Syrian Refugees

REJOICE: Thank you for your prayers. On April 6, our Syrian Refugee family was reunited safely in the states. Here is story that ran in the local paper.

In collaboration with the Clerics of St. Viator, the Sisters of the Living Word are supporting the relocation of a family from Syria to Chicago.

The father of our Syrian family, Marwan, has found full-time employment in his field of banking and finance!

The boys are doing well in their respective schools.  The oldest, Homam, who is in high school, is thinking of trying out for the swim team as he keeps up his good grades.  The middle boy, Ferres, in Middle School, is doing well and has made some new friends.  The youngest, Elyas, is improving his English and feeling more comfortable speaking.  Luanne Wilhelm, SLW, is tutoring him several times a week to help him use English more easily.

The family came to LWC to join the SLW for the Thanksgiving feast provided and prepared by “Chef” Carole O’Neill and her helper, Tomi Gaudio.  They enjoyed sampling some foods that were new to them.  The boys were also fascinated with Carole’s small Yorkie dog, Pumpkin, that accompanied her to the dinner.  It was interesting watching them tentatively trying to pet Pumpkin while she was held by Joanne Grib.  New learnings all around!

Marwan and his sons continuously thank the Sisters, Associates and Friends for all they have provided for their family – a safe place to live, furniture, bedding, and all else that makes it “home” for them; their care, help in so many ways, opportunities to experience new things, people to meet, and places to visit.  They often say, “The Sisters are part of our family.”

Marwan is also grateful for our prayers for the safety of his wife, Lama, and daughter, Maria.  He and the boys long for them to join them in Des Plaines.  To date, they remain in the United Arab Emirates, with no foreseen time of receiving permission to depart them and come to the U.S.  They pray and remain hopeful to hear word soon.

Daily Herald article


I would like to recognize Eylas for being a great addition to Central School.  When he came to Central in September he did not know any English.  I quickly saw that Eylas was motivated to learn English and wanted to try out new words and phrases whenever he could.  He can now share his thoughts and answer questions in English easily. Eylas also made friends very quickly.  He is funny and caring, which is why the students like to be around him.  One thing that makes Eylas happy is to share his supplies with his classmates. He will often do this secretly by placing a pencil or marker on someone’s desk without them knowing.  He likes to see them smile when they find the new surprise on their desk.  When he came back from winter break Eylas even wanted to give away a present he received to one of his friends.  This giving attitude has sparked a movement in the classroom.  Many students are now happily sharing their supplies throughout the day and are glad to do it because they saw how happy it made Eylas.  It has been very fun to have Eylas in our classroom.  He makes us laugh and we all enjoy watching him grow.