The Irish Children’s Fund (ICF) recently donated $180,700 to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Catholic Charities will use the funds to provide steady support of its Child Development Centers from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015.
For nearly 30 years, the Irish Children’s Fund brought together Catholic and Protestant children from Northern Ireland for a one-month visit each summer in the Chicago area. The goal was to build relationships between children from conflicting religious groups so that upon their return to Ireland they would have a new understanding of one another that could lead to peaceful coexistence.
Everett Petlicki, former Division Manager of Foster Care for Catholic Charities, helped find and evaluate prospective host families for the ICF from its very beginning. As religious conflict in Northern Ireland eventually eased, the ICF Board voted in 2011 to dissolve the organization and donate its remaining assets to deserving organizations. Catholic Charities is one of three organizations which the ICF selected to receive a portion of the funds.
The mission of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago is substantially similar to the ICF’s. “Through the years, our organizations have shared a common goal of making a difference in the lives of children. Your work with children to help resolve strife in Northern Ireland is exemplary,” stated Reverend Monsignor Michael M. Boland, President. “Your gift to Catholic Charities Child Development Centers will continue to positively impact the lives of children for many years to come.”
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago is one of the largest private, not-for-profit social service agencies in the Midwest, annually assisting 1.1 million persons in Cook and Lake counties without regard to religious, ethnic or economic background. Catholic Charities fulfills the Church's role in the mission of charity by providing compassionate, competent, professional services that strengthen and support individuals, families and communities.