The Heart of HHH

This award honors individuals and organizations that embody and share in the mission of Harmony, Hope & Healing. Through their exemplary support and service they have enabled our organization to grow and move forward.

2018: Angela Hicks of Margaret's Village and The Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University

Angela Hicks

Angela Hicks grew up on the South Side in the 1960s and 1970s before moving to Japan at age 14 for her father’s military service. She says what struck her there was a pattern she had seen before in Chicago: a society divided into “haves” and “have-nots.” 

She took note that women and children were too often in the second category. So it is no accident that when she returned to Chicago she found work helping others at agencies such as Michael Reese Hospital, and Hull House. This led to her current role as Executive Director of Margaret’s Village (formerly the Institute of Women Today). The agency provides recreational opportunities for seniors in Englewood and transitional housing for homeless women, children and families in Englewood and South Chicago. 


Margaret’s Village, named for the late Sister Margaret Traxler, hosted some of our first music classes and continues to offer Harmony, Hope & Healing programs at its three sites, Maria Shelter, Believe Shelter and the Vincennes Senior Center. A faithful board member of Harmony Hope &  Healing since 2004, Angela Hicks has always been a champion and advocate for our organization and work.


An active member of St. Benedict the African, the Catholic Church in Englewood, she engages there in one of her favorite pastimes, singing. She is also a lector, and an Extraordinary Minister. Angela is proud to be an Associate with the Sisters of Mercy.

The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University

Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E. Congress Pkwy in Chicago, is a nonprofit theater committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community, and educational programming to all Chicago and beyond as The Theatre for the People. 

Their vision is for every person who encounters Auditorium Theatre to be inspired by its artistic and educational aspirations and captivated by its architectural splendor. The organization also is committed to the continued restoration and preservation of its National Historic Landmark site. 


Judie Green from Auditorium Theatre first invited Harmony, Hope & Healing to bring a group of 30 program participants to Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah, in 2010. Recently they expanded their community partnerships and invited us to be in their Admit One program, deepening our connection. This year we’ve already had more than 80 attend their workshops and concerts. 


The team at Auditorium Theatre have offered many of our participants once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for cultural engagement. We’re grateful to Chief Executive Officer Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, Chief Programming Officer C.J. Dillon, Chief Development Officer Judie Green, Director of Creative Engagement Kristen Smiley Hansel and their colleagues, who share with us the values of diversity, ethics, innovation and excellence.

2017: Ed Shurna & Renée Fleming & the staff of Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Voices

Ed Shurna


Ed Shurna is a veteran community organizer of 47 years who worked not only in Chicago's neighborhoods but also organized in communities nationally and internationally. He joined the Coalition for the Homeless as an organizer in 1996 and went on to serve as executive director from 2003 to 2016. Ed's leadership at the Coalition has made a permanent impact on how our city addresses homelessness. Some examples of his influence include the creation of Illinois' Homeless Prevention Program that has assisted more than 100,000 people, establishment of the state's rental assistance program for low income residents, and creation of Put Illinois to Work (a state program that benefited more than 25,000 people). 


While organizing in homeless shelters, Ed sought creative ways to tap into hope as an organizing vehicle for personal change. He began to offer retreats for homeless men and in 1998 he co-founded the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP) to help build community, hope and transformation among those experiencing homelessness. As a co-founder of ISP, Ed helped create a national network of retreats to give people who are homeless and in recovery from addiction the opportunity to change their lives. 

Ed has been dear friend and advocate of Harmony, Hope & Healing through the years. His example of bringing about change to help homeless individuals and families is inspiring. A lifelong Chicagoan, Ed is a father and grandfather who lives in Evanston with his wife Michelle.

