Hi Everyone!
     I am writing to remind all of you about our next St. Gabriel youth group event – our annual trip to visit the Jessie Brown Veterans Hospital (820 S. Damen) next Saturday, Jan. 19th. I hope that all of you will be joining us for this memorable outing. Visiting the sick is one of the Corporal Works of Mercy, and this is the kind of action that will deeply strengthen your faith! So many of the sick veterans are quite happy to see young people. We will all have the opportunity to thank them for their service to our country! For those who will be going, please let me know ahead of time. We will be gathering in the school hall on Jan. 19th at 8:15 a.m. We will be at the hospital from approximately 9:00-11:00 a.m. If you have a parent that can drive, please let me know how many they can drive. If you want to bring a friend or two, that is fine, because they do not put a limit on the number of people who volunteer. When we arrive, Mr. Pat Gleason, the Director of Volunteers, will talk to us about the good work that they are doing at the Hospital. Sometimes, he shows us a short video, too. And then we will break up into groups of approximately 10 people, and distribute gift bags to the patients. The gifts were donated by our parishioners during our Advent project. Looking forward to seeing you on that day!
     I also want you to mark your calendars for our February event – volunteering at the Greater Chicago Food Depository on Saturday, Feb. 16th. The GCFD is located near 41st and Pulaski. We have been volunteering there for over ten years! It is always a fun event, because we work as a team to re-sort the food that will be distributed to the food pantries. I am letting you know about this date, because I will be on vacation from Jan. 23rd until Feb. 7th. If you have a parent that can drive, please let me know how many they  can bring. We will be gathering at 7:45 a.m. that day in the school hall. The time at the GCFD will be from 8:30-11:15 a.m. Two of the sites we visit over the course of the year receive food from the GCFD that they give to the needy – St. James (29th & Wabash), and the Veterans Hospital.
     You don’t want to miss either of these events! Our Youth Group is having a wonderful year, because of your involvement! I thank you sincerely for being an active member of our group. We are continuing to “Make A Difference”! If you ever need me for any reason, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Fr. Rich