In 1984, Amate House was established in 1984 as a volunteer program for young adults by three seminarians from the Archdiocese of Chicago, along with other lay and religious men and women, with the objective of transformation through service. The founders chose the name “Amate,” the Latin imperative “to love,” because they envisioned a program in which young adults would put “love into action,” and answer the call to holiness by providing support and service to fulfill the needs of the city and the Archdiocese of Chicago.
In addition to a vocation of service, Amate House places emphasizes the personal, professional and spiritual development of its Volunteers, encouraging growth into compassionate leaders for the church and world. The Amate House Mission Statement reads:
Amate House, the young adult volunteer program of the Archdiocese of Chicago, fosters the transformation of its Volunteers by providing experiences of full time service to people in need, community living, and faith formation. Amate House develops future leaders for the church and world who are committed to building a more just and loving society.
Amate House Volunteers commit themselves to living out the tenets of Service, Community, Faith, Social Justice and Stewardship. The Amate experience is counter-cultural — Volunteers are challenged to live their lives with more intentionality, with a focus on fostering relationships. Community living is a cornerstone of the Amate House program. For more than 10 months, nine to thirteen Volunteers live closely together as a faith-based community. Volunteers commit to living simply and to build bonds by sharing together in the richness of each other’s experiences through casual daily conversation and weekly opportunities for reflection, prayer, discussion, and to further sustain their lives in Christ.
Community serves as a base of support for each Volunteer, assuring that their time spent at Amate House promotes growth and a sense of transformation. Ultimately, our emphasis on community stems from our belief that no one stands alone — our call to holiness and to service cannot be sustained if we exist in isolation.
Much more than this, however, we believe our faith calls us to be wise stewards of all we have been given. Certainly, with our money, but also with our time, the homes we enjoy, our talents and skills, the network of relationships that sustain us, and the education and life experiences we have been gifted. We believe we are conduits of the rich bounty of our God meant for the world, especially those most in need. More than a financial practice, stewardship for us is a sacred calling and a deeply rooted dimension of our Catholic-Christian tradition. We gratefully rest in the care showered on us by our God and by our fellow human community, and we actively discern how to best apply and share the gifts we enjoy for the benefit of all.
Below you can enjoy the recent history and news of Amate House. All links are in PDF format.
Currently, we have digital versions of our newsletter dating back to Spring 1989. If you have any content or record of our newsletters dating 1988 or earlier, we would love to see it. Contact Lisa Wittig with any information.
Amate House most recently mailed out our Fall Newsletter. If you didn't receive a copy and would like one, please contact Lisa Wittig. You can also check it out below or click here.
The 2017-2018 Amate House Volunteer Application is now open. Click here for instructions on how to complete the application and the materials needed. Contact the Amate House Program Staff with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773.376.2445.
Our Fall Newsletter has Arrived!
Amate House mailed out our Fall Newsletter at the beginning of September. If you didn't receive a copy and would like one, please contact Lisa Wittig. You can also check it out here.
Buy a Brick for our Prayer Garden
Our brick garden has been installed at our South House and is a permanent reminder of just how many people have made Amate House what it is today. We are selling bricks to commemorate our Friends, Supporters and Alumni, and special memories, events and intentions. Click here to buy a brick today!
Support Amate House by Shopping on Amazon.com
Looking for a quick and easy way to support Amate House? Use AmazonSmile. Just choose Amate House Foundation as your charity and then every time you make a purchase through smile.amazon.com, The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to Amate House at no additional cost to you. The shopping experience is identical to that of Amazon.com, with the added benefit of supporting Amate House.
The Amate House Board of Directors is charged with the guardianship of the Amate House Mission. The Board represents a diverse mix of men and women, lay and religious, from throughout the Chicagoland region. The Board conducts quarterly meetings throughout the year. In addition, four permanent committees (Executive, Governance, Development, Finance) meet on an ongoing basis. Board members are elected to three year terms.
If you have an interest in joining the Amate House Board, please contact Lisa Wittig at 773.376.2445.
Sarah Baum DePaul University
Kristin Heath Press Ganey Associates
Mary Hutchinson Independent Consultant
Patrick Kinsella Clune Construction Company
Raymond Loman Deacon
TR Maloney Ragan Communications
Rev. Donald Nevins St. Agnes of Bohemia Parish
Katherine O'Halloran Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co.
Jeannie joined the Amate House team in November of 2016. She was born and raised on the southwest side of Chicago, not far from Amate House. She has a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and an MBA and an MNA from North Park University. She’s worked with youth and young adults her entire career. Directly out of college she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala where she coordinated youth development programs. After returning from Guatemala, she worked on behalf of youth victims of domestic violence counseling and providing advocacy for them in the court system here in Chicago. Jeannie also directed programs to encourage and prepare low income, underserved minority youth for a college education. Most recently, she worked with women and children in rural highland Guatemala to provide economic development and education programming so that families could lift themselves out of poverty. When she’s not working, Jeannie loves to cook, read and spend time with her family and beloved retriever, Grizzly. She has five children: two biological sons and three stepchildren. She is the doting “abuelita” of four grandchildren.
Alison joined the Amate House staff in 2015. Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana Alison is lucky enough to have called Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Dayton, Ohio all home before landing in Chicago! Before joining the Amate House staff, Alison worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is a proud alumna of the University of Dayton, and holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is also a former Jesuit Volunteer. She is excited and energized by the mission of Amate House and the opportunity to build relationships that are rooted in the Gospel and that advance urban justice. Alison lives in Hyde Park, with her husband, Matt, her son, Frankie and their Springer Spaniel, Gracie. She plays 3rd base on the softball field, loves audiobooks, and enjoys taking Gracie to Lake Michigan (when it is not covered in ice).
Deirdre joined the Amate House staff in June 2016. She is a proud alumna of Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, and volunteered with Amate House in 2012-2013. Over the past three years she has pursued a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Notre Dame. During her time there, she was able to engage her passion for justice through serving regularly at both the local Catholic Worker drop-in center and at a statewide correctional facility. Deirdre is an avid dancer, an amateur runner, and a wannabe cyclist, but most of all she enjoys a good book accompanied by a large mug of coffee. She is elated to be back at the organization that has left a lasting imprint upon her, and looks forward to helping future Volunteers through the experiences of personal formation and community building.
Lisa has been a part of the Amate House family since 2005 when she first volunteered and lived in the Little Village community. After participating in a second year of service and living in the McKinley Park community, she joined the staff as a Program & Recruitment Coordinator and then Program Director. After taking a few years off to work with other programs and start a family, she is elated to be back home in this new role! Lisa is originally from Edina, Minnesota and an alumna of the College of St. Benedict. She married Amate House alumnus, Jonathan Wittig and they have two pretty awesome children, Caroline who’s 2 and Benjamin, who’s brand new! She loves spending time with her family, going for walks, reading books, watching movies, cooking and traveling to visit friends and family.
Chris has been part of the Amate House family since 1988. She was raised in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood. She has 2 biological children, Nisha and Nate, but if asked will say she has 6 children...adding CJ (Nisha's husband), Nick, Mo, and Dave to her family. She currently resides in Romeoville. She says, “I feel so honored to witness the growth, faith and good work our Amate House Volunteers do during their year of service and after. I see God’s face in each and every one of them.” Chris enjoys sharing her knowledge of event planning with others. Her passions are cooking for and with her family and friends, going to the theatre, boating, bike riding, reading, staying in touch with Amate House Alumni, and spending quality time with all of her children. She lives by the motto: Work Hard...Play Hard!