Renée Fleming and the staff of Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Voices

Renée Fleming and the staff of Lyric Opera of Chicago  and Chicago Voices gave us an incredible opportunity to sing on stage at Harris Theater for Music and Dance through Lyric's Chicago Voices initiative. In addition to serving as Creative Consultant at Lyric Opera of Chicago, she continues to sing in the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. She is known as “the people’s diva” and won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo. Also in 2013, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts, America's highest honor for an individual artist. In 2014 she became the first classical artist to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.
Renée modeled the Chicago Voices program on "American Voices," an initiative she brought to Washington's Kennedy Center in 2013. To create Chicago Voices, Lyric partnered with the Chicago Public Library, Chicago History Museum, and Columbia College Chicago on the initiative.

We honor Ms. Fleming and the staff of Lyric Opera for helping us share our mission with a tremendous audience. Chicago Voices shows the power of voice and song, and gave our Ensemble an unprecedented opportunity to shine at Harris Theater for Music and Dance.

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2016: Rich Daniels & Eric Weinheimer

Rich Daniels


Rich Daniels has been creating and conducting memorable musical concerts and events since 1974. Rich and his colleagues have had performed in concert with some of the greatest musical artists of the past half-century; Ray Charles, Mel Torme, Garth Brooks, Rosemary Clooney, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Michael Buble and David Foster have all collaborated with Rich and the orchestra to create their own special brand of magic in performance.
Daniels has also composed music for many television shows in Chicago;  composing the music for the pilot of the Emmy-award winning show “Boss," and Rich and the orchestra were also featured in concert on PBS this past Fall for the Horatio Alger Society of Distinguished Americans. Rich is also the on-camera music supervisor for the hit FOX TV show Empire, and also travels the country conducting regional orchestras for the estate of Jerry Garcia performing a “Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration” with legendary guitarist/vocalist Warren Haynes.
Rich is most proud of the various charitable organizations his career has allowed him to serve and promote, especially Harmony, Hope & Healing. Rich has served as the former board chairman of Mercy Home For Boys & Girls in Chicago. Currently, Rich serves in leadership positions on the boards of the DePaul University School of Music and the Archdiocese Office of Immigrant Affairs, and he also serves on the boards of the Illinois Art Council, the Chicago Federation of Musicians, and the Chicago Federation of Labor.

Eric Weinheimer

Since July 1, 2014, Eric has been the President and CEO of Forefront, the only regional association in the U.S. that represents grantmakers, nonprofits, advisors, social entrepreneurs, impact investors and their allies. Currently, Forefront has 1,100 Members and its mission is to be build a vibrant social impact sector for all the people of Illinois.  Forefront provides education, advocacy, peer networking, and project management services for member agencies across Illinois.
Prior to his current position at Forefront, Eric was President and CEO of The Cara Program, a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive training, job placement and support services to individuals who are homeless and struggling in poverty.  During Eric’s tenure, The Cara Program founded and established leading social enterprises, including Cleanslate Chicago, to generate revenue and provide employment opportunities and on-the-job training to individuals who have significant obstacles to employment. 

Eric has been a great advocate and support for Harmony, Hope & Healing, providing his insight and insight to our organization's story and development. Eric earned a B.S. from Boston College and an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service.  Eric serves on the Advisory Board for the Social Enterprise Initiative at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation.

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2015: Father John Cusick, Jim & Sheila Holbrook

Father John Cusick


Father John Cusick, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, was ordained in 1970. He was the creator, coordinator, and director of Young Adult Ministry from 1977-2013. Fr. Cusick was a part-time adjunct faculty member in the Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame. Crain’s Chicago Business named John Cusick as one of seven clergy persons profiled as “preachers to seek out in Chicago.” In February 2012, he received the Blessed John XXIII Award from the Association of Chicago Priests for “excellence in priestly ministry and significant contributions to the life of the Church in Chicago.” He was a speaker at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress held in Dublin, Ireland during June 2012. In June 2014, he received The Spirit of the Conference Award for Service on Behalf of Lay Ministry from the National Association of Lay Ministry (NALM). 


