News & Views

Sister Jean Hughes Adult High School Graduation

The Sister Jean Hughes Adult High School will hold its graduation at 11:00 AM on Saturday, Dec. 5th at at St. Malachy Catholic Church, 2248 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago.
This graduation is a celebration of hard work and dedication.
We invite you to join us on this special day.


Finding Freedom, a coffee table book of original poetry by residents of St. Leonard’s Ministries, is now available for purchase. The work, described as “raw, honest, and haunting” by Esquire magazine was also featured in the Huffington Post as well as in the Italian newspaper La Republica.

The book is available for the purchase price of $85.00. To purchase the book, or for more information, please contact: Rev. Annie González, Director of Operations 312/738-1414 (x/11) or

Thank You for Supporting St. Leonard’s Successful Gala

On June 4th, St. Leonard’s Ministries celebrated Finding Freedom. Over 120 guests gathered at Galleria Marchetti on Chicago’s near west side to hear residents’ poetry, share second chance success stories, and build a stronger St. Leonard’s Ministries’ financial future. The gala also recognized its sponsor Michigan Avenue Real Estate Group.

Guests enjoyed mouthwatering hors d’oeuvre and the opportunity to bid on exciting silent auction items. Lucky guests walked away with vacations at cottages in Nova Scotia and Michigan, theater ticket packages, and Cubs tickets. Thanks to all of this activity, St. Leonard’s exceeded their fundraising goals providing essential funding for the men and women served.

The event spotlighted St. Leonard’s poetry book Finding Freedom which is scheduled to be released in September. Recently retired Executive Director Bob Dougherty introduced the book to event attendees. The project began seven years ago when volunteer Brandon Crockett started teaching a poetry class with St. Leonard’s House residents. As the class became more popular, he expanded participation to women at Grace House. Over the years, residents have written hundreds of poems.

Earlier this year, Brandon reached out to Sandro Miller, a world famous Chicago photographer. Sandro agreed to take portraits which will be placed next to resident poems. Residents appreciate Sandro’s passion for his work and the once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of a book. To preview the pictures and read the poems, visit:

If you were unable to join us at the benefit, there is still time to support St. Leonard’s critical services. This is an especially significant time because of the budget crisis in Springfield. Because government leaders are unable to agree on a state budget, nonprofits will not receive any revenue including contractual funding after July 1st. In addition, thanks to a generous anonymous donor, all donations above past years’ support will be matched. To donate, visit our donation section at:

Finding Freedom Celebration June 4, 2015

Location: Galleria Marchetti, 825 W. Erie St., Chicago, IL
Date: Thursday, June 4, 2015
Time: 5:30pm – 8:00pm

St. Leonard’s Ministries will celebrate our book of poetry and photos, Finding Freedom, on the evening of June 4th at Galleria Marchetti’s. The book will be introduced by Criminal Justice Champion and former Executive Director Robert (Bob) Dougherty. Tickets can be purchased at the bottom of this page.

Tickets prices are as follows:
Tickets – $125.00 (after 5/15: $150.00)
Tickets for Backers of Finding Freedom successful Kickstarter Campaign – $100.00 (after 5/15: $125.00)
Sonnet Ticket: Ticket and Book – $275.00
Monologue Ticket: Two tickets, book, and quarter page ad in program book – $450.00
Free Verse Ticket: Two tickets, book, and half page ad in program book – $750.00
Slam Ticket: Four tickets, book, full page ad in program book – $1,000.00

During the event, guests will enjoy mouthwatering food and cocktails. World renowned and Finding Freedom portrait photographer Sandro Miller will be there as well as dignitaries and supporters from across the Chicagoland area. The event will feature readings from St. Leonard’s poets / residents.

Finding Freedom, a coffee table book of original poetry and photos will be published later this summer, thanks to the support of over 360 backers. The work, described as “raw, honest, and haunting” by Esquire magazine was also featured in the Huffington Post as well as in the Italian newspaper La Republica. Although the successful Kickstarter campaign is over, supporters can purchase their book and other memorabilia at

Event tickets are on sale now as well as opportunities to sponsor the event. Attendees can purchase tickets that include opportunities to share messages of support in the event program book, as well as copies of Finding Freedom. For more information, contact Gayle at or 312-738-1414 x17.

To purchase tickets or to make an online donation, click the link below:

Remembering Sister Jean Joseph (Patricia) Hughes, OP

Sister Jean Joseph Hughes, formerly known as Patricia Hughes, died on January 15, 2015, at Kindred Chicago Lakeshore Hospital in Chicago. She was 76 years of age and in the 58th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Jean was born in Chicago to Patrick Breen and Jean (Richards) Breen. She graduated from Aquinas High School in Chicago and received a bachelor of science degree in biology from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian Michigan, and a master of arts degree in systematic theology from Aquinas Institute of Theology in Dubuque, Iowa.

Sister Jean spent 22 years ministering in education in Grosse Pointe Farms in Michigan, Chicago, and the Dominican Republic. She taught for nine years at Colegio Santo Domingo, St. Vincent Ferrer School in San Juan de la Maguana, and University Madre y Maestra and Institute Dominico-Americano in Santiago, all in the Dominican Republic. She was principal for four years at Aquinas High School, a staff member for 12 years at Eighth Day Center, and a staff member of St. Leonard’s Ministries for 18 years, all in Chicago.

A memorial service for Sister Jean will be held at St. Malachy Catholic Church, 2248 W. Washington St. (corner of Washington St. & Oakley Ave.) on Saturday, Feb. 7th at 11:00 AM. Following the service at 12:00 PM there will be an informal gathering and refreshments in the Church school next door to the Church.