used to help bring food, shelter, and case management services to the homeless.
Call Fr. Larry at (773) 278-6724
Buy a ticket to our Spring Benefit Dinner
Water in the Desert
(Click icon to enlarge)
on Monday, May 20, 2002, at the Berghoff Restaurant, in downtown Chicago, and be ready to bid on some great prizes!
In addition to the prizes we're offering in our raffle (tickets are $5 each or six for $25 - winner need not be present), we have a separate auction and raffle for just those who attend the dinner. The prizes for the silent auction is:
The raffle prizes open to just those attending the dinner include:
So buy your ticket to the dinner online or call Carin at (773) 278-6724. You'll have a fun time!
Fr Jim Hoffman left Franciscan Outreach after 11 years as manager of the shelter. He went on a sabbatical to meet with other Franciscan throughout the U.S. who were in off-the-beaten path ministries. He is now the director of the Province Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. In that role he, advocates for the need to stand in solidarity with people who are oppressed. His areas of interest are:
+ opposition to Plan Columbia and working with the Franciscans in Columbia and Brazil
+ the promotion of the Nonviolence Peaceforce, which is a ongoing group that would travel on request to areas of the world to accompany people who are working towards a reconciliation process.
Every quarter we survey our guests and report the results to the City of Chicago. Our survey for the first quarter of 2002 yielded the following information:
Pray for our guests!
Here at Franciscan Outreach Association...
we try to serve with joy because our guests may feel, as St. Francis did, that...
If at any times temptation or despondency comes along to try me, and I see joy in my companions, then I immediately recover and let go of the temptation or depression. The joy I admire in others restores my own inward and outward joy
-- Mirror of Perfection, 96
we open our doors to those who need food and shelter, without asking a lot of questions,
just as St. Francis said...
Anyone who comes to the brothers, friend or enemy, thief or robber, is to be received with kindness.
-- Rule of 1221, Chapter VII
we look for the good in our guests,
and see them as beloved children of God,
in the same way that...
St. Francis praised the Artist in everyone of his works; whatever he found in things made, he referred to their Maker. He rejoiced in all the works of the Lord's hands, and with joyful vision saw into the reason and cause that gave them life.
-- Celano, Second Life, 165
and we love our neighbor because we pray...
"Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," that we may love you with our whole heart by always thinking of you; with our whole soul by always desiring you; with our whole mind by directing all our intentions to you and seeking your honor in all things; with all our strength by spending all the powers and senses of the body and soul in service of your love and not in anything else; and that we may love our neighbor even as ourselves, drawing everything, to the best of our power, to your love; rejoicing in the good of others as in our own, and being compassionate in their troubles
--Paraphrase of the Our Father
Join us in loving our neighbors in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. Volunteer or donate today!
The quotations were taken from:
Through the Year With St. Francis of Assisi: Daily Meditations from His Words and Life, Selected and Translated by Murray Bodo, Published by St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1993. Available from St. Anthony Messenger Press: www.americancatholic.org
A volunteer who responded to a What's New request for office help has put together a lot of data for us from our case management files. The information is a summary of all of one of our case manager's files for 2001.
Here is a sampling of the information...
How many of Joe's clients in 2001 admitted that they face substance abuse issues? 35% did, 65% did not
How many of Joe's clients stated that they face mental health issues? 30% did, 75% did not
How many of Joe's clients in 2001 stated that they had physical health issues? 41% did, 59% did not
More statistics will follow in a few weeks! Thanks Karla!
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