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Article posted: 1/25/2013 10:18 AM

Arlington Hts. group to honor man for work with immigrants

By Kimberly Pohl

A man whose work in the immigrant community dates back nearly three decades will be honored for his tireless efforts at a fundraiser benefiting the less fortunate.

The Sisters of the Living Word, an Arlington Heights-based Catholic congregation of women who dedicate their lives to good works, will put on the event at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at Cotillion Banquets, 360 S. Creekside Drive, Palatine.

Mardi Gras Magic, the organization's 25th annual benefit, will feature dinner, a parade, live auction, raffles and crowning of the Mardi Gras King and Queen.

Receiving the group's award will be Viatorian Br. Michael Gosch, who first was introduced to the needs of immigrants as a social worker at the Howard Area Community Center in Chicago. More recently, he's worked at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan.

"One of my students once told me that she never knew if her parents would be home when she got home from school or if they would have been picked up in an ICE (U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) raid," Gosch said.

Gosch also became involved with the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants and the Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants. He visits men and women detained at McHenry County jail because of their immigration status and attends vigils at the Broadview processing center as immigrants prepare for deportation.

Gosch said he, along with Sisters of the Living Word, are collaborating with the organizations to open a house of hospitality for immigrants who've been released from detention.

He also joined several sisters to lobby for recently passed legislation that allows undocumented immigrants the opportunity to obtain driver's licenses.

Tickets to the event are $85 and costumes are encouraged. Proceeds benefit the Sisters' Mission Fund.

For details, call (847) 577-5972 or visit slw.org.

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