This special Drive is named in memory of Colleen Burns, one of the earliest members of Old St. Pat’s Family Advisory Board and a champion of the less fortunate. Throughout her life, Colleen was committed to service in one way or another. She worked as a nurse at Mercy Hospital for many years, and later became an in-house nurse for Commonwealth Edison.
Colleen Burns joined the Old St. Pat’s community in 1985. A few years later, she became president of the Community Outreach Group(COG). (From COG, S.P.O.K.E.S was created — the family branch of service opportunities at Old St. Pat’s,) Meal preparation at the House of Mary and Joseph was one of Colleen’s favorite activities in those early days. It was where she met her husband, Dan Martin. Later, they involved their two children, Danny and Michael, in the Partners Program, and in every service opportunity they could find. It was important for Colleen and Dan to raise children who were aware of and compassionate toward those in need and that they share their time and gifts with others. Colleen involved her family in the Fr. Dan Cantwell Wine Auction for the mentally challenged living at the Vineyard. Collecting raffle items, decorating the space, preparing food were all part of the Burns/Martin world each November.
Colleen joined the Family Advisory Board in its earliest days, and was responsible for creating faith and service opportunities for the families of Old St. Patrick’s Church. And what a diligent one she was. Throughout her entire battle with breast cancer, Colleen attended every meeting and nearly every function, often arriving directly from a chemo treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Her passion and commitment toward Old St. Patrick’s, its families, and families everywhere, was inspirational. Colleen served in this capacity until cancer took her on April 5, 2005.
Colleen’s passion, service, and activism live on in so many, many different ways. It is the altar cloth sewn by Colleen that we use at First Communion each year. It is the never-give-up attitude that encourages us to valiantly work on behalf of the less fortunate. It is her sense of humor and desire to bring happiness that encourages us to continue collecting and sharing toys. In her honor, we continue this effort.
Please look through your toy chests and basements to see if you might have any teddies (bears, that is!), Tonkas, Barbies, puzzles, books, board games, family DVD’s, etc. that you might be able to share. Collections will be taken on ONLY on the actual date of the Toy Drive ONLY in the FXW Cafeteria.
Many thanks for your generosity and for helping to continue Colleen’s mission.