Sunday, April 25, 2021 Virtual Event from 11A-12N

The Blossoms of Hope Brunch is an annual event to support the Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide(LOSS) Program. The LOSS program provides support services for individuals and families who have lost a loved one to suicide. Please join us for the 30th Annual Blossoms of Hope Brunch featuring remarks by the recipient of the 2020 Charles T. Rubey Award, and an exciting Silent Auction and Raffle. For more information, please contact Denise Samulis, Director of Special Events, at 773-683-7885 or

Congratulations to our Raffle Winners:

1st Prize of $1500 Cynthia M.
2nd Prize of $1000 Teresa M.
3rd Prize of $500  Al E.

We thank everyone who joined us, bid on auction items and bought raffle tickets.





Your support of Blossoms of Hope directly benefits the LOSS Program! Please take a look at the many ways that your support allows for the continuation of these lifesaving services.

All contributions at or above $1,000 will be recognized throughout the month of April in social media and website acknowledgments, as well as during our virtual Blossoms of Hope Brunch on Sunday, April 25.

For questions about corporate sponsorship and visibility or to discuss event underwriting opportunities, please contact Kaaron Johnson at

  • $10,000 provides 8-week group services for 24 newly bereaved survivors, which offer critical support to those who are beginning their grief journey
  • $5,000 provides 8-week group services for 12 newly bereaved survivors
  • $3,000 provides 3 monthly drop-in group services for 20 survivors, which offer guidance & community support for any point in the grief journey
  • $2,000 provides one month of publishing our free newsletter for survivors, the Obelisk
  • $1,000 provides a monthly drop-in group service for 20 survivors
  • $500 provides a monthly drop-in group service for 10 survivors
  • $350 provides one month of postage for 2500 Obelisk newsletters, bringing hope to survivors as far as Ireland and Australia
  • $150 provides the cost of one hour of parent consultation or grief therapy for a bereaved child or teen

Why is Blossoms of Hope becoming a virtual event this year? We are following all recommendations from the CDC and other health agencies related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and so this year’s Blossoms of Hope event will be celebrated virtually. We hope that the online format will allow as many people as possible to participate. During these challenging times, we think everyone could use some encouraging words from Fr. Rubey and our great speakers from the comfort and safety of home.

How can I participate? Mark your calendar and plan to join us on your computer on Sunday, April 25th! On that date, you will get an email with links to view our inspiring speakers and participate in our auction, raffle, and Gift of Hope collection.

How much does it cost to participate? There is no cost to participate! If you are able to make a donation in lieu of a traditional ticket purchase, we will gratefully accept your donation – just visit the “Donate to this Event” Tab.

How can I donate? If you would like to donate now, please visit the “Donate to this Event” Tab. There will also be lots of opportunities to give on the day of the virtual event through auction bidding, raffle ticket purchase, and donation.

I am making my donation in memory of a loved one: When you visit “Donate to this Event” tab, check the box that indicates “This gift is in honor, memory, or support of someone". There will be a text box where you are welcome to leave your personal tribute message. All supporters and memorials will be published on our web page on the day of the event, April 25th.

Can I invite my family and friends to join? Absolutely! Everyone with an email address can participate. Please tell your friends to contact to be signed up for the virtual event.

Are you still collecting in-kind donations? Yes! Please contact if you would like to donate a prize to our auction & raffle.

I have more questions: Please contact with any other questions you may have.

 Web Presenters

Rev. Charles T. Rubey

Founder & Director of the LOSS Program

Father Rubey

Father Charles T. Rubey joined Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1972. Upon earning his Master’s degree in social work in 1977, he became Director of Mental Health Services, a post he held from 1978 until 1989. From there, he moved to Director of Programs in 1993 and then Associate Director of Programs in 2004.

