Radio

Voice of Charity

Tuesdays: 8:30 – 9 a.m.
WNDZ 750 AM

 

For more than 100 years, Catholic Charities has been providing compassionate, competent and professional services, seven days a week, to anyone in need, strengthening and supporting individuals, families and communities. The Voice of Charity helps further this mission, with engaging conversations about important issues affecting our clients, and the world around us.    
Marie Jochum and Brigid Murphy Co-Host The Voice of Charity.  Their knowledge, experience and compassion for others informs and inspires listeners each week. Join us, LIVE each Tuesday mornings at 8:30 on WNDZ, 750 AM. 

Summer Food Service Program

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
In Cook County, one in five children is at risk of hunger. Summer meals are critically important because children who receive free breakfast and lunch during the school year may go hungry in the summer when school is out. Catholic Charities Summer Food Service Program provides free, nutritious meals to help children 18 and younger in low-income areas get the nutrition they need. Diane Nunley shares more about the program with Monsignor Boland.

Summer Jobs

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
During summer, large numbers of high school students search for summer jobs but few are available, especially for those from low-income neighborhoods. Catholic Charities Summer Jobs program, held in partnership with the City of Chicago’s “One Summer Chicago” program, provides youth with jobs in various positions, helping them learn the value of work and earn a little extra money. Gina Cleggs joins Monsignor Boland to share more about the program.

Veterans Services – 100 Years

Monday, May 29, 2017
Veterans Services was one of Catholic Charities first offered services when we were founded 100 years ago in 1917, when the U.S. was in the throes of WWI and nearly every family had a member who was serving or had served in the military. David Dempsey and Maggie Oscar join Monsignor Boland

Domestic Violence Services & Campus Vision

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
In Chicago, police respond to 500 calls each day with reports of domestic and interpersonal violence. Nancy Haws, Catholic Charities Director of Development for the House of Good Shepherd, talks with Monsignor Boland about how Catholic Charities currently responds to this great need and the vision for expanding and enhancing our domestic violence services through a shelter campus at the House of Good Shepherd.

Maternity and Adoption Services – 100 Years

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Our Maternity and Adoption Services have been around as long as our agency, celebrating 100 years this year and dating back to 1917. From our very beginnings, we have welcomed women in crisis pregnancies and orphaned children to our doors as part of our mission of charity with its respect for human life. Norene Chesebro joins Monsignor Boland to talk about the department’s rich history and current services.

Our 100th Anniversary & Celebrations

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Since 1917, Catholic Charities of Chicago has supported all who turn to us for help through services touching almost every human need. Dalia Rocotello, Catholic Charities Director of Board Relations & Mission Engagement; and Dave Gardner, Director of Regional & Program Special Events, join Monsignor Boland to share more about our 100th anniversary and the celebrations that will be happening throughout the year.

Legal Assistance at Catholic Charities

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Reports show that legal aid offices turn away more than 50 percent of those seeking help. Faced with no other options, individuals experience a disadvantage by representing themselves in court due to complex legal matters. More than 10 years ago, Catholic Charities began its Legal Assistance program to help fight this injustice. Hilda Bahena and Carolyn Trenda join Monsignor Boland to discuss the needs of clients and what the program offers.

LOSS Program for Children and Youth

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Catholic Charities LOSS program offers a safe, non-judgmental environment where survivors of suicide can openly talk about feelings and experiences. To share more about the LOSS Program, Cindy Waderlow, Clinical Child Specialist with LOSS, joins Monsignor Boland for a conversation.

National Nutrition Month

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Nearly 800,000 people throughout Chicago are food insecure, and one in five children in Cook County are hungry. From Catholic Charities Nutrition Department, Tal Vanek and Diane Nunley talk National Nutrition Month and Catholic Charities WIC program for women and children.

Meals on Wheels

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Nearly 800,000 people throughout Chicago are food insecure, and one in five children in Cook County are hungry. From Catholic Charities Nutrition Department, Tal Vanek and Diane Nunley talk National Nutrition Month and Catholic Charities WIC program for women and children.

