Voice of Charity

Voice of Charity

Tuesdays: 8:30 – 9 a.m.

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.    
Katie Bredemann hosts The Voice of Charity.  Her 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. 

Anti-Poverty Strategies: Asset-Building

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Our core mission at Catholic Charities is to reduce poverty and help people become as self-sufficient as possible. One interesting “anti-poverty” strategy that we began employing in the past few years is “Asset Building” which helps people move toward greater self-sufficiency by accumulating savings and purchasing long-term assets. Saving is not something that comes naturally to everyone. A 2012 article on the CNN Money website stated that 25% of Americans have no savings at all. With our struggling economy, saving has become even harder for stressed workers who may not feel secure about their jobs or job prospects, or who may not have had a raise in a long time. Monsignor Boland is joined by Sister Marie McKenna who directs Catholic Charities Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which includes the Assets for Independence that helps eligible employees save for their goals.

Senior Hunger: A Growing Trend

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The Meals on Wheels Association reports that one in six seniors in America, a total of 8.8 million seniors—a number greater than the entire population of New York City—struggle with hunger and this number is expected to double by 2050. The Association cites the rapid increase in life expectancy for seniors, escalating costs of food and transportation, and remaining impacts of the recession as major factors in this trend. Maintaining support for senior nutrition programs is critical for the health of our elderly population. March is an active month for the “Meals on Wheels” program, a nation-wide effort that delivers nutritious meals to seniors in their homes. “March for Meals” has become an annual event where localities raise awareness of senior hunger during the month of March, including getting elected officials to sign up as volunteer drivers/delivery people---an activity known as “Mayors for Meals.” Joining Monsignor Boland today are Donna Schultz, Director of Catholic Charities Senior Nutrition Program and Anne Posner, Associate Vice President of Catholic Charities Senior Services, to discuss the overall issue of senior hunger and some of the ways Catholic Charities addresses this national problem.

Helping Survivors of Suicide

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in our nation, and at least 90% of those who die by suicide were suffering from a mental illness, most often depression. Nearly 35 years ago, Catholic Charities began groundbreaking work by counseling the survivors of suicide; those family members and friends left behind when someone made the tragic decision to end their life. Our Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) program has helped thousands of people over the years. Our model of individual counseling by trained professionals and support groups facilitated by survivors has been recognized internationally. Today, Monsignor Boland is joined by Jessica Mead to discuss the LOSS program, and its upcoming fundraiser, Blossoms of Hope.

Catholic Charities’ Safety Net Helps the Unemployed

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Though the nation’s unemployment rate has dropped since the height of the recession, Illinois still has one of the highest unemployment rates for adults. For youth, the rate is even higher, as they face competition for low-wage jobs by adults who are underemployed. Many jobs also do not pay enough to keep families out of poverty. Catholic Charities operates employment programs as well as “safety net” services such as food pantries, shelters, and affordable housing which many families need to make ends meet. Today, Monsignor Boland is joined by Bertel Smith, who heads up Catholic Charities Veterans Employment Program, and Karen Moore, who oversees youth employment programs, to discuss the complex challenge presented by unemployment.

Mental Wellness in Winter

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
In January in Chicago, we typically have 13 or fewer days with significant sun. This can lead to a state of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or its milder form, the “winter blues.” The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that 1 in 5 people in the U.S. can be affected by SAD each year. This is one reason that January is designated as “Mental Wellness Month.” Catholic Charities has several programs that support mental health. Monsignor Boland is joined today by two of Catholic Charities mental health experts and counselors, Deborah Major, Ph.D., and Bob Arvidson, LCPC, to discuss mental wellness in winter.

Eating nutritiously on a low budget

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
This past December there was a flurry of media attention on the cost of eating a healthy diet. Time magazine, in an article, “Eating Healthy is Cheaper Than You Think,” reported on the Harvard School of Public Health’s finding that it costs only $1.50 more per day to eat more fruits, veggies and high quality meat and fish. However, for persons with very low income, $1.50 adds up to $550 per person per year. While encouraging for the general public, many of those served by Catholic Charities may not be able to afford healthier foods. Katie Bambacht and Atinuke Isola, nutritionists from Catholic Charities, join Monsignor Boland to discuss how our programs help people eat well on a budget.

New Hope Apartments

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
With foreclosures and unemployment still affecting Chicago-area families, suburban homelessness presents a growing challenge for many communities. Today Rev. Monsignor Michael Boland talks with Margaret Onekmope and Tefamariam Kefle, directors from Catholic Charities New Hope Apartments programs serving suburban Cook County, about how we help families move to self-sufficiency in a tough economy.

