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Domestic Violence

Outreach Ministry

ATTENTION – EVENT CANCELLED!
MEETINGS ARE CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS PRECAUTIONS

On February 10, Fr. Chuck Dahm from the Archdiocese of Chicago Domestic Violence Ministry met with over 30 parishioners who are interested in moving forward with a Domestic Violence Ministry here at St. Michael. Thank you to Fr. Chuck and the mentors he brought with him. The group met again on February 24 to develop a Mission Statement and discern next steps in getting this ministry off the ground in our parish. We will focus on Awareness of the problem, Connections for Victims, and Prevention of future domestic violence in our community.

If you could not make it on those meetings and are interested in helping, please contact Pastoral Associate Pat Chuchla at 708-873-4652 or pchuchla@saintmike.com.


Crisis Center Still Helping Victims During Health Crisis

Suburban Cook County/Eastern Will County, IL – While restaurants and bars have closed, and many stores and businesses are temporarily shutting their doors, the Crisis Center for South Suburbia continues to aid victims of domestic violence through essential, and sometimes lifesaving services.

“Until quarantined restrictions change, we will be here to help,” said Crisis Center Executive Director, Pam Kostecki. The agency, which has been celebrating its 40th year of providing shelter, housing and other services to suburban Cook and Eastern Will counties residents, has had to make some changes, but ceasing services is not one of them. “We are doing our best to stay virus-free,” said Kostecki. “However, at a time like this when stress is at an all-time high, and families are cooped up together with little in the way of an outlet, we are doing our best to provide services and shelter from violence. We want victims to know we are here to help.”

The 35-bed shelter and other Crisis Center programs have been adapted to better protect the health and well-being of the clients, staff, board and volunteers. While the 24-hour hotline (708-429-SAFE) remains operational and trained staff are standing by ready to offer help and resources, the shelter has reduced its capacity to one household per bedroom and there are thirteen total bedrooms. Access to common areas such as the family room and dining area has also been restricted to small groups. The shelter has instituted additional pre-screening questions and new residents are isolated from others for 24 hours until they are deemed symptom-free as an additional precaution. The shelter facility has also been deep cleaned and access is currently restricted to essential staff and current residents only.

Programs such as the agency’s free counseling services for victims of domestic violence have found resourceful ways to make it work. Currently, many regular clients are using TeleHealth or phone calls and texting to connect with counselors. Advocates that work in local courthouses and hospitals have also experienced a reduction or elimination of on-site service delivery due to court schedules and hospitals wanting to minimize risk for non-essential staff, yet staff continue to work with local police departments following up on domestic disturbance calls to educate victims on their legal rights and available services.

Kostecki has temporarily suspended volunteer services to the agency operations, which is a tall order since the agency has over 200 volunteers that help keep programs running and its two Neat Repeats resale stores operational. The stores have been closed to protect shoppers and many volunteers who work there, most of whom are seniors and considered a higher risk population. A reopening date has not been announced yet.

“I am touched by the outpouring of kindness and offers to help our clients in the midst of this health crisis,” said Kostecki. “People have been offering to bring cooked meals and prepared food, non-perishable items and cleaning supplies. A few even offered to bring games to keep kids busy while school is not in session.” Kostecki shared the need for Uber and Lyft gift cards which will provide safe transportation for clients when they need to pick up prescriptions or attend to an emergency need outside of the shelter. “This is a pretty special place,” Kostecki said. “And we could never do what we do without the support of the community, especially during trying times like these.”

For more information on the Crisis Center for South Suburbia, visit www.crisisctr.org.

Pam Kostecki, Executive Director
pkostecki@crisisctr.org
708-429-7255


Our Outreach Ministries

Alcoholic Anonymous

If you think you have a problem with alcohol and have a desire to stop drinking, come to our AA meetings.

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Bereavement

The “How to go on After a Loved One Has Died” program is offered twice a year to people experiencing grief.

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Domestic Violence

We focus on awareness of the problem, resources for victims, and prevention of domestic violence.

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Grief Support

These groups give grieving persons an opportunity to talk about what they are struggling with in their grief.

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HOPE (Jobs Ministry)

Helpful outreach for people seeking employment through networking, speakers and open forums.

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Martha Ministry

This ministry offers support and meals brought home to those who have been ill or incapacitated for a while.

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Prayer Shawls

Talented parishioners (Hooks & Needles) share their love of crochet and knitting by making items with prayer.

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Knights of Columbus

Fraternal Service Organization Council #10858 dedicated to faith, community, family, youth and fellowship.

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St. Vincent de Paul

We help all those in need who are registered parishioners and within our Orland Park Community.

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Food Drives

Usually held in the summer when pantries are low or around Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.

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Soup Kitchen

High School students prepare and serve lunch at the Shepherd’s Table – Soup Kitchen in Joliet.

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Appalachia Outreach

High School students spend a week of service in Appalachia in Charleston, West Virginia in June.

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Christmas Sharing Trees

As we approach the season of Christmas, we delight in our ability to bring joy to others through gift giving.

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Lenten Crosses

Paper Crosses with labels requesting items needed by members of our sharing parish and other local charities.

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Pro-Life

We value and guard all human life from conception to natural death by participating in various Pro-Life events.

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Retrouvaille

A lifeline of hope and healing for struggling marriages through a three-phase program on weekends.

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SouthWest Interfaith Team

SWIFT promotes projects and dialogue among the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious communities.

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Immigration Ministry

This Catholic Social Teaching Team serves a vital role towards fulfilling the mission to “welcome the stranger.”

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Pastoral Migratoria

This ministry invites immigrants to be engaged in service and justice actions in our parish community.

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Ongoing and Upcoming Events