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Human Concerns Commission

The Human Concerns Commission (HCC) represents the Cathedral’s outreach to a wide variety of people in the Chicago area struggling to survive at the margins of our society.  Our goal is to help people meet their basic needs for food, housing, fellowship, assistance in seeking employment, education and tax services.  We also focus on the unique needs of expectant mothers, working parents and the elderly.

How to get involved
The Human Concerns Commission is a dynamic forum, creating and evolving our programs to provide the most value to those in need here in Chicago.  We depend on the generosity of our volunteers and donors to help us implement these important programs:

Blessings in a Backpack
The Human Concerns Commission, along with other Holy Name Cathedral volunteers, pack and deliver bags of non-perishable food for the 260 students at St. Malachy School. These bags provide hungry school children with food to eat over the weekend. We are in need to 15 volunteers Thursday at 11:30am to help pack bags. Volunteer for Blessings in a Backpack at

Catholic Charities Thursday and Friday Suppers
The Human Concerns Commission hosts dinners at Catholic Charities every Thursday and Friday for about 210 guests which are funded by Holy Name Cathedral. Human Concerns is seeking 8 to 10 volunteers to help serve from 3:00pm to 5:30pm. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Human Concerns Commission at

Greater Chicago Food Depository
The first Saturday of every month, Holy Name Cathedral volunteers pack food at the Greater Chicago Food Depository between 8:30am and 11:15am. Volunteers meet at 7:45am at the Cathedral to carpool. These service hours serve as food credits for the Little Brothers Friends organization to purchase food from the depository. The HCC also participates in the GCFD Annual Hunger Walk in June. You can sign up for a shift at

Holy Name Career Network
Our Mission is to help talented professionals find jobs in the community. We are seeking help from parishioners, like you. In the following 3 ways:

Provide job opportunities 
Share professional-level (accountants, lawyers, etc.) job listings at your company/organization with our network

If you are an employer, job seeker or advocate, visit for more information.

Serve as a facilitator 
Provide valuable insight on available positions, your company culture and the hiring process with candidates

Provide Guidance
share your knowledge about career development and networking skills at one of our monthly meetings which occur the second Thursday of every month.
If you would be willing to continue this conversation, please contact Esther Leal at or Joe Wade at

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Every Saturday from February 4, 2018 through April 15, 2018, volunteers will assist clients in preparing their tax returns (about 120 returns over the tax season). The site will open from 10am to 2pm and clients are assisted on a first-come, first-served basis as long as they are present by 1:30pm. Clients must bring a government-issued photo ID and social security card for individuals listed on the tax returns, including dependents.
The VITA program is also seeking volunteers to prepare returns. Volunteers may assist as many Saturdays as they wish. To volunteer, please sign-up at

Human Concerns Commission – 2017-2018

Co-Chairs: Lisa Totino & Kathleen Wheeler
Lizveth Mendez
Staff Liaison: Rev. John Boivin   312-787-8040
PCC Liaisons: Eileen Knight & Rob Hendricks


Mary Almerigi
Edward Cooper
Kelly Dechant
Kristina Everett
Chris Hettel
Ann Klocke
Esther Leal

Rubina Leffler
Chris Martinez
Luigi Sensi
Joe Wade
Sarah Walker

For more information about HCC, please contact

Interested in join the Human Concerns Commission? New members are selected during Discernment in the Spring of each year. Please come to one of the Parish Leadership Information Sessions in Spring 2018. We would love to have you as a new member!