The St. Benedict Human Concerns Commission answers the challenge given at the conclusion of every Mass: "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord and one another." We minister to those among us with spiritual, physical, social and economic needs, and to those experiencing lack and loss. Through active participation and leadership in the human concerns of the parish, neighborhood, city, country, and world communities, we are Christianity in action. While affirming and upholding the dignity of each individual, we promote education regarding socio-economic issues and concrete action rooted in the Gospel message.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter
In an effort to reach out in the community to those who might otherwise be alone at the holidays, St. Benedict Parish hosts three holiday dinners—Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. These holiday dinners are truly potluck in that all of the food, supplies, and help we get are donated by parishioners, neighbors, local businesses, and friends of the parish. We are never disappointed by the abundant generosity of so many people—there is never a shortage of food or hospitality.
ST. BENEDICT SANCTUARY
The mission of Benedict Sanctuary is to raise awareness among our parish staff, parish families, and the greater neighborhood community about the prevalence of and realities of domestic violence and abuse. The Sanctuary helps to disseminate information about available resources for individuals facing domestic violence and abuse. They also help to promote the development of healthy relationships through young adult education and marriage preparation as well as offering assistance and solidarity with those seeking to leave an abusive relationship.
St. Ben’s Health Committee brings together healthcare professionals who seek to assist the parish in caring for the whole person - in body and mind as well as spirit. We do so by gathering resources, examining various health issues, maintaining communication with parishioners in need, and disseminating information on health care topics.
COMMON FOOD PANTRY
Help Fight Hunger in Our Community
Looking around our beautiful neighborhood, it’s hard to believe that some of our neighbors struggle to provide for their most basic needs. The fact is that every month an average of 300 households representing 1,100 people depend on The Common Pantry for food and personal care items.
The Common Pantry offers qualifying clients monthly allotments of groceries, produce, canned goods, frozen foods and health and beauty supplies at no cost. A significant portion of the food distributed by The Common Pantry comes from individual and corporate donations. The rest is purchased from the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation, and local grocery stores.
Our community here at St. Benedict supports The Common Pantry with a food drive every third Sunday of the month. Non-perishable items as well as toiletries can be left in the St. Benedict Shrine on the third Sunday of the month. Or you may bring donations directly to the Common Pantry on Mondays and Tuesdays between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon or during service hours on Wednesdays between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. or 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. The Common Pantry is located at 3744 N Damen Avenue. Your continued support of the Common Pantry is gratefully appreciated.
Here is a list of items that the Common Pantry’s clients currently need:
Toilet Paper, Cereal, Pasta, Coffee, Hamburger/Tuna Helper, Oats/Oatmeal, Boxed Dinners, Side Dishes (rice/pasta/mashed potatoes), Pancake Mix, Vegetable Oil, Tomato Sauce, Canned Tuna and other meats, Canned goods (vegetables/fruits/soups/beans), Salad Dressings, Vegetable/Chicken Broths, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Paper Towels, Toothpaste, Shampoo, Deodorant, Plastic Grocery Bags
PEACE AND JUSTICE/CRS
Peace and Justice promotes awareness of and involvement in issues related to Catholic Social Teaching. CRS Rice Bowl, one of the ministry efforts, has the goal of entering into solidarity with our brothers and sisters overseas through prayer, fasting, learning and giving. The generosity of our parish helps to support CRS in their global initiatives.
St. Benedict Parish Community participates in The Baby Bottle Project benefiting The Women’s Centers of Greater Chicagoland. This non-profit organization directly assists mothers and families experiencing crisis pregnancies by offering emotional, financial, material, and spiritual support through counseling, clothing & monetary provisions, prayer, and other aid. Each year the three locations together have over 5,000 appointments with expecting mothers. By God’s Grace, The Women’s Centers have saved over 34,000 babies—and their mothers—from abortion since opening in 1984.
Baby bottles are distributed at the beginning of May and parishioners are asked to fill them with spare change, and return them the last weekend of May. This is a simple, but crucial fundraising effort for The Women’s Centers.
SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DEPAUL
Inspired by Gospel values, the St. Benedict Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers person-to-person, confidential service to those who are suffering and in dire need. This service leads parishioners to join together to grow spiritually in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, and its patron, St. Vincent de Paul. Members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are concerned with the values of charity, justice, and human dignity, and focus on personal and communal prayer as essential to their mission.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society depends on donations from parishioners so that they can help others. The Society provides for the needs of the homeless of the community in many ways. They conduct monthly food drives for the neighborhood Common Food Pantry, which distributes food to those in need in our community. The Society provides baskets of food to the needy at Christmas time. They also maintain two clothing drop boxes to collect donations for the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift shops. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is blessed with an awareness that their blessings (time, talent or treasure) are to be shared with our brothers and sisters in need.
This ministry is part of the international Society. The Society offers tangible assistance to those in need on a person-to-person basis. It is this personalized involvement that makes the work of the Society unique. This aid may take the form of intervention, consultation, or often through direct dollar or in-kind service. An essential precept of the Society's work is to provide help while conscientiously maintaining the confidentiality and dignity of those who are served. The Society recognizes that it must assume, also, a role of advocacy for those who are defenseless or voiceless.
The members of this Ministry of charity are united by their spirit of poverty, humility and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection during our monthly meetings. The St. Benedict Conference meets the last Monday of every month at 6:30pm in the Rectory.
Our Lady of the Snows
Stewardship is an important part of our identity as Catholics. Each of us is called to give of our time, talent, and treasure. We respond to God’s generous abundance in our lives by giving freely in thanksgiving. We take action as Christian Stewards individually and as a community.
One way we are called as a community to be stewards is through the Sharing Parish Program of the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Sharing Parish Program links parishes of the Archdiocese in order to build a mutual relationship of sharing time, talent, and treasure. The best sharing parish relationships are those that build over time, that foster a certain friendship, that honor cultural and religious practices, and establish a real sense of community.
St. Benedict Parish has established a warm sharing parish relationship with Our Lady of the Snows Parish, Located on the southwest side of Chicago, near Midway Airport.
Our Lady of the Snows Parish is exactly what St. Ben’s has been looking for in a sharing parish. Deeply rooted in a sense of faith and community, Our Lady of the Snows church and school minister to a diverse population. They celebrate their faith and worship in English, Polish, and Spanish. And, while they may come from different backgrounds it is the goal of Our Lady of the Snows that all who worship there have a sense of belonging, a sense of home.
The sharing parish committee and the pastoral staff work together with the staff of Our Lady of the Snows to makes plans for various events and opportunities for our two communities to get to know each other, express our shared faith, and deepen our sense of community.
For more information about our Human Concerns ministries, please feel free to contact Elaine Lindia at (773) 588-6484, ext. 5101 or via e-mail at email@example.com.