Creating a Path to Citizenship is a Moral and Pragmatic Concern

Photo courtesy of DePaul University.

Cardinal Francis George (l) and former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert address the business community in support of fair and just immigration reform at DePaul University. Photo courtesy of DePaul University.

Fr. Brendan helped create and now serves on the steering committee of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC) which in February sponsored a panel at DePaul University. Panelists included Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George and former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. A Republican, Hastert called for legalization of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the country. “My own party must acknowledge and embrace ever-growing Latino and Asian constituencies,” he said. “We should provide them with a path to citizenship.”

Cardinal George made the moral case for immigration reform and deplored increases in deportations. “Our churches have too many families torn apart by our immigration laws, too many good people who only want to be Americans, to work and be safe in their homes. I know that our nation’s soul requires that we treat them fairly.”


Outreach program has regional impact


HOPE at St. Pius V staff members with gifts of appreciation received from program participants at February 14th Gala. L to R: Dolores Tapia, Luis Chavez, Sr. Virginia Jung, OSB, and Dulce Cira.

Fr. Chuck continues to preach in parishes and form parish ministry committees to serve victims of domestic violence. Since last December he established ministries at parishes in Northbrook, Morton Grove, Oak Park and River Forest, as well as at one Chicago parish. His parish preaching schedule includes visits to Old St. Mary and Queen of All Saints, and St. Luke. On March 22 Fr. Chuck and his team will offer an enrichment workshop at Loyola University’s downtown campus for ministers from the 36 parishes where he has already preached.

On Valentine’s Day, HOPE at St. Pius V, our program for domestic violence, couples’ enrichment and parenting, held a dinner dance for 270 people. Most guests at the funding raising event have benefited from the classes, counseling, and support groups offered by HOPE. HOPE director Dolores Tapia said “People really enjoyed themselves. Many knew one another and most had the common experience of renewing their love for their partner. It was a great celebration that raised $10,000 to support our program.”


New at St. Pius V

The Resurrection Project and St. Pius V Collaborate for Success

On February 19, at the 20th Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards sponsored by LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago), The Resurrection Project (TRP) received the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project. St. Pius V is a founding member of TRP and Fr. Chuck is chair of its board of directors.

The TRP award-winning project focused on purchasing, rehabbing, and selling foreclosed homes in one of Chicago’s most devastated neighborhoods, Back of the Yards. With a $13.8 million grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), TRP worked with local parishes and organizations to acquire and redevelop 40 foreclosed and vacant properties. To complement its rehab efforts, TRP provided financial literacy classes and homeownership workshops to strengthen the families purchasing the renovated buildings. As the buildings were rehabbed, other homeowners took heart and began fixing up their own properties, reflecting a new found hope for the resurrection of their community.

On Saturday, February 15, St. Pius V hosted a citizenship workshop sponsored by The Resurrection Project and other organizations. Among the 150 persons attending, more than 100 filed their application for citizenship. At the workshop, Second Federal Credit Union, a TRP partner, announced it would provide non-collateral backed loans to persons to cover their $680 application fee. It is the only financial institution in Illinois providing this service.

Illinois has an estimated 350,000 legal permanent residents who have lived here long enough to become citizens (at least five years) but have never applied, many for lack of funds.

School Honors

Peacemakers: Living MLK’s Dream

Each year, classmates choose students in their classroom who live out Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of non-violence. We are very proud of all our 2014 Peacemakers. Here is a sample of what the children say about their peers when nominating them for this award:

The recipient of the award for the Early Childhood Education program was Ian, about whom his classmates said: “Ian is quick to say ‘sorry’ when he makes a mistake. He gives hugs and always tries to be nice.”


Fourth grader Isabelle’s classmates said that she is “respectful and treats everybody equally. She not only brings peace to her classmates but also to teachers.”

Honors for St. Pius V School Staff

This year at Noche Mexicana we will celebrate the successes of two of the schools greatest assets: our principal, Nancy Nasko, and our administrative assistant, Abby Torres. Both received major awards this year recognizing their contributions to SPV School.

Abby received the Distinguished Service Award from the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office of Catholic Schools. Abby is one of the reasons everything runs so smoothly in the school office. She does her job with grace, calm, and a wonderful sense of humor.

At Noche Mexicana, Mrs. Nasko will also be honored for receiving the Distinguished Principal Award from the National Association of Elementary School Principals last fall. Congratulations to Nancy and Abby!

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Father Chuck’s Ministry Milestone

Fifty years ago, in 1964, the Civil Rights movement was in full swing. The Beatles debuted on the Ed Sullivan Show. The University of Notre Dame had a championship football team, and one of its loyal alums — a young Dominican friar from Immaculate Conception Parish in Elmhurst, Illinois, and Fenwick High School — was ordained to the priesthood. After serving in Bolivia, studying for a PhD, and founding 8th Day Center for Justice, Fr. Chuck came to St. Pius V where he still serves with much joy and energy.

Fr. Chuck Dahm Fund

To honor Fr. Chuck’s 50 years of ordained ministry and his 28 years at St. Pius V, Fr. Brendan Curran, OP, announces the creation of The Fr. Dahm Fund to Empower Women and Families at St. Pius V Parish.

“Creating this fund in Fr. Chuck’s name is the best way I can think of saying thank you,” Fr. Brendan said. “‘Thank you for your service and your loving care for thousands of people who have been touched by your passion for justice, your devotion to the Latino community, and your commitment to the Gospel call to compassion toward all God’s people.’”
The Fund to Empower Women and Families assures that St. Pius V Parish’s mission of welcoming, teaching, and transforming lives will be protected and strengthened into the future. Fr. Chuck requests, instead of personal gifts, that those so inclined make a donation to the fund.

Celebrations Scheduled

These festive events are planned to celebrate his faithful service to God and God’s people.

Saturday, April 26: Parishioners will attend a grand fiesta in the parish hall.

Sunday, April 27: Fr. Chuck will preach at all six Masses at St. Pius V and greet parishioners afterward.

Saturday, May 3: Fr. Chuck’s friends and colleagues beyond St. Pius V will gather at 6:00 pm for Mass followed by a reception in the church hall.

Sunday, June 1: A private celebration including Mass and brunch with Fr. Chuck’s immediate family and life-long friends.
Save-the-date cards have been sent and invitations will follow for May 3 and June 1. Please join us in prayers of thanksgiving for Fr. Chuck’s lifelong commitment to preaching the gospel through his care and concern for God’s people!

Make a gift to the Fr. Dahm Fund to Empower Women and Families

BY CHECK: Payable to St. Pius V Parish and including the words “Fr. Dahm Fund” on the memo line. Mail to the parish, 1919 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago IL 60608, Attn: Julie Villegas.

ONLINE: Click here and you will be directed to Give Central where you can select “Fr. Dahm Fund” and make a fast, secure online payment.

BY PHONE: Call 312.226.6161 and ask for the business office to make a secure credit card donation.

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