Immigration and Naturalization Services

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
For many years, Catholic Charities has provided and supported people in gaining legal status in the U.S. and becoming U.S. citizens. Our Immigration and Naturalization Services program provides assistance to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents in the immigration process involving family reunification applications. Guest Nancy Gavilanes, Immigration Program Director at Catholic Charities, shares more about the program with Monsignor Boland.

Youth and Family Therapeutic Services

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Violence can impact us at every level – as an individual, as part of a family, and as a community member. The Youth and Family Therapeutic Services group at Catholic Charities provides trauma-informed and strengths-based counseling services to children and families through a variety of counseling programs. Monsignor Boland talks with guests Margaret Monahan and Frederica Malone of Catholic Charities about the program.

Street to Home

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Our hearts are always with the homeless here at Catholic Charities but when the weather turns bitterly cold in Chicago, like it is now, homelessness becomes even more of a matter of life and death. Street to Home is just one of Catholic Charities programs that aims to end homelessness in Chicago. Done in partnership with the City of Chicago, Street to Home works with chronically homeless adults to place them in affordable, subsidized housing. Here, Monsignor discusses the program with Lashaunda Battie, Case Manager for Street to Home clients.

Refugee Resettlement

Tuesday, January 10, 2017
For more than 40 years, Catholic Charities has helped refugees resettle and call Chicago home. When refugees arrive, our Case Managers guide them through the process of adjusting to life in the U.S. for up to two years. Catholic Charities first helps them with their basic needs: securing housing and providing food, clothing, and household items. And then also applying for public benefits and obtaining employment. Each year, we resettle more than 200 refugees. On today’s show, Monsignor Boland speaks with Elma Kulovic, Program Director, and Kate Kuhn, Case Manager Supervisor, of the Refugee Resettlement Program.

Lunch-n-More

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Good nutrition is important at all stages of life, but is particularly critical when we are at our most vulnerable: when we are young, and when we are in our senior years. For those living in poverty, the risk of nutrition-related illnesses is greatly increased. Lunch-n-More provides meals for low-income children and seniors, made by Catholic Charities staff and planned by Catholic Charities team of registered dietitians. Diane Nunley, Associate Vice President of Special Supplemental Food Programs, tells us more about the Lunch-n-More program in conversation with Monsignor Boland.

Senior Aide Employment

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Older adults may have difficulties finding a job in today’s market. Catholic Charities Senior Aide Employment Program offers government-funded employment and training for low-income individuals 55 years and older. Jobs range from teachers’ aides and lunchroom monitors to maintenance staff and mailing room assistants. Not only do seniors receive an income, they also develop a sense of community and purpose. Stephanie Johnigan, a program director with Senior Aide Employment at Catholic Charities, joins Monsignor Boland to share more about the program and its successes and impact on clients.

The Effects of Violence on Children

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
As we reflected on the past year at Catholic Charities, we took a closer look at the effects of violence on our most vulnerable clients – the children. We know that violence takes a direct toll on the physical, mental and emotional health of its victims and children exposed to violence are more likely to suffer these effects. Joining Monsignor for this conversation is Stephanie Johnson, Director of Government Relations, to further discuss the impact of violence on children and what Catholic Charities is doing to help.

Celebration of Giving

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
The Holiday season brings a time of joy for many families. It can also be a time of stress, especially for those who struggle to make ends meet. Catholic Charities mission is to provide those in need with gifts, necessities, and joy during the holiday season. Through our Celebration of Giving, we have helped children and families for more than 68 years to have a happier holiday season. Joining Monsignor Michael Boland this week is Marie Jochum, Director of Volunteer Engagement, and Michelle Finnigan, Celebration of Giving Project Manager, to tell us more about Celebration of Giving.

