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 small 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. 

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.

Want to help? We’re looking for parishioners to help provide ESL for the mother, and to consider donating an adult bicycle, some room fans, soccer balls and basketballs and legos.

April 5: An Important Update from Fr. Larry

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 Announcement:  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.

Want to Do More?

In addition to donations, we will need volunteers to help with the following:
(Note: our job is to be their friends, not their crutches, and our involvement will lessen over time.)

Household Items
Catholic Charities currently has all the household items from previous donations, so aside from last minute needs, our family will be pretty well covered. As we get to know the family once they are settled, we will probably notice some items missing that we would want to add.

Helping the Family Acclimate
• Neighborhood guides (most likely in the Rodgers Park area);
• Familiarizing the family with American stores and products;
• Showing them how our transit system works;
• Tour guides to various events/places (depending on kids ages);
• English tutoring (attention ex-teachers!);
• Mentors for the children;
• Being attuned to needs as they arise.

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

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

Additional Resources