Pope Francis says, “Let the church always be a place of mercy and hope where everyone is welcomed and loved and forgiven.”
A Service Organization that Helps Teach the Corporal Works of Mercy to Children
The Catholic Church encourages us to exhibit merciful love by practicing corporal works of mercy. What we see in the life of Mother Teresa, as well as St. Vincent De Paul, is a shining example of a life dedicated especially to practicing these 7 corporal works of mercy:
- Feed the hungry.
- Give drink to the thirsty.
- Clothe the naked.
- Shelter the homeless.
- Visit those in prison.
- Comfort the sick.
- Bury the dead.
Fifth through eighth grade students can live out this message by getting involved in service to those in our local community who are in need through the St. Vincent De Paul Society. Our Young Vincentians chapter has been active for over 30 years, and usually has 20 to 40 active members. We are blessed to have Dick Kress, Dana Pyzik, and Erin Rose Prunty as team leaders. The parish Young Vincentians Youth Chapter is also open to St. Linus religious education students and to High School students willing to continue their service to our local community, however nearly all of the chapter participants are students from our own school.
The St. Vincent De Paul Young Vincentians have monthly service activities October through May and host a fun end of the year barbecue in June for all participants. They take trips to the Evergreen Villa nursing home at 102nd and Kedzie to play bingo with the seniors and hand out goodies to nursing home residents who can’t play bingo. Parent chaperones that can drive are welcome and encouraged to call Mr. Kress to offer their services.
They also host a Thanksgiving food collection in November, in December they usually serve dinner at a PADS shelter for the homeless and deliver flowers to our home bound. They also put on a Christmas pageant. In February they typically host a Valentine Luncheon for BlueCap participants and make sandwiches for PORT. In March they usually help with St. Joseph’s Table, deliver Easter flowers, and visit a nursing home. In the spring the students take part in the church garden clean up, which is a favorite activity. They also help with Bundle Weekend, and an end of year gathering for SPRED, a religious education program for those with special needs. Finally, the Young Vincentians will host Tag days in May, before throwing their end of the year barbecue party.
Mr. Kress, who has been part of the St. Vincent De Paul Society since 1963, says that the Young Vincentians chapter provides service hours for middle school students. But he stressed the need for students to understand intrinsic spiritual value of offering themselves in service over having to fill a requirement. For this reason, the Young Vincentians will offer service hours for their scheduled service events and not for their after school meetings.
The Young Vincentians have meetings in the Cardiff Center twice a month. They will meet on the first and third Monday of the month from 3:00-4:00 pm. St. Linus students in the Young Vincentians come down to the Cardiff Center after school at 2:45 pm.
Enrollment in the Young Vincentians is open in the fall, and students interested in joining need to call Dick Kress at 708-425-6997. Parents need to sign the St. Vincent de Paul membership permission form before they can officially participate. Every spring there is an induction ceremony for new members.
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Junior Conference regularly meets from 3 pm to 4 pm on the first and third Monday of each month during the school year. Meetings that fall on holidays will either be moved to another date or be used for a Vincentian activity. We have a number of Vincentian activities throughout the year. The dates will be announced as each activity is confirmed. We highly recommend participation at both regular meetings where we will learn about the Society and Vincentian activities where we gain experience in helping those in need. If you have any questions, contact Mr. Kress @ 425-6997 or Mrs. Pyzik @ 424-3189 firstname.lastname@example.org
2016-17 Important Dates
Dates will be announced at meetings and through email when confirmed, and are subject to alterations based on availability, other activities may be added as opportunity arises.
Meeting Monday, September 19
Meeting Monday, October 3
Nursing Home Visit, October 10
Meeting Monday, October 17
Church Garden Clean-up (TBD)
Meeting Monday, November 7
Thanksgiving Food Collection, Nov. 19 & 20
Meeting Monday, November 21
Meeting Monday, December 5
Serve dinner at PADS, Dec. 8
Meeting Monday, December 19
Flower delivery December 10
Nursing Home Visit Monday, January 2
No meeting Monday, January 16 (Holiday)
Meeting Monday, February 6
Make Sandwiches for PORT (TBD)
Meeting Monday, February 20
Host Valentine Luncheon for BlueCap residents (TBD)
Meeting Monday, March 6
Help with Saint Joseph’s Table
Meeting Monday, March 20
Meeting Monday, April 3
Deliver Easter Flowers, Apr 8
Nursing Home Visit Monday, April 17
Help with Bundle Weekend
Church Garden Clean-up
Meeting Monday, May 1
Help with SPRED end of year party
Meeting Monday, May 15
Help with Tag Days
End of year Barbecue Monday, June 5