Groundbreaking study shows homelessness prevention works

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
On any given night more than 6,700 Chicagoans find themselves without a home or shelter bed. In a groundbreaking new study published in the Journal of Science, it is revealed that when homeless prevention funds are available, an individual’s chance of becoming homeless within 6 months is reduced by 76 percent. The study was conducted by the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities at the University of Notre Dame with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago and All Chicago. Joining Monsignor Boland is Jim Sullivan, Associate Professor of Economics at Notre Dame, and Noreen Russo, Program Director of Catholic Charities Homelessness Prevention Call Center in Chicago.

House of Good Shepherd

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Every 9 seconds, a woman is a victim of domestic violence. In response to this epidemic, in 2015 Catholic Charities welcomed the House of Good Shepherd to its wide array of programs. The House of Good Shepherd supports women and children who have been victims of domestic violence by providing a safe and nurturing environment for them to heal and rebuild their lives. Joining Monsignor Boland this week is Sister Jean Kielty, Program Director of Interim Housing at Catholic Charities, to tell us more about House of the Good Shepherd and its upcoming fundraiser.

Colbert Program

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
More and more seniors are remaining in institutional care, even if they are ready to transition out. Catholic Charities Colbert Program helps seniors transition out of nursing homes when they are again able and willing to live in the community, which saves seniors and taxpayers money, and allows seniors to return to society and contribute to their communities again. Joining Monsignor Michael Boland on this week’s show are Jolynne Moore, a Colbert Program case manager, and Alexis Waxman, of Catholic Charities adult protective services.

New Hope Apartments

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Catholic Charities New Hope Apartments program helps homeless individuals and families transition out of shelters. The program houses clients in scattered site apartments and provides case management and supportive resources as they develop skills and savings to become self-sufficient. Monsignor Michael Boland talks with Margaret Wilson, program director of New Hope Apartments, and Bernadette Muloski, Catholic Charities case worker, about the struggles and success stories of the homeless families and individuals they work with.

Mobile Outreach

Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Every year, thousands of people contact Chicago’s 311 Call Center for help with shelter, food, mental services, and more. Catholic Charities Mobile Outreach program works with the call center to provide immediate services for those in need, in addition to linking them with long-term community help. Monsignor Michael Boland is joined by Renee Rouse, Mobile Outreach Manager, and Luiz Barbosa, Department Director of Central Intake, Family Stability to talk about Catholic Charities Mobile Outreach program.

CHA Family Works

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
During difficult times, many Chicago families turn to the Chicago Housing Authority as they strive for self-sufficiency. Catholic Charities works with families living in Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) buildings on Chicago’s Northside by providing “wrap-around” services to all members of the family through CHA FamilyWorks. Today, Monsignor Michael Boland is joined by Melissa Lucas, Regional Director of CHA FamilyWorks, and Gina Kleggs, Associate Vice President of Community Development and Outreach Services to talk about CHA FamilyWorks.

Child Development

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Guests: Derbert Plaza, Education Coordinator of Early Head Start and Diane Rodriguez, Child Care Program Director The first five years of a child’s early life are incredibly important. The brain is developing and early experiences shape the architecture of the child’s brain. Catholic Charities Child Development Centers provide high quality early childhood education and care for children from 2 to 5 years and child care for children in Kindergarten through age 12. Last year, more than 1,200 children attended Catholic Charities Child Development sites. Monsignor Michael Boland is joined by­­ Derbert Plaza and Diane Rodriguez to tell us more.

Vulnerable Adults Reporting

Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Guest: Alexis Waxman, Case Manager As we age, it can be more difficult to maintain the same level of independence. It becomes harder to care for yourself, others, and your surroundings. Catholic Charities Vulnerable Adults Reporting case managers advocate for seniors who suffer from self-neglect and are often isolate from friends, family, and important community resources. Without VAR, hundreds of seniors and adults with disabilities with be without service and fall through the cracks. Monsignor Michael Boland is joined by ­­Alexis Waxman, a case manager with VAR.