Fr. Cusick became acquainted with Harmony, Hope & Healing in 2006 through his ministry at Old St. Pat’s. Since that first introduction, he has become a dear friend and supporter of the HHH mission. As a powerful advocate, he generously shares the good news about the work of HHH with many friends and communities around the country!


Sheila and Jim Holbrook

Sheila and Jim Holbrook have been married for 50+ years and have one daughter, Joy Marie. They are members of Old Saint Pat’s (OSP) since 1988. In November 2007, they generously accepted the responsibility for coordinating and hosting monthly meals for the Harmony, Hope & Healing Choir after the 11:15 am Sunday Liturgy at OSP. Thanks to their leadership and the support of a crew of faithful and faith-filled volunteers, these delicious meals continue to this day! Sheila and Jim are extraordinary, generous volunteers who also give of their time assisting the HHH staff whenever needed, especially mailings. Sheila Holbrook has sung in the OSP Concert Choir for Siamsa na nGael, the annual St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Celebration at Symphony Center and the annual Deck The Halls Christmas Concerts for 19 years.


Sheila is a cum laude graduate of Alverno College, Milwaukee. In 2013 she retired from her vocation of 45 years in Catholic School educational ministry teaching Art and Language Arts. During her 42 years at Saint Pascal School, she inaugurated an extracurricular Children’s Art Studio, and has remained involved even during retirement. Sheila is a certified Archdiocesan catechist. She is a regular crew member of the OSP Outreach group at the Greater Chicago Food Depository and a member of the OSP Ministry of Prayer group.


Jim Holbrook, a retired accountant, is a graduate of St. Mary’s College (now University), Winona, Minnesota. For a number of years, Jim served the Archdiocese of Chicago as a field accountant assisting parishes in setting up automated accounting systems. Through these assignments, Jim met and became close friends with Sister Therese O’Sullivan, Director of St. Martin de Porres House of Hope, the residential home of many members of the HHH Choir. Jim coordinates the OSP Weekday Outreach to the Greater Chicago Food Depository along with the OSP participation in the GCFD special works.

2014: Father Tom Hurley, Music Ministry of Old St. Pat's

Father Tom Hurley


Father Tom Hurley is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Ordained in 1993, Tom served at Most Holy Redeemer in Evergreen Park, St. Cajetan, and St. Joseph College Seminary at Loyola University. Tom is from a large family and was born and raised on the southside of Chicago in the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood.  In 2007, Tom succeeded Fr. Jack Wall, becoming the 17th Pastor of the historic Old St. Patrick’s Church. Fr. Hurley serves on the Boards of Marist High School, The Frances Xavier Warde School, and The Children At the Crossroads Foundation. He holds degrees from Loyola University Chicago, the University of St. Mary of the Lake, and the University of Notre Dame.


Fr. Hurley first met Marge Nykaza, founder of Harmony, Hope & Healing (HHH) and her family while serving at Most Holy Redeemer Parish. Since the inception of HHH, he has been a friend and advocate of its mission. Not only did he introduce HHH to the OSP community, in 2010 he invited Marge and her staff to relocate their office to The Mary and Bill Aronin Center for Social Concerns Building on the OSP Campus. This move was critical for the growth and development of the organization. Thanks to Fr. Hurley’s support and friendship, HHH has broadened its impact on many communities around the city.

The Music Ministry at Old St. Patrick´s Church

The Music Ministry at Old St. Patrick´s Church (OSP) has a reputation for providing the people of God with joyful and prayerful worship experiences. At the core of the community´s music program are the dozens of dedicated singers and musicians (adults, teens and children alike) who share their talents and joy of music at Sunday worship, holidays and special liturgical celebrations.


Old St. Patrick´s also has a rich history of presenting concerts throughout the year showcasing and celebrating the many talents of OSP and the essence of who we are as a people of faith. From the sold-out Deck the Hall Christmas concerts to the electrifying Too Hot the Handel Jazz-Gospel Messiah at the Auditorium Theater to the celebration of our Irish heritage at the Siamsa na nGael at Symphony Center, these concerts have become a great source of pride for the OSP community and the City of Chicago.


