Sr. Julia Huiskamp, D.C. has given her life in service to the poor, and has been a diligent and undying advocate in the fight for social justice in our shared communities. In 2013, she received the Outstanding Partner Award at the annual Beacon of Hope Luncheon. As a Daughter of Charity, Sr. Julia spent 18 years working at Marillac during a period of tremendous social change and community revitalization.
At the invitation of Father William J. McNamee, pastor of Old St. Patrick’s Church, the Catholic Social Center was established in 1914 on the corner of Sangamon and Jackson Blvd. The first two Daughters of Charity to staff the new service were Sister DeSales Douglas and Sister Paula Courleaux. The services consisted of a Day Nursery, a Kindergarten, a lunch room for those who lived and worked in the neighborhood, and programs for women.
After 32 years of service, the Catholic Social Center relocated to California and Jackson Blvd. In June 1947 the work continued under a new name, Marillac Social Center, called Marillac House in honor of St. Louise de Marillac, who with St. Vincent de Paul founded the Daughters of Charity. At the new site, the Sisters and staff continued to provide child care for young children of working parents and single parent families.