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Prayer and Meditation for the Day (April 6, 2018)

Contributed by Marco Pardo  Meditation for the Day A balanced spirituality asks two questions. The first one is: What can this practice do for me? Since most of us seek God from need, any spirituality that doesn’t address our needs will be of little value to us. As addicts, we come into recovery when our […]

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35 Years of Hope: Mary Whalen

Mary Whalen was working with the United Way when she came across an application for financial assistance from a shelter on the South Side of Chicago. “It was around 1990, and St. Martin’s was still in the little store down the street. I had to go out to see if they were legit.” Mary completed […]

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35 Years of Hope: Sandra Vasnairos

Sandra Vasnairos spent her career helping others.  Sandy, a mother of two adult sons, taught reading and special education at elementary schools in Englewood and elsewhere in Chicago and the suburbs. In her retirement, Sandy continues to help others. A member of Old St. Patrick’s Church for 12 years, Sandy participates in Encore, a social […]

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35 Years of Hope: Douglas MacLeod

Douglas MacLeod was reading the obituary section in the Chicago Tribune when he came across the story of a woman who had recently passed away following a fascinating life. He was intrigued by the woman, who had been a sergeant in the Army, a businesswoman, earned a law degree, and served as a nun, founding […]

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35 Years of Hope: Tom Owens – Honoree, Sr. Connie Philanthropy Award

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Tom Owens is the founder of Cara Chicago, a nonprofit workforce development agency and social enterprise that helps people affected by poverty get and keep quality jobs. Since its inception in 1991, Cara has helped more than 6,000 women and men find employment, hope and self-esteem for themselves and their families. Before […]

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35 Years of Hope: Marge Nykaza

In 2000, Marge Nykaza was completing her Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies at Loyola. As part of the program, she was tasked with a summer project, working with women in a shelter. Marge was then a teacher of Peer Ministry and the Liturgical Music Director at Brother Rice High School. She reached out to […]

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35 Years of Hope: Marco Pardo

In October 1983, when St. Martin de Porres House of Hope was just a few months old, Sr. Therese answered a knock at the door and found a young man who introduced himself as Marco Pardo. “I said I’d sweep floors, do dishes – I was available for anything they needed,” Marco recalls. Marco had […]

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35 Years of Hope: Joanne Cimbalo

Joanne Cimbalo has enjoyed sewing all her life. Born and raised in Highland Park, her mother taught Joanne how to sew when she was very young. Joanne belonged to a sewing group when she was first married, sewing clothing for her family, reupholstering furniture, and making curtains for her house. In 1990, Joanne contacted St. […]

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35 Years of Hope: Carmen Pappas

Carmen Pappas played the harp professionally for 61 years, working at weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, theaters and restaurants throughout the Midwest before settling in Chicago. Now retired, she lives near her daughter in San Antonio, Texas. Carmen first visited St. Martin de Porres House of Hope when Srs. Connie and Therese were transforming an abandoned […]

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35 Years of Hope: John Berg

John Berg, a former prosecuting attorney who now practices civil law, first came to St. Martin de Porres House of Hope to settle a legal matter. Former board member and fellow attorney Tom Breen had called John to address a building complaint filed by an inspector with the City of Chicago. “Two hours after getting […]

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