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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: 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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35 Years of Hope: Marianne Lutz

Marianne Lutz is a long-time member of St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Barrington. Interested in the concept of more well-to-do parishes sharing their resources and their faith with poorer parishes, she joined St. Anne’s sharing program with St. Gelasius, which incubated St. Martin de Porres of Hope. “I came in at the beginning, when Sister […]

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