Youth Trauma

Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Violence does not only affect those involved; it affects families. Children and youth especially have a difficult time dealing with the trauma of violence in their lives, and it can affect them socially, mentally, and emotionally. Catholic Charities provides individual and family therapy located in Chicago neighborhoods with high crime rates. Monsignor Michael Boland is joined by Hector Rivera, Supervising Therapist and Margaret Monahan, Department Director to discuss Youth Violence Trauma.

ACES

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
For years, Catholic Charities has provided specialized mental health counseling services including In-Home Behavioral Health and Addiction Counseling Education Services (ACES). ACES helps outpatient individuals learn to address addiction problems and make decisions in a healthier manner. Recently, we partnered with Mt. Sinai Health to create a more comprehensive solution for those with substance abuse problems. Monsignor Michael Boland is joined by Pat Bogie, ACES program director, to talk about the ACES and Mt. Sinai Partnership.

Youth Employment

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
School is out, which unfortunately means youth violence is up. Having a job offers youth an alternative to danger on the streets, however it can be difficult to teens, especially those from at-risk areas, to find employment. Catholic Charities Summer Youth Employment programs help young adults learn workplace skills, earn money, and broaden their network and perspective of the world. Gina Cleggs, Associate Vice President of Community Development and Outreach, joins Monsignor Boland to discuss Catholic Charities Youth Employment programs.

Mentoring

Tuesday, July 12, 2016
9 million children report that they are growing up without adults to turn to. These children do not have people to guide or support them, which can harm children socially, mentally, and emotionally. Catholic Charities mentoring program helps at-risk youth connect with a positive role model who encourages good decision making and serves as a friend in times of need. Beth Sheehan-Lucas, Program Coordinator, joins Monsignor Boland to discuss Catholic Charities Mentoring Program.

SASI/Anti-Violence

Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Summer brings higher violence rates. This year alone, Chicago has seen almost 2,000 people hurt by gun violence. Catholic Charities is one of many organizations with programs that work to address violence in at-risk communities and end the cycle of poverty. Today Fr. Tom Boharic, speaker at the Social Action Summer Institute Conference, joins Monsignor Boland to discuss the upcoming Anti-Violence conference and anti-violence measures in Chicago.

Summer Food

Tuesday, June 28, 2016
In Illinois, one in seven people struggles with hunger. Summer brings more food insecurity to families, as children do not have access to free and discounted school breakfasts and lunches. In these situations, families are often forced to go hungry or purchase the cheapest food available, even if it’s not healthy. Catholic Charities Summer Food programs work to eradicate this problem by providing free breakfast and lunch to low-income children across Chicagoland. Today Guadalupe Villanueva, Community Outreach Manager, and Diane Nunley, Associate Vice President of Community Development and Outreach Services, join Monsignor Boland to discuss Catholic Charities summer food initiatives.

Fatherhood Involvement

Tuesday, June 21, 2016
1 in 3 children grow up without the presence of a father. Fathers play a vital role in the life of a child; they teach life lessons, improve socio-emotional health, and increase academic functioning. Without a father figure, children may face many risks. Catholic Charities programs encourage parental involvement on a daily basis through parenting education, child development centers, and counseling for families. Today Shavon Parker, RAPP Program Director; Petra Gutierrez, Our Lady of Tepeyac Child Development Center Site Director; and Janice Williams, St. Joseph Child Development Center Site Director; join Monsignor Boland to discuss fatherhood involvement.

Health Fairs

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Since the Affordable Care Act, more people are purchasing and obtaining health insurance, but there are still a lot of families and individuals without insurance. More than 9% of people in Illinois are uninsured and at risk. Catholic Charities annually hosts several FREE community-based health fairs to provide medical, dental, vision and glaucoma screenings, memory and depressions screenings, as well as immunizations and back to school physicals for children. Kate Mulvaney, Regional Director for City of Chicago and Catholic Charities Director of Health Initiatives and Wanda Moy, a District 201 School medical staff and the Nurse Liason at Catholic Charities health fairs join Monsignor Boland to discuss the upcoming health fairs.

