Holiday 2018 Appeal
It’s winter in Chicago and sometimes the wind blows so hard that it bites the tip of your nose. When the snow is flying, it’s ten times worse. For many homeless persons and those with addiction, the winters here are more than harsh. They are downright miserable. Can you imagine having nowhere to go, no one to whom you can turn? There are ‘storms’ in life that resemble our harsh winters. Our Sisters have helped a number of people in the midst of such despair.
We hope you’ll support our Sisters so we can continue to work with those on the margins and those who seek help.
In Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood, Sr. Therese O’Sullivan met Amanda outside the steps of St. Martin dePorres House of Hope. Addiction had become her life but Sr. Therese consoled and counseled Amanda, then challenged her to make some choices. At the time, Amanda could hardly make sense of Sr. Therese’s suggestions. She resisted and found it difficult to accept instruction from this diminutive, encouraging and God loving woman. From where would her strength come? Many weeks passed and Amanda felt something tugging at her and stirring in her soul. She felt a sense of awe and then realized why she had found this place of refuge and Sr. Therese.
Amanda in her own words:
“As an African American woman, I have not always felt accepted or understood by people from my own culture. Even as a child, I did not “fit” in with my peers and what they expected of me—how to act, how to talk, what I liked and how I looked. For many years, I used drugs as an escape from the pain of abuse, buried feelings, and not belonging. Heroin numbed my pain and I did whatever was necessary to feed my addiction. This was a lifestyle and culture I was in for many years. Over the course of the past 12 years of recovery, I have learned not only to embrace who I am but how to operate in multiple worlds while maintaining my own identity. Today, I am using skills that were once shunned, to help others on the margins. I work as a case manager at Safe Haven, doing outreach with the chronically homeless in Chicago.”
Amanda’s and Sr. Therese’s bond shows us the way we can find strength. Those seeking help, find help and, those seeking God, find God. Amanda met Sr. Therese O’Sullivan in 2006 at the foot of the steps to St. Martin de Porres House of Hope. With the love, support and compassion of Sr. Therese, Amanda is now free to live a full life and help others.
Sr. Therese helped Amanda, and many others like her, become the women they are today. Amanda is only one example of how our Loretto Sisters have helped people over the years.
What joy it is to bring God’s love to people like Amanda. Thank you for your support so our Sisters can continue to mentor and be voices for those on the margins and bring the gospel message of hope to all. Your gift will also make a difference in the care of our retired and infirm Sisters. Thank you for helping us at this time of year as we share Christmas greetings with you and your loved ones.
May you find the love, hope and true joy of Christmas