The Chicago District and Branch Officers have been busy contacting the Chicago District Area 2019 Convention Donation Awardees to present the donation awards in support of their ministries along with our gratitude for the work they do in our communities.
The first notification was to St. Simon the Apostle Slovak Parish, the last of the Slovak Parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago, with the announcement of their award on Saturday, October 26, 2019, at their Feast of St. Simon Gala Dinner and again on Sunday, December 15, 2019, at the traditional Slovak Vilia Dinner. Fr. Thomas Boharic, Pastor of this 93-year-old parish, and the parishioners, are deeply humbled and gratified to learn that the parish would be receiving an award towards the repair/replacement of their 93-year-old boilers. Ďakujem, First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association for their continued generosity over the years and to the various Chicago Branches—in particular Senior Branches 421 and 485 from St. Simon Slovak Parish—for their continued support since the parish opened its doors in 1926.
The District’s next stop was to announce personally on December 4, 2019, to the Chicago Police Chaplains Ministry their award that enables the Ministry to continue serving the active and retired men and women of the Chicago Police Department and their families. The Police Chaplains Ministry’s motto is “Socius corpus custodit … Animam custodimus … Your partner has your back, but we’ve got your soul.” This award announcement was delivered at their annual Holiday for the Gold Star Families to Fr. Dan Brandt, Director, Chaplain Rabbi Moshe Wolf, Chaplain Hysni Selenica, and those in attendance who are all humbly grateful for the support provided by the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association at both the National and Branch Levels throughout the years to this very important ministry.
Finally, on Saturday, December 7, 2019, at the Chicago District and Combined Senior Branch Christmas Party, the remaining awardees received recognition for their awards and work in their communities. Fr. John J. Hornicak, pastor of Church of the Holy Ghost in Wood Dale, Illinois, received a donation award to his parish to assist with the parish’s HVAC system replacement. This parish began in 1944 with 150 families, joining the newly established Diocese of Joliet in 1948, and continues to grow and prosper as it serves the communities around O’Hare Airport. Fr. Hornicak and his parishioners are very grateful for the generosity of the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association.
Sr. Loretta Matas, DSF, and Sr. Miroslava Gelatikova, DSF, represented the St. Joseph Nursing Home in Lacon, Illinois, who received a donation award to replace the nursing home’s 40 year old boiler. The nursing home opened its doors in 1965 when the Sisters of the Daughters of St. Francis of Assisi travelled from Slovakia to Lacon, Illinois, to begin their ministry with a commitment to providing for the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of persons requiring assistance in a loving, caring, dignified Christian environment. Over the years, the various Slovak parishes and Slovak Community in Chicago have continuously supported the nursing home at both the National and Branch Levels. The Sisters and residents of the nursing home are humbled and deeply appreciative of this continued support and continue to keep all of the members of the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association in their prayers.
The Anawim Shelter for the Poor, founded by the late Teresa Mirabella, also received a donation from the 2019 Convention with representation of the Shelter by Antoinette L. Trela, President, and John W. Schoen, Secretary/Treasurer. Ms. Mirabella served as the President for over 20 years of the Anawim Foundation in Chicago running a shelter for homeless men in the Polish community, and 4-1/2 years ago began the Anawim Shelter for Homeless Women Project with the support of donations from individuals and numerous charitable and philanthropic organizations. These shelters assist men and women who have actively participated in a substance-abuse program or have successfully completed such a program by providing a safe place to stay while getting back on their feet with the expectation that everyone living there is expected to give back in some way for the help they receive. The Anawim Foundation is deeply grateful and honored to receive this award in order to continue their important ministry in the community. Dziękuję Ci, First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association!
Congratulations to these organizations on their awards as we continue to pray and support you in your work and ministries.