ICSJ Parish Refugee Effort

 Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish ICSJ Parish Refugee Effort Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program

The ICSJ Parish Refugee Effort is a group of Parishioners dedicated to finding opportunities for ICSJ Parish to assist refugee families in finding a safe haven from persecution and war. Following the motto, "This is who we are, this is what we do," the group has been diligently working with Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program which has 40 years of experience helping refugees reach America and settle in Chicago. 

If you'd like to volunteer, please contact one of the ICSJ Parish Refugee Effort members,
Betty WoodwardMary PrendergastMarilynn Snider or Louise Nora.


August 12, 2018: Sunday Funday!

Join the ICSJ Refugee Committee on Sunday August 12th for an afternoon of fun and pizza as we host a “field day” for the kids—age 3 to 12—of our refugee families. The day will include soccer, frisbee and other games, followed by a pizza party! All ICSJ children, families and friends are encouraged to attend! We want our refugee kids to feel welcomed and we need your help to do it. This is a great opportunity for everyone who has been so supportive of our efforts to meet the families we’re sponsoring. They look forward to meeting you and your kids!

 Please RSVP to Marco Oropeza as we will be ordering pizza based on these numbers.

Sunday Funday!
Sunday, August 12th, 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Seward Park (across from St. Joseph Church)


July 15, 2018 : Meet Our New Family From Rohingya!

Our new family from Rohingya—a father, mother and three young kids ages 3, 5 and 7—arrived July 13th. Read more here.

May 20, 2018 : And One More Makes Four!

Our three refugee families have been thriving, and now we've added Elias, a gentleman from Ethiopia! Read more here.

December 3: Tutors and Mentors Needed!

Looking for a way to help this holiday? Consider a (Christmas) gift of time for refugee families. Catholic Charities has alerted us to the need for tutoring/mentoring help for some refugee children. Read more here.

October 29: (New) Home for the Holidays / Winter Clothing Drive

First, and most exciting, we met with our third and newest family this past week, a mother and her twin 23-year old daughters who are Rohingya from Burma—or Myanmar. . . we're also having a winter clothing drive during November as none of the members of our three families—the six kids and seven adults—are prepared for what is coming. Especially in the way of clothing.  Read more here.
— November 19th Clothing Drive Results Update —

October 1: Never a Doubting Thomas When it Comes to Our Parish!

Thirteen parishioners—three with teenage daughters—recently volunteered to help out our new Rohingya family who arrived in September...  read more here

September 9: Baby Shower!

Our baby shower for our Burmese refugee family on September 9th was a huge success! Lin and Aa Ka were truly showered with gifts for their baby girl, who is due on the 24th.  Click here to read more.

August 6: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

Our families continue to adjust to life in Chicago! Also, we're looking for ideas for possible jobs for one of our family members. Click here for more information.

July 2: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

Members of our group recently met with our two families and the news couldn't be better! Click here to read about the visit and view some photos!

June 4:  We Have Our Second Refugee Family!!

Click here to read about our second family from Burma, as well as how you can help both or our families!

May 20: Well Worth the Wait!

On Thursday, May 18, a small group from our parish refugee committee was finally able to spend time with the family from Afghanistan that ICSJ Parish is sponsoring. The family—the father; the mom; the three boys (age 10, 8 and 3) along with their sister, age 6—greeted the group members at the door with the biggest smiles and strongest hugs you could imagine. Read the full account here.

April 5: We Surpassed Our Fundraising Goal!

Thank you to all who recently contributed to our Refugee Family Collection. WE WERE ABLE TO RAISE $20,469 to support the family that arrived in Chicago on March 29th from Afghanistan (stay tuned for more news on their arrival) — far surpassing the $8,000 we needed. Besides this incredible financial support, so many of our parishioners have graciously offered to help the family get settled and adjusted in our big city, and offered other services as well. The response has been phenomenal. Thank you for your generosity and support. This has been a great hallmark of our Lenten journey this year!

March 29th: Our family has arrived!

Click here to read about our family's emotional arrival at O'Hare Airport on March 29th.

March 19th:  ICSJ to welcome a refugee family!

Click here to read our March 19th Mass announcement and learn more about the family we'll be sponsoring, the funds we'll need to raise, and our co-sponsorship with Catholic Charities.

As we fix our gaze on the Holy Family as they were forced to become refugees, let us think of the tragedy of those migrants today who are victims of rejection and exploitation . . . and give voice to those who cannot manage to make their cry of distress and oppression heard.
— Pope Francis

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