On June 15-17, 2023, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago Council welcomed just under 400 Vincentians to the North Central Region’s annual meeting at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois. The USML campus occupies over 600 acres of beautifully wooded property, a lake, wildlife, and peacefulness. Its buildings are centered around the chapel dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, under the title of her Immaculate Conception, the patroness of the seminary.
Retreats, meditation, personal prayer time, and keynote speakers were just part of the educational and spiritual components of the event. There were 24 workshops offered that included topics such as: Revitalization of Conferences and Members; What to Do When Parishes Close or Merge?, Home Visits to Hispanics/Latinos (in Spanish), Recruiting New Members, and so many more provided much insight and an opportunity for great discussion to improve our service to the poor, while growing in friendship and spirituality.
On Thursday, June 15, Host City events offered Vincentians an opportunity to relax, laugh, share stories, make new friends, and bond with old friends. Activities included a bags tournament, improv show, a visit to Marytown Shrine and a walking tour around the beautiful grounds of St. Mary of the Lake. Everyone had a great time.
In addition to a basket raffle, a daily Split the Pot on Thursday, Friday,and Saturday was held. SVdP Chicago is very excited to say that we were able to donate $1600 from the Split the Pot proceeds to the National Friends of the Poor Campaign.
On Friday, June 16, an early evening Mass was held at the Immaculate Conception Chapel. This glorious piece of architecture has tall columns within the church, beautiful marble floors and white pews, along with a choir loft that let each note echo beautifully throughout the church. After Mass, a social was held followed by dinner. Cathy Crisp, President of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota Council encouraged everyone to come to next year’s NCR meeting in Sioux Falls, June 20-22, 2024. Congratulations were also given to Susan Wiland, from the Rockford Diocesan Council, the incoming National Vice President for the North Central Region, beginning October 1.