Every year, in honor of what is now our Unity Event, we honor an individual or organization who has exemplified the spirit of bringing people together and making the Gospel present - as St. Josaphat gave his life in this effort - with the St. Josaphat Unity Award. The Award, which includes a $10,000 cash prize, is presented at the Unity Event Kickoff Mass.
Guidelines for Nomination
The guidelines for nominations for the Unity Award are that the individual or organization is within the Chicagoland area, is either a Catholic or Catholic-related undertaking, and usually serving part of the under-served members of the community. We invite you to submit your recommendations to the Unity Award Committee.
Our Unity Award recipient is honored at our annual Unity Gala.
Congratulations to our 2022 Unity Award Recipient:
Aid for Women is dedicated to assisting women who find themselves facing unexpected pregnancies by providing emotional, practical and spiritual support throughout their pregnancy. The Lord said “before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” in Jeremiah 1:5. Aid for Women provides medical and community referrals through partnerships that have been established with a network of medical agencies throughout the Chicago area. Other support programs include pregnancy and parenting classes, moms-to-be groups, as well as maternity homes that provide a stable home environment for women who may otherwise not have a place to stay during their pregnancy. All services provided by Aid for Women are free of charge and are 100% funded by charitable donations.
St. Josaphat Parish is pleased to celebrate and award this worthy charity with a $10,000 cash prize at the Unity Award Mass on Sunday March 27, 2022 at 10:00am. We hope you can join us for this festive parish event!
Learn more about Aid for Women on their website: https://www.aidforwomen.org/
Fr. Francis talks about Aid for Women
I am very pleased to announce that this year’s Unity Award has been awarded to Aid for Women. Aid for Women helps thousands of women each year in the Chicago metropolitan area who find themselves facing unexpected pregnancies. Each woman is provided with the emotional, practical and spiritual support that she needs to choose life for her unborn baby and to provide a better future for her and her child. Aid for Women’s life-affirming services are offered free-of-charge.
For the past 10 years, I have served as a Chaplain for Aid for Women and on their Executive Board of Directors. I have witnessed firsthand the extraordinary work they do to serve women and provide them with compassionate care and support both during and after their pregnancy.
Their volunteers staff a 24-hour helpline to support women facing crisis pregnancies. They provide pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. And they help address the many different material, physical and emotional needs — including housing, food, employment, healthcare and relationship issues that women face during a pregnancy.
Aid for Women has established partnerships with a network of medical and community agencies, including Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago and Presence Resurrection Health Care, which allows them to better address and serve the needs of these women and their families.
In addition to the services I mentioned, they also have two residential programs: Heather’s House and Monica’s House.
Heather’s House, located on the Maryville Academy Campus in Des Plaines, Illinois, provides a safe and nurturing home where pregnant women and their babies can live. Heather’s House offers mothers an opportunity to develop the life skills, education and job skills necessary to become independent and loving mothers.
Monica’s House, located at St. Pascal Church in Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood, serves as a transitional home for Heather’s House residents who have had their babies and are either going to school or working. Monica’s House provides these new mothers more independence, while they work toward completing their goals.
As you can see, Aid for Women does a tremendous amount of work caring for women in crisis pregnancies. They care for the whole person. They provide emotional, practical and spiritual support to women and their babies. And they do it all free of charge. I hope you will agree that Aid for Women is an organization that is certainly worthy of our support and this year’s Unity Award. If you would like to learn more about Aid for Women or if you would like to make your own donation to support their work or volunteer with them, please see their website: https://www.helpaidforwomen.org/
Past Unity Award Recipients include:
2021: Little Heroes League
2019: Kolbe House Jail Ministry
2018: Amate House
2017: Franciscans of the Eucharist Community at Our Lady of the Angels Mission
2016: Catholic Office for the Deaf
2015: Harmony, Hope and Healing
2014: Hope Program of St. Pius V Parish
2013: Lincoln Park Community Shelter
2012: Lakeview Pantry
2011: San Jose Obrero Mission
2010: The St. Vincent DePaul Center
2009: Mrs. Patricia Smuck for Her Ecumenical Work
2008: Maria Elena Jonas, Immigration Aid Center
2007: Matthew Lynch and the Chicago Jesuit Academy ($7,500)
2006: Little Sisters of the Poor ($5,000)
2005: Deacon Tom and Rita Lambert (Award only)
2004: Fr. Bruce Wellem (Award only)
2003: The Courage Program and Maureen Shields (Award only)