Dear Families and Staff,
When last I wrote to you I was on my way to Springfield. Thanks again to our volunteer lobbyists, John Nicolay and Margaret Houlihan. They are wonderful. They hosted a dinner with Senator Bill Cunningham, and Representatives Mary Gill and Mike Kelly. Many others came by the table to say hello. Misericordia has a wonderful reputation with our elected officials. They all comment how lovely our staff is. Keep inviting them out.
The following morning, I went to a breakfast hosted by IARF (Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities). Michael Diaz has been our representative on their Board. Geana Connelly has been nominated to the next Board. So many Executive Directors thank Legislators for their support. It was great to meet with so many peers and hear the same challenges that we are all facing in terms of employment.
by Jim Varey
My wife, Lenore, and I along with Mary Jo Gallaher and Bob & Bonnie Romniak are team leaders for the Creations from the Heart booth at Family Fest. In the past, you knew the booth as The Gentle Touch. Our booth sells beautiful handmade or handcrafted articles; it’s a very popular stop at Family Fest.
Traditionally, Creations from the Heart booth sold items such as afghans, blankets, quilted hats and more. For the past two years, we’ve added items such as bird houses, hot plates/cutting boards, ornaments, and other wooden holiday decorations. It’s a wonderful potpourri of creativity.
The cold weather is upon us and let us give thanks to God for having warm shelter to shield us! How blessed we are. For those not as fortunate as we are, Misericordia is organizing a Coat Drive to meet the desperate need for warm winter coats, sweaters and sweatshirts, gloves, hats and scarves for newly arrived immigrants to the City of Chicago. So many have never lived through winter, much less a Chicago winter. If you have any items you could donate, please know we would appreciate receiving them. There are people in desperate need whom we would like to help. This Coat Drive is also a project that Misericordia’s residents can help us with to sort, box and distribute the warm clothing to Chicago-area organizations assisting our newly arrived families. At the end of my letter are details about this important endeavor.
by Linda Buchalo
If you have a family member at Misericordia, or if you’ve spent some time on campus, you most likely have heard of Bob and Madge. Maybe you don’t know their last name or exactly what they do, but you probably know them by sight, and you know they have something to do with music.
Bob and Madge Erlenbaugh are long-time volunteers at Misericordia, and wherever you see them, voices will be raised in song. This amazing duo started volunteering for Misericordia in 1983, collecting donations for Candy Days. They continued to help at Candy Days, but a few years later increased their volunteer efforts when one of their daughters worked at a special recreation summer camp that served 20 Misericordia residents. During that time, Bob was teaching guitar and leading a choir group. He brought his group to perform at Misericordia, eventually singing on the Children’s Stage at Family Fest. It was this activity that first brought Lou Manfredini to Misericordia; Lou’s children and Bob and Madge’s grandchildren were friends. Thank you, Bob and Madge, and thank you, Lou! Bob and Madge continued to help at the Fest in other ways, and Bob brought members of the volleyball team that he coached to help as well.
Dear Families and Staff,
People have been so responsive to the information I sent following our MFA meeting, that I thought I would continue the practice of regularly sharing information with you. This will help you all to know what I know from the past couple of weeks. I hope you find this helpful and enjoyable.
The MFA meeting and Program Tour was a great success. Again, thanks to all who participated. There is so much going on here for the residents, it’s wonderful.
As I mentioned at the meeting, we were able to purchase St, Henry Parish property after its closing. We continue to study uses, but did not want an adjoining property to go just anywhere. The Board of Directors were very supportive of us purchasing this property. The Rectory has several private suites with Bathrooms. These are not appropriate for resident use. We have reached out to the City and Catholic Charities to see if we could do a small amount of housing for immigrants currently living in very difficult situations. We are pursuing this as it is safely separate from our operation and the need is so great. We will be looking for clothing and food donations as time goes on. Residents will be assisting with this program.
On Sunday, October 15, 2023 the MFA held a General Membership Meeting which was followed by the Day Services Open Houses. The meeting was well attended and a great deal of important and exciting information was provided by Fr. Jack and others. See letter from Father Jack below. The Day Services Open Houses provided a wealth of important information. We are compiling a set of documents that will summarize the information provided at these open houses which will be shared in the near future.
Pam and Jim Capraro
The busiest time of year is quickly approaching and Misericordia's Hearts & Flour Bakery needs your help!! We are looking for volunteers to sign-up for daytime and nighttime shifts to help us this season! Please use the links below to find a date and time that works for you, your family, your friends and your Company!!
Click here to sign up to volunteer in the bakery in December.
Click the links below to get info on how to help with Sunday Brunches, at our various on-campus fundraisers, decorating the campus with holiday decorations, helping at the Harlem Irving Plaza Giving Tree, bakery table sales, and in the gift shops.
Click here to sign up to volunteer at the Sunday Brunches, fundraisers, decorating and other fun activities.
Click here to sign up to volunteer at Holiday Event Bakery Table Sales.
Click here to sign up to volunteer in the Holiday Gift Shop, Christmas Cottage and table selling resident crafts.
Please note: If you prefer to view the volunteer opportunities as a calendar, just click the calendar icon at the upper right corner of the Sign Up list.
Misericordia Volunteer Coordinator
The MFA Memebership meeting on Sunday, October 15th will be held in the Misericordia Agape Gym (click for MAP).
Dear MFA Members,
During the last few years, we have been video recording all MFA Membership meetings. We know that this service has been greatly appreciated, especially for those who could not attend the meeting in person.
We would like to call your attention to the different format for the next MFA Membership meeting that will be held on Sunday, October 15th at 11:00 AM.
YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BE FULLY INFORMED UNLESS YOU ATTEND THE MEETING, IN PERSON.
Here's why your attendance is important. A few weeks ago, while volunteering at another Misericordia event, we met one of our daughter Betsy's instructors who said to us, "Betsy comes to my class for technology." We were awestruck! We learned that Betsy now travels from room to room (or more appropriately, subject to subject) to experience a variety of learning opportunities. This marks a complete shift in Misericordia's approach.
On October 15th, Misericordia's Day Services staff will host Walking Tours that provide a sample of what your resident experiences at Conway, on a daily basis. The Day Services staff is excited by this approach and are hard at work to stage this orientation for MFA members.
During October, we are recognizing the hard work and dedication of the Misericordia Day Services Staff. There will be an Appreciation Event on Thursday, October 26th, which will include a catered lunch, staff gifts and raffles.
Misericordia Day Services is an enrichment program that focuses on developing and enhancing the residents’ daily living skills, economic self-sufficiency and independence. Day Services include Developmental Training, Community Day Services and McAuley Day Services.
We are asking that families write notes of thanks and appreciation to the Day Services Staff and email them to us at
In addition, we need six volunteers to help set-up, greet the staff and clean-up at the October 26th luncheon. For more details and to sign-up, please go to this link:
It's beautiful... and full of smiling residents and all that's happened at Mis this past year!
There are still some 2023 MFA Benefit Ad Books available for pick up at Thome reception, just ask at the desk.
The Ad Book will always be available to view on the MFA website (after logging in) under the Documents/Forms menu item drop down.
You can also click here to view the Ad Book.
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