Food Insecurity

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Recent budget cuts to the Food Stamp program, now known as the “SNAP” or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, will impact many Catholic Charities clients. We already see so many people struggling to make ends meet at Catholic Charities—everyone from single adults to families to seniors is trying to stretch their limited resources. Catholic Charities offers a wide range of programs that provide nutritious food to millions of people annually. Today, Monsignor Boland is joined by Angel Gutierrez, Vice President of Community Development and Outreach Services, and Stephanie Johnson, Director of Government Relations to discuss how Catholic Charities helps individuals and families facing food insecurity.

Year in Review: Addressing “Headline” Issues in Chicago

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
2013 was marked by many social ills that continue to plague the Chicago area, particularly those living in or near poverty. As we have every year since 1917, Catholic Charities has worked tirelessly address these ills, seeking better and better “antidotes.” Every time you read a headline or see a story on the news about issues plaguing our communities, Catholic Charities is in those neighborhoods working side by side with the community to improve the lives of those who live there. Monsignor Boland looks at three major problems that were in the news a lot this year: Violence, Homelessness and Food Deserts, and how Catholic Charities has responded.

Child Development Centers

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
At Catholic Charities, we empower families to develop stability and self-reliance by enhancing their education, health, safety and connections to their community. One way we do this is by offering high-quality child care services to children and their families. Joining me today is Laura Rios, Vice President of our Child, Youth and Family Services area to tell us more about our child development centers.

Child Welfare Counseling Services

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
At Catholic Charities offers high-quality mental health counseling to children and their families so they can strengthen their understanding and ability to weather emotional storms. Joining me today is Laura Rios, Vice President of our Child, Youth and Family Services area, and Hector Rivera, Supervising Therapist, to tell us more about this important service.

Emergency Services Program

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance Department (EAD) provides a full array of concrete services including food and clothing for persons in crisis as well as those who are struggling to survive on very low incomes. The department also connects clients with shelter, emergency financial assistance, referral, advocacy, short-term case management and benefits screening at many locations in the City and Suburbs. Christine Dykes-Sorrells, Director of the Emergency Assistance Program at Catholic Charities, joins Monsignor Boland to discuss the history and current activities of EAD.

LOOM, a Refugee Services Project Funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Refugees face many challenges upon arrival in their new home countries, including how to feel part of the community. Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Services, with funding from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, has created a new support for refugee women called LOOM. LOOM is a social enterprise project where the women work together creating wearable art which they then sell to help support their families. Most of all, LOOM provides a place where the women can connect despite differences in culture and language. Sarah Aulie of Catholic Charities and Lori Felix of the Archdiocese’s Office of Peace and Justice join Monsignor Boland for a lively and enlightening discussion.

Southwest Regional Office

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The Southwest Region of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago stretches from Evergreen Park and the Beverly neighborhood in the East to Lemont in the West and from Bedford Park South to Orland Hills. Catholic Charities provides comprehensive services to the needy and disadvantaged in the area, including: emergency food and utility assistance, counseling, employment services, supplement, and housing. Teresa Rodríguez, Southwest Regional Director and Don Larson St. Blase Food Pantry Volunteer, join Monsignor Boland to discuss the many activities of Catholic Charities in the Southwest Region.

Hospital Transition Program

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
The Catholic Charities Hospital Transition Program focuses on helping seniors self-manage their conditions, take an active role in their health care, and communicate more effectively with their physicians; with the goal of preventing re-admission to a hospital. Catholic Charities’ Hospital Transition Coaches work with patients in the hospital and home. Joining Monsignor Boland is Anne Posner, Associate Vice President of Care Coordination to discuss this new and promising program.

Catholic Charities Annual Celebration of Giving Gift Drive

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
For 66 years, Catholic Charities staff and volunteers have worked to fulfill the Church’s mission of charity through our Annual Christmas “Celebration of Giving”. Starting now through November, the agency collects new, unwrapped gifts for pregnant teens in our Arts of Living Program or new moms receiving maternity services, homeless children in our shelters; or families struggling to survive day to day. Though Christmas seems like a long way off, we are seeking donations now for this special program that touches so many lives. Joining Monsignor today is Lisa Jerzyk, Director of Volunteer Relations at Catholic Charities, to talk about this heartwarming initiative and how listeners can help.

