Our Missionary Spirit Team came together during our Parish Transformation in late 2013. Their first outreach was the addition of Uncle Pete's Ministry, a program for distributing sack lunches to the less fortunate.
Who is Uncle Pete?
Fondly called the "ultimate volunteer," Pete Zonsius was a long-time parishioner at St. John Brebeuf Parish in Niles. Uncle Pete started a ministry to feed people he called "less fortunate" not "poor& He felt it important to recognize the dignity of all people.
Uncle Pete would load a van with bagged lunches and personally distribute them on the west side of Chicago; when he passed away at age 90, St. John Brebeuf parishioners continued his ministry. Other parishes, including St. Juliana, have joined the effort.
How does it work?
Empty lunch sacks and directions for the meals are available in the back of church on designated weekends. Return one or more filled sacks on Tuesday mornings from 6–9am, to volunteers stationed in our parking lot. Later that day, the sacks will be distributed by our Missionary Spirit Team volunteers. Past recipients have included:
- Our Lady of the Angels, serving seniors, the after-school program and food pantry
- St. Martin de Porres food pantry
- St. Augustine Center for homeless
- St. Stanislaus Kostka Soup Kitchen
- Mother Theresa Sisters of Charity, serving homeless under the viaducts
- St. Sylvester Parish food pantry in Humboldt Park
Watch the bulletin, e-newsletter and marquee for news of the next Uncle Pete's Ministry collection!
Feed My Starving Children
Another outreach for the MST is outings to Feed My Starving Children in Libertyille. Their most recent visit was on November 18, when the group packed more than 54,000 meals! From their visit in 2014 through today, our Saint Juliana volunteers have packed enough meals to feed more than 500 children for an entire year! They have great fun while doing great work and invite everyone to join them!
Christmas Sharing Program
Thank you, St. Juliana parishioners, for your generosity in our Christmas Sharing Program this year. The truck was packed and your gifts were delivered to Sister Joellen Tumas and her volunteers at Casa Catalina. They humbly and appreciatively accepted nearly 700 gifts, 15 boxes of food, and $640 in gift cards. The Missionary Spirit Team is so grateful for your continued support of this annual program. A special thanks is extended to Mrs. Lidgus and the St. Juliana School junior high student volunteers who help collect and pack the gifts.