Uncle Pete's Ministry

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 Sout 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!

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