Fair Housing

Tuesday, June 7, 2016
One of the most basic human rights is shelter. For many, shelter is where we feel safe and supported. When people lose their home or have no place to live, it can lead to desperation and hopelessness. Catholic Charities believes every person deserves respect and in the dignity of human life. Catholic Charities Housing Services provides safe, affordable housing to all. We offer transitional and permanent supportive housing, senior residences, a supportive living residence, two residences for persons with disabilities, and one nursing home. Last year, more than 6,500 people found shelter at one of our residents. Catholic Charities operates under the Fair Housing Act, which protects people from discrimination in their serach for housing.

Senior Unity Mass and Keenager News

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Seniors are special to all of us at Catholic Charities. Our Senior Services area is one of our largest, with more than 20 different programs across Cook and Lake counties. Our programs served more than 300,000 seniors last year, who accounted for 42% of our total clients. One of our programs is our FREE Keenager News newspaper, which is mailed out to more than 90,000 seniors each month. In addition, Catholic Charities hosts an Annual Senior Unity Mass and luncheon to honor our seniors. Today, Rob Boyd, Director of Josephine Argento Senior Center, and Kristine Kappel, Director of Communications, join Monsignor Boland to discuss Keenager News and the upcoming Senior Unity Mass.

Older Americans Act

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Today, 11.6 million seniors live alone, risking isolation. This can lead to negative health impacts and a lower quality of life for seniors. Thankfully, many programs are in place that provide seniors with nutrition and socialization. One of the first steps towards providing seniors with necessary services was The Older Americans Act, or “OAA,” which creates services that assist seniors and their families, including home-delivered meals, chore services, and support for caregivers. Today, Mary Ann Bibat, Vice President of Senior Services, joins Monsignor Boland to discuss the Older Americans Act and senior services at Catholic Charities.

Nutrition Programs for Children

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Hunger is one of the biggest problems we face today. Nearly 800,000 people throughout Chicago are food insecure and many of those impacted are children. These children and their families do not know where their next meal will come from. Food insecurity has a role in many problems including poverty, health and wellbeing, and poor nutrition. Catholic Charities recognizes the importance of quality nutrition and works to provide healthy meals to families in need. One program that meets the needs of the hungry is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). WIC provides WIC-approved foods for eligible participants, access to social services, nutrition education, job training and educational programs. Today Monsignor Boland is joined by Angel Gutierrez, VP of Community Development and Outreach, Diane Nunley, Associate VP Supplemental Food and Nutrition, and Tal Vanek, Nutritionist to discuss Catholic Charities nutrition programs for children.

Peace Corner: a Safe Place for Youth

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Chicago is often known for being one of the most violent cities in the US. Violence not only affects those involved, but it impacts entire communities. One of the Chicago neighborhoods most troubled by violence is Austin. Catholic Charities has recently partnered with Peace Corner, a drop-in center for youth in Austin, in the fight to promote healthy and safe communities. Peace Corner works with volunteers to help and support the neighborhood citizens. The center has a variety of services, including job training and employment placement, fitness and sports programs, nutrition programs, and more. Today Angel Gutierrez, Vice President of Community Development and Outreach, and Seth El-Jamal, Department Director for Peace Corner join Monsignor Boland to discuss how Catholic Charities works with violence-plagued communities.

Month of the Young Child

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
April is the month of the Young Child. The annual celebration supports young children, teachers, and families in the pursuit of health, safety and education. Catholic Charities recognizes the responsibility that society and the Church has to protect children. We provide services that enhance children’s education, health, safety, and connections to the community. Through our child development centers, 1,4000 children and their families learn and grow in safe, nurturing centers and are prepared for success in elementary school. In 2015, 97% of zero to 3 year olds in Catholic Charities educational programs met or exceeded their expected milestones for language, cognitive, physical and social-emotional development. As Pope Francis describes children as, “the joy of the family and of society…Children are a gift.”

