Food, Fun and Faith at My Brother's Kitchen

By: Jim McClean

A fun and committed group of OSP parishioners meet at My Brother’s Kitchen (“MBK”) in North Lawndale for a day of cooking and kinship on the fourth Saturday of every month. This lively team prepares and serves over 200 meals for neighbors in and around North Lawndale.

The mission is simple; it's to get folks fed both spiritually and nutritionally. Every August MBK also hosts a barbeque at the North Lawndale “Party on Pulaski” sponsored by the Young Men’s Education Network (YMEN)/MBK. On Saturday, August 24 our MBK Service Team – with both new and veteran OSP volunteers – grilled and served cheeseburgers, salads, chips, watermelon and cookies to over 300 attendees. It was a sunny and fun-filled summer picnic which also featured games, face-painting and pony rides. What a great event to kick off the return to school for the families of North Lawndale. My personal involvement with OSP’s North Lawndale Kinship Initiative began 3 years ago. I had just completed Greg Boyle’s book entitled “Tattoos on the Heart” in which he urged Christians to leave our safe comfort zones and venture “out to the fringes” to make even a small impact on others whose lives may not be as comfortable or safe as our own. An OSP bulletin request for MBK volunteers caught my attention. I signed up and found myself warmly welcomed and even useful in cooking and serving food at MBK on a Saturday morning. I was inspired by the jovial commitment of the other OSP volunteers and was rewarded by the gratitude and warm kinship bestowed on me by those we were serving. The most powerful moment is in gathering with hundreds of our friends and praying together for God’s blessing over the home-cooked meals and kinship being shared.

Much gratitude to Grace and Patty Brick for initiating and leading the OSP week at MBK, one of many North Lawndale Kinship Initiative ventures at the church It has connected so many in the OSP community with the people of North Lawndale in a marvelous way. The blessings we at OSP receive are far greater than those we provide.

OSP welcomes your participation at My Brother’s Kitchen, whether you can volunteer monthly or even just occasionally. Please contact either Jim McLean ( or Allyn Pilewski (, MBK Coordinators for OSP for more information or to volunteer.

Jim McClean and his family are active Old St. Patrick’s Church members.