As seminarians progress on their path to priesthood, they realize that their clothing needs change quite a bit, and the need for a diverse wardrobe disappears. The on-campus Winter Clothing Drive provided an opportunity for seminarians to donate winter clothing items to distribute to others in need. A total of 22 large bags of clothes were collected throughout the seminary, with an additional 50 bags collected from parishioners at St. Joseph in Libertyville and St. Mary in Vernon Hills. It required the efforts of nearly 20 seminarians to sort, bag, and deliver these items to the poor.
On a cold and rainy morning, a group of your future priests packed their cars with 50 bags of winter clothing for distribution in the Avondale neighborhood of Chicago.
Despite the pouring rain, dozens of day laborers–some of whom had little more than the clothes on their backs–were able to outfit themselves for the winter. Many men had no gloves, some had no socks, and a few didn’t even have winter coats, but were able to receive these items.
These hardworking men try to provide for themselves and their families, but can face harsh conditions, inconsistent work hours and pay, health issues, and separation from loved ones. Seminarians provided the much-needed shoes, socks, pants, sweaters, winter coats, gloves, and hats, along with friendly smiles and prayers to approximately 75 men.
In addition to the Avondale delivery, a truckload of around 20 more large bags of clothing were delivered to the Franciscans of the Eucharist at the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. Another 10 bags will be sorted and brought to Lower Wacker Drive, where seminarians regularly visit on weekends to bring food and conversation to the homeless there.
We pray in thanksgiving for the food, clothing, and shelter we all have, and we pray for those who were helped by this year’s clothing drive. We thank God for making this all possible.