Fr. Rubey is also the Founder and Director the Catholic Charities LOSS (Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide) program. He created this unique ministry that brings people together to support one another at a time when they feel irreparably broken. LOSS is one of Fr. Rubey’s greatest contributions to Catholic Charities, the mental health field and to the thousands of people who have participated in this unique counseling and self-help program since he started it in 1979 at the request of three families who had lost loved ones to suicide. Today there are 12 meeting sites across Cook, Lake and McHenry Counties and the Diocese of Joliet.

Through LOSS, Fr. Rubey’s talents have touched people around the world. In October 2006, LOSS hosted a training seminar at the request of the World Health Organization. In 2008 at the request of the Beijing Suicide Research and Prevention Center, and with the support of Suicide Prevention International (SPT), the LOSS staff performed a special LOSS training in Beijing, China.

In 2019, the LOSS Program commemorated 40 years of service. Father Rubey’s compassion is felt by all who turn to LOSS at one of their darkest times.

Monica Pedersen

Television Host, Author, and Survivor

Monica Pedersen

Described by the New York Times as the “radiant, high-energy mistress of ceremonies” at the recent Kitchen & Bath Industry show, Monica Pedersen’s enthusiasm for her career as an interior designer, author and television host shows in all she does. As one of the expert judges on NBC’s American Dream Builders and as a designer on over 90 episodes of HGTV’s hit television series, Designed to Sell, 50 episodes of Bang for Your Buck, and as the regular host of HGTV’s DreamHome Giveaway and House Hunters Great Escapes, Pedersen quickly became a trusted design expert showing viewers how to add value to their homes and “Make It Beautiful” on any budget.

In addition to her work on television, Pedersen released her first book titled Make It Beautiful Designs and Ideas for Entertaining at Home. Pedersen is currently bringing her Make It Beautiful design style to retail designing her own lines of home décor accessories, textiles and furnishings.

Monica’s designs and tips have also been featured in national publications including People, HGTV, Redbook, Town and Country, Traditional Home, Good Housekeeping, InStyle, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s Day, and Family Circle. Monica was featured as one of Chicago’s 50 most beautiful people in Chicago Magazine and is a contributing columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times Daily Splash column. She has been a member of the LOSS Program for more than 20 years.

Rev. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Author, Keynote Speaker, and 2021 Charles T. Rubey Awardee

Rev. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Ron Rolheiser was born in Macklin, Saskatchewan, in 1947, into a large family, to George and Matilda (Gartner) Rolheiser. Following his school years, Ron entered the novitiate of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and professed his First Vows in September 1966. Ordained to the priesthood in 1972, Ron continued his education, receiving a B.A. (University of Ottawa, 1969), B.Th. (Newman Theological College, 1973), M.A. (University of San Francisco, 1974), M.R.Sc. (University of Louvain, 1982) and Ph.D/STD (University of Louvain, 1983). During and after his own studies, he taught theology and philosophy at Newman Theological College, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

In 1982, while living and studying in Belgium, Fr. Ron began to write a regular feature column in the Canadian newspaper, The Western Catholic Reporter. The column offered reflections on various theological, church and secular issues. Fr. Ron’s column is carried by many Catholic newspapers worldwide.

Fr. Ron is in demand and well known as speaker. Keeping an active speaking schedule, his retreats and workshops have inspired many. Along with his academic knowledge in systematic theology and philosophy, he has become a popular speaker in the areas of contemporary spirituality and religion and the secular world.

In 1998, Fr. Ron was elected Regional Councilor for Canada, serving on the General Administration of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, in Rome, for six years. In August 2005, Fr. Ron became the President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio Texas, a position he maintains to this day.

Fr. Ron still is very involved in the life of his large extended family enjoying their annual hiking trips and New Year’s celebrations. Most Christmases you will find him in his home church, St. Donatus, near the former family farm in Cactus Lake, Saskatchewan.

Fr. Ron is also known for his commitment to prayer and exercise, a continuing love of sports, his sense of humor, his loyalty to his friends, and the enjoyment of the odd cigar and fine scotch.