Supporting Young Parents with Young Children

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
The birth of a child is a beautiful thing, but very young parents may find themselves unprepared to bring a new addition into the world. There are many risk factors associated with teen pregnancy. Poverty is one major risk, since teens are usually not working jobs that can support a family. Also educational achievement is at risk if a teen drops out of school as a result of the pregnancy and demands of parenting. Finally, a young parent may find themselves rejected by their own parents as a consequence of their pregnancy, and therefore must face this challenging time alone and possibly homeless. For all these reasons and more, it is important that young parents have access to help in having a healthy delivery and ongoing care of their baby. Catholic Charities Child, Youth, and Family Services work with young parents to help them provide for their children, and themselves. Last year alone, more than 600 teen parents benefited from our supportive classes, counseling, home visits, and more. Today Velma Brown-Walker, Director of Adolescent Parenting Programs, joins Monsignor Boland to discuss Catholic Charities services for young parents and their children.

Seasons of Grief, a new book from the LOSS Program Founder Fr. Charles Rubey

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
The Catholic Charities LOSS Program (Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide) began in 1978 when three couples came to Catholic Charities seeking a safe space to grieve the deaths of their children to suicide. At that time, suicide was poorly understood within the mental health community, and even less so within the Catholic Church, which traditionally viewed suicide as a grave sin. Nearly 40 years later, LOSS is a program that offers free, non-denominational services to individuals and families who are grieving the loss of a loved one by suicide. The LOSS model is unique, as it combines educational and peer-led support groups with professional counseling. LOSS participants are very loyal to the program, and a big part of the reason for their loyalty is the leadership of Fr. Charles Rubey, who started LOSS nearly 40 years ago. Fr. Rubey will soon celebrate 50 years of priesthood, and he has a long and distinguished career to reflect upon. Today Fr. Rubey joins Monsignor Boland to discuss LOSS and a new resource he has developed for anyone impacted by suicide.

Catholic Charities and Regional Offices

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
At Catholic Charities we have more than 150 programs at more than 160 locations across Cook and Lake counties. To help cover our very large territory, we have seven regional offices which function as local hubs where community residents can access Catholic Charities services. We invite parishes, schools and other community groups to volunteer and donate their time, talent and treasure to their local office. For example, a parish may have someone who is a member of a Regional Advisory Board and therefore, is very tied in to the regional operations. Or, a parish may run regular food or clothing drives or donate funds for a particular program, like transitional housing. Catholic Charities regional offices also network with other community resources to strengthen the social safety net in their geographic area. Joining Monsignor Boland today are Kathy Donahue, Senior Vice President of Program Development and Evaluation, and Terri Denny, Senior Director Regional and Lake County Services.

Rice Bowl Campaign Supports Catholic Charities Food Pantries

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Catholic Charities has 10 food pantries located across Cook and Lake counties that address need by supporting one of the most important and basic human rights, the right to eat. During fiscal year 2015, Catholic Charities food pantries served 1.8 million meals to more than 170,000 people. These individuals were able to count on Catholic Charities for hope and security during difficult times. With so many people counting on Catholic Charities, it is important to receive support and funding. Catholic Relief Services or “CRS” helps fund some of our pantries through its annual Rice Bowl campaign. Today Bethany Collins, Program Coordinator from the Office of Peace and Justice; Sharon Tillmon, Director of Emergency Assistance, and Sr. Joellen Tumas, Director of Casa Catalina Emergency Assistance Center join Monsignor Boland to discuss the Rice Bowl Campaign.

Legal Assistance at Catholic Charities

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Not only does Catholic Charities work with the homeless and hungry, but we also help with other needs like legal assistance. Often times, those living in poverty need a voice. Fighting for justice for the poor is very much a part of our tradition of Catholic Social Teaching. Catholic Charities recognizes the difficulty many people have obtaining legal help. Over ten years ago, Catholic Charities began its Legal Assistance program to help fight this injustice. Catholic Charities Legal Assistance (known as CCLA) provides compassionate and competent legal assistance to the economically disadvantaged of Chicago regardless of religious affiliation. Joining Monsignor today is Hilda Bahena, Director of Catholic Charities Legal Assistance department, to discuss the affordable legal assistance Catholic Charities provides.

