Social Justice and Service Committee

The Social Justice and Service Committee provides opportunities for members of the parish to serve  the poor and needy by promoting involvement in a number of social service activities  and by calling attention to issues of peace and justice.

Committee Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 6 PM in Donovan Hall.

Below are volunteer activities supported by Social Justice and Service. 

Volunteer List

The Social Justice and Service Committee maintains an email list of individuals who are interested in volunteering for service projects.  When an opportunity to volunteer arises, an email is sent to the list with details of the opportunity and contact information.  To be added to the list, send an email to

Greater Chicago Food Depository

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is Chicago’s food bank, a not-for-profit distribution center located on the southwest side.  Old St. Mary’s volunteers provide credits for the St. James Food Pantry by working one Saturday morning each month. To volunteer, contact C.J. Martello at

Our Lady of Sorrows Dignity Breakfast

Volunteers from OSM assist in serving breakfast at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica on the West Side.  Volunteers are needed on the fourth Saturday of each month, generally in the summer.  More information is available in the bulletin when there is a need for volunteers.

St. James Parish

The Social Justice and Service Committee coordinates various activities at St. James, which is located at 29th and Wabash.  Volunteers help distribute produce on the second Saturday of each month.  Old St. Mary’s collects toiletries and other items which are not available using food stamps or from the food depository. The collections ordinarily take place on the third weekend of each month.  However, baskets for these items are always available  in the Commons.

Old St. Mary’s Law Clinic

The Visitation Law Clinic is operated at Visitation Church in Englewood in conjunction with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation. Volunteers come from Old St. Mary’s and St. Thomas the Apostle parishes.  Volunteer attorneys, paralegals and law students provide free legal services to low-income clients on the third Saturday of each month. CVLS provides training, office support if needed, and malpractice insurance. New volunteers are welcome.  Contact  Mary Anne Smith, 773-493-3418,


Old St. Mary’s supports Misericordia Candy Days on the last weekend in April. Volunteers collect donations at sites in the South Loop and at OSM after Masses. Misericordia is a home for over 600 children and adults with disabilities located on Chicago’s north side. For additional information, and other volunteer opportunities with Misericordia, contact Kathryn Moery, 312-461-0048,


Envision is a social service organization that supports persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities of all ages and abilities with home and center-based programs. OSM supports programs and services at Envision, including a holiday party. Contact MaryAnn Marsh,

Kolbe House

Kolbe House is an agency of the Department of Parish Life and Formation of the Archdiocese of Chicago and deals directly with those involved in the criminal justice system in Cook County.  Services include visits and pastoral counseling.  Kolbe House provides religious services in corrections facilities and provides social services to inmates, those who are about to be released and to families of inmates. Old St. Mary’s provides stamps for Christmas cards for inmate to send to their families, and  helps provide for the needs of inmates who are about to be released from prison. Contact MaryAnn Marsh,