In 2006, Harmony, Hope & Healing (HHH) and the music ministry of Old St. Patrick’s initiated a dynamic relationship. It began, thanks to Fr. Tom Hurley and his acquaintance with Marge Nykaza. At that time he introduced Marge to Bill Fraher, the music director. Soon after the initial meeting, HHH was invited to sing with the OSP choir once a month at a Sunday Liturgy which continues to this day. Through the years the HHH presence in the music ministry of Old St. Patrick’s has made a very powerful impact on both the OSP Community and HHH.

2013: Kelly & Jim Farrell, Eileen Van Haren, Patricia Wiseman

Kelly and Jim Farrell have provided IT and administrative assistance since HHH’s earliest days. As co-owner of Today’s Business Solutions, Jim not only has donated our computer system, he continues to volunteer as IT Consultant, helping us through all our computer glitches.  Kelly set up and organized the first HHH administrative office in Marge’s basement. She began her work as a volunteer and then became the first part-time administrative employee. Presently, Kelly is a coder and biller for West Suburban Podiatry.  Throughout the early years, both Kelly and Jim had a very interesting way of volunteering each other to help HHH grow and spread its wings as fledgling organization! The Farrells have been married for 19 years and live in Evergreen Park. They have 4 children, Kerry, Heather, Marty and Liam.


Eileen Van Haren has worked in the accounting field since 1982, received her CPA in 1992, and was a partner in the public accounting firm of Raymond S. Blunt and Company until 2007. Eileen now works in the construction industry and maintains a small tax practice.  Marge Nykaza and Eileen met through their sons who played baseball together, and through their music ministry at Most Holy Redeemer.  When Marge decided to grow her volunteer work in music ministry at women’s shelters to a full time non-profit organization, Eileen volunteered to secure tax deductible status for her new organization. Over the past decade, she has continued to share her expertise to ensure that HHH’s financial practices are accurate and up to standard. Eileen has been married to Greg for 36 years, and is mom to Christopher & Kelly.  


For the past 10 years, Patricia Wiseman has enjoyed volunteering with Marge and HHH in two areas, photography, and graphic arts. Her contributions include the design and layout of our bi-annual newsletters, Christmas cards and the HHH music CD covers. During Pat’s 16 years of employment at Saint Xavier University, she completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her classes in photography led her to further pursue this interest and eventually led to several showings at galleries and achieving photography awards. She has used this experience to photograph many events for HHH, showcasing the women, children and men we serve. Pat lives in Burbank with her husband, Kevin, of over 40 years. She is the mother of Mark, Brian & John and the proud grandmother of ten very photogenic grandchildren.

2012: Mary Prete Dalbis, Bill & Mary Lou Rafferty, JS Paluch

Mary Prete Dalbis is the Vice President of Parish Services for the J.S. Paluch Company. Early in her career, Mary helped to build her family’s business, Alverno Religious Art and Books, into a national religious bookstore with a direct mail catalog. Some years later and before the advent of, this innovative business woman launched a presence for her family business on the internet. In addition to her work in book publishing, Mary has a wealth of experience as a pastoral musician. She has been affliated with the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and has been on the faculty of the NPM Schools as voice clinician. She also was a member of the Music Staff for the Office for Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Chicago for several years. For the past thirteen years, she has served as general manager of World Library Publications, the music and liturgy division of J.S. Paluch before assuming her current position. In early February 2012, the Association of Catholic Publishers announced that it will honor Mary with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedicated work in the Catholic book publishing industry.

The J.S. Paluch Company, Inc. is dedicated to serving Catholic parishes, schools, and communities across the United States. Since its founding by John S. Paluch in 1913, this family-owned company has grown from a publisher of devotional booklets to a national source for worship resources, church bulletins, parish calendars, pