During his speech to congress in September, Pope Francis spoke of Dorothy Day and her call to work with the poor for social justice. “The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes. I know that many Americans today, as in the past, are working to deal with this problem.” Su Casa has embodied this spirit by working to alleviate homelessness and hunger for two and a half decades. Twenty-five years ago, Su Casa was born as a response to the painful reality of Central American refugees fleeing military conflict in their homelands. Over the following years, where a church had once stood, the Cardinal Bernardin Garden would be cultivated by and for the community. In what had once been a distribution center for the Franciscan Herald press, meals began to be served to the people of Back of the Yards. And in the old friary, a ministry to house Spanish speakers would become the center of life for a Catholic Worker community.
Many challenges have arisen in Su Casa’s history. Each time these problems have appeared, however, the Spirit that guides Su Casa has shown the way. Recently, the Spirit guided the board of Su Casa as it confronted a new financial challenge. Many options were considered, including the possibility that Su Casa’s mission might have reached its end. After prayerful consideration, this board passed on its wisdom and experience to another team of those committed to carrying on the vision of a place dedicated to performing works of mercy and justice. When the new leadership met for the first time in August, we broke bread together with the guests of Su Casa and then joined them for a meeting where all of us shared what this place means to them. Many heads nodded with each response as we shared that our vision and our understanding of Su Casa are based in trust, community, service, warmth, healing, personal interaction, home, making a difference, a sense of family, and a culture of helping each other.
Because we believe in Su Casa, we humbly request your support. The situation is difficult. Finances are scarce and needs are as great as ever. Four families – mothers with their children – currently live here as guests. As winter nears, paying the gas and electric bills for our friary as well as the separate soup kitchen become necessary steps for survival. Please consider a donation or a pledge to Su Casa so that its mission will continue on for another 25 years. In the wake of a recent crisis, we are asking for immediate stretch donations from all those who love Su Casa, but it will be the small, consistent, monthly donations that will really enable Su Casa to thrive for years to come. Mail a check today to Su Casa, 5045 S Laflin St, Chicago, IL 60609, or donate on-line at www.sucasacw.org/donate/. If you can, set up a recurring donation.
Thanks to the blessings that are bestowed upon Su Casa through our relationships with Trader Joe’s, supporting parishes and organizations, and many generous individual donors, we plan to continue to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless in our midst. Your support makes these works of mercy and justice possible. We hope you will share your prayers and your resources with Su Casa to make sure this special place can continue to provide a space that welcomes those on the margins into a warm, inviting space. Your support will create a home, heal a broken soul, forge a community, and help us continue to usher in a new world.