Lives at Stake with Budget Impasse

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
You may have seen Catholic Charities in the news responding to the state budget impasse. The situation for human services across Illinois has become dire. The social service safety net of food pantries, in-home help for seniors, adult day care, child care for young children, and other programs for vulnerable groups is unraveling, and lives are at stake. This is not a political issue. It is a moral issue, an issue of life and death. The situation throws a spotlight on our Catholic belief that we are called to provide merciful care to human beings in need. Today Monsignor Boland talks about how the budget impasse is affecting Catholic Charities and other social service provides, and he urges listeners to contact their elected officials with the simple message: “I am a voter in your district. Please overcome the budget impasse now. Pass a budget that will keep our state’s safety net intact.” To find out who your elected officials are, call the State Board of Elections at (217) 782-4141, and select option “zero” when prompted. You can also visit www.elections.il.gov and click on “New District/Official Search.”

Catholic Charities and Basic Needs

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Catholic Charities is heading toward a big birthday—we turn 100 next year! One of our earliest services was providing “relief” to families where the wage earner was either out of work or absent. Today, our Emergency Assistance centers have food pantries and clothing rooms, as well as highly-trained staff who talk with clients to sensitively discern the challenges and strengths in their situation, and come up with a plan that may include payment for utility bills, rent or security deposit, or a thorough screening to see if the client qualifies for government assistance programs. Sharon Tillmon, Director of Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance Department, joins Monsignor Boland.

Family Self-Sufficiency

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Poverty is a complex and persistent problem in our nation and communities. In 2014 the US Census reported that 15.5 percent of Americans lived in poverty. In Cook County, Illinois, the figure is higher, at 17 percent. Lately the burden on the poor and those who serve them has become heavier, as our state has failed to pass a budget that would fund programs designed to help the poor. Family poverty is associated with a number of adverse conditions that can result in homelessness, hunger, and food insecurity. Children in low-income families are more likely to experience multiple family transitions, move frequently, and change schools. The stress of living in poverty and struggling to meet daily needs can also impair parenting. Catholic Charities Lake County Family Self-Sufficiency Program aids struggling single-parent families through comprehensive case management, housing and employment services for up to five years, so that they can achieve self-sufficiency and break the cycle of poverty. Monsignor Boland is joined by Ashley Styx, Supervisor of our Family Self-Sufficiency Program in Lake County.

Maternity and Adoption Services

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Maternity and Adoption Services is a long-standing program at Catholic Charities. From our very beginnings in 1917, we have welcomed women in crisis pregnancies and orphaned children to our doors as part of our mission of charity with its respect for human life. For nearly 100 years Catholic Charities has known that good care equals good outcomes for mothers and children. We continue to operate programs that support this goal. We have also expanded our adoption services to include international adoption education, home study and post-adoption support services for families using “partner-placing” agencies such as Children's Home Society and Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, and our own direct placement programs with Mexico and Poland. We are also getting more and more inquiries about our Adoption Registry, which is a service that helps adoptees, birth parents and family members reconnect with each other. Joining Monsignor today are Norene Chesebro, Director of our Maternity and Adoption Services, and Lisa Francis, Post-Adoption Worker.

Year of Mercy

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
During his visit to the U.S., Pope Francis referred to Catholic Charities programs as “field hospitals;” not in a medical sense, but as places where people’s needs are met with immediacy and mercy. As we enter a Holy Year, the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy declared by Pope Francis, Catholic Charities stands ready to provide person to person encounters of mercy in a wide variety of settings and with a wide variety of “recruits” to our cause. Many of us remember learning about the “Works of Mercy” as children. Reciting the list of Corporal Works that meet the needs of the physical body such as food, shelter, clothing, as well as the Spiritual Works which address emotions, understanding and forgiveness is just the beginning. “Works” implies action, and “Mercy” is the loving attitude that makes such action something that transforms both giver and recipient. Today Monsignor Boland describes many different ways Catholic Charities provides merciful service throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago.
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