Immigrant Survivors Project

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Catholic Charities, in collaboration with Mujeres Latinas and Taller de Jose, provides comprehensive specialized legal services to immigrants who are also victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. Carlos Rinconeno of the Immigrant Survivors Project at Catholic Charities joins Monsignor Boland to discuss this compelling and complex work.

Immigration and Naturalization Services

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Gaining legal status as immigrant and becoming a US citizen are issues that concern millions of people across the country. For many years, Catholic Charities has provided and supported people in gaining legal status in the U.S. and becoming U.S. citizens. Nancy Gavilanes, Program Director of Immigration and Naturalization Services joins Monsignor Boland to discuss the ways Catholic Charities assists immigrants.

Cooke's Manor

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Cooke's Manor is a recovery home for veterans operated by Catholic Charities on the Hines VA campus. Today Monsignor Boland speaks with Gloria Wright and Danita Pines about their work at this unique program.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013
CSI and ACES are two of the programs Catholic Charities runs to help persons struggling with substance abuse. Today Monsignor Boland speaks with Kevin Doyle and Patricia Bogie about their work.

Congregate Meals for Seniors

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Catholic Charities Congregate Meal program serves hot, tasty, noon-time meals at senior centers or other programs. Congregate meals help seniors maintain good nutrition and provide socialization for many who might otherwise eat alone in their homes. Today, Monsignor Boland talks with Donna Schultz, Food Service Manager and Rob Boyd, Senior Center Director, about the program.

LOSS Program for Children and Youth

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Nearly 35 years ago, Catholic Charities began groundbreaking work by counseling the survivors of suicide; those family members and friends left behind when someone made the tragic decision to end their life. Our Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) program has helped thousands of people over the years. Our model of individual counseling by trained professionals and support groups facilitated by survivors has been recognized internationally. A few years ago, we started a new chapter in LOSS’s history by launching a program for children and youth impacted by suicide. Today, Monsignor Boland is joined by Jessica Mead and Cynthia Waderlow who will tell us more the child and youth program and an upcoming fundraiser that supports it.

Catholic Charities Launches New Mentoring Program for Youth in Lake County

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Today’s youth face many challenges from a fast-paced society full of questionable influences. Parents are busy making a living and may not be able to give their children all the attention they would like. Catholic Charities in Lake County has realized a need in that community and is starting a Youth Mentoring Program that will pair adult volunteers with children ages 9 to 12. Joining Monsignor Boland today are Sarah Loffman and Beth Sheehan-Lucas of Catholic Charities’ Child, Youth and Family Services. Together, these women are launching this new program.

Catholic Charities WIC Centers are Hubs of Support to Families with Low Income

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
20 years ago, Catholic Charities created a new model for delivering federally-funded nutrition services to pregnant or nursing mothers and their young children. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program provides nutritious foods like milk, whole grain cereals, and fresh fruits and vegetables to thousands of families in Cook County. Catholic Charities’ model includes food centers where participants “shop” for healthy foods while their children play in supervised onsite daycare. Participants can also access other services at the sites, such as vision screenings, and assistance with childhood immunizations. Catholic Charities’ WIC centers are hubs of support in the low-income communities where they are located. Associate Vice President Diane Nunley joins Monsignor Boland to discuss the WIC program and its impact.

Summer Lunch Program

Tuesday, July 9, 2013
One of the many ways Catholic Charities attacks the problem of hunger in Chicagoland is through its Summer Lunch Program, which serves thousands of children during the months they are out of school. The program provides “more than a meal,” by offering activities and consistency to children whose lives are often disrupted by the challenges of poverty. Mike Hyzy, Project Director and Business Specialist with Catholic Charities joins Monsignor Boland for an insightful discussion.

Keenager News

Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Keenager News is a 12-page, free newspaper published by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. The paper brings news, entertainment, reflection and humor to nearly 100,000 seniors each month. Now in its 44th year, Keenager News is mailed directly to seniors’ homes. For more information, please call: (312) 655-7425 or visit:

Senior Unity Mass

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Catholic Charities’ Senior Unity Mass is an annual celebration of seniors held at Holy Name Cathedral. Over 300 seniors gather to worship together, and then enjoy fellowship over a box lunch. Board of Advisors members Mary Ellen Kastenholz and Jeanne Hardy are volunteering to help with this year’s Unity Mass.

A Day at the Races Benefit

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
“A Day at the Races” benefit for Catholic Charities North Region Office, Emergency Services. Volunteer Nancy Morrison who is a member of the North Region Advisory Board discusses volunteerism and the upcoming benefit which will help the North Region provide food and other emergency services to a growing population of suburban poor.

Emergency Services/Hunger Walk

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Monsignor Boland speaks to Sharon Tilmon, Assistant Director, Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance Department, about the St. Sabina emergency assistance center in Englewood and the upcoming Hunger Walk, which benefits a number of Catholic Charities food pantries.

Bishop Conway Residence

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Bishop Conway Residence is a “Supportive Living” facility that offers seniors an affordable place to live safely and socially when they can no longer live independently. Gaby Saldana, director of Bishop Conway Residence, talks with Monsignor Boland about the program.

After Supper Visions Photography Project

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
This week, Monsignor Boland speaks with Jody O’Connell, Maureen Kelly and Ellen Gorney who volunteer with Catholic Charities’ After Supper Visions photography project. The women devote hours each week to helping our supper guests realize their creative potential through photography. The After Supper Visions gallery show will be held on June 7 and 8th.

Legislative Advocacy Efforts

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Mgsr. Mike Boland has Mike Ward, board member and member of The Government Relations Committee, talking about our advocacy efforsts in the legislature in Springfield.

Community Health Fairs

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Msgr. Mike Boland speaks with Kate Mulvaney, Regional Director for the City of Chicago and Director of Health Initiatives about the upcoming community health fairs.

Veterans in Need

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
This week, Monsignor Boland speaks with Norman Carlson, Catholic Charities’ Board of Advisors Member and Co-Chair of our Veterans In Need event, which benefits Catholic Charities veteran’s programs.

Holy Family Villa

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
This week, Monsignor Boland speaks with Bobbie Magurany, Director of Holy Family Villa and John Parisi, co-chair of the Bishop Lyne Celebration Dinner about this event and its beneficiary, Holy Family Villa.

Papal Selection Process

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
This week, Monsignor Boland speaks with Reverend Gerard Kelly, Associate Administrator and Chaplain of Catholic Charities about the selection process of the new Pope in Rome.

Chi Town Jazz Festival

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
This week, Monsignor Boland speaks with Rev. John Moulder, Director of the Chi Town Jazz Festival about this wonderful upcoming benefit, whose proceeds go to help feed the hungry in Chicago.

Mobile Outreach Program

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Monsignor Boland speaks with Luiz Barbosa of the Mobile Outreach Program

Homelessness Prevention Call Center

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Monsignor Boland speaks with Sandra Murray about the Homelessness Prevention Call Center

Celebrating the Holidays with Seniors

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Monsignor Mike Boland speaks with Mary Ann bibat, Vice President of Senior Social Services at Catholic Charities about celebrating the holidays with our seniors.

Maryville Academy

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Monsignor Michael Boland speaks with Sr. Cathy Ryan, OSF, Director of Maryville Academy.

Lake County Adopt a Family Program

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Monsignor Boland talks with Jim Wogan about the Lake County Adopt a Family Program

HIV/AIDS Awareness/World AIDS Day

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Monsignor Boland talks to Pat Drott about HIV/AIDS and World AIDS Day.

Partnership with Fifth Third Bank

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Monsignor Boland speaks with Bob Sullivan, President and CEO of Fifth Third Bank about the ongoing partnership with Catholic Charities and Fifth Third Bank.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012
In today’s show Monsignor Boland speaks with Norene Chesebro, Director of Catholic Charities Maternity Adoption Department, and Lisa Holmes, Dawn Earp, and Doug Earp who were all adopted through Catholic Charities.

Religious Liberty

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Monsignor Boland talks to John M. Breen about religious liberty and the HHS mandate.

Domestic Violence Programs

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Monsignor speaks with Deborah Hammond, Program Director of Catholic Charities’ Domestic Violence Programs and Patricia Ann Broderick, Clinical Family Services Specialist on Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

IberroAmericana Exchange Program

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Dr. Maria Vidal – Professor of the Loyola Univesity School of Social Work and member of Catholic Charities’ Board of Advisors and Latino Advisory Committee, Estefania Arreguin from the Department of Latino Affairs at Catholic Charities and Mauricio Alvarez, a student at IberroAmericana and volunteer at Catholic Charities about our IberroAmericana exchange program.

Latino Affairs

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Monsignor speaks with Dalia Rocotello, Director of Latino Affairs for Catholic Charities and Clem Martin, Executive Director of Cicero Catholic Schools and member of the Catholic Charities Board of Directors and West Region Advisory Board.

Hunger Action Month

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Monsignor speaks with Angel Gutierrez, Vice President of Community Development and Outreach Services for Catholic Charities about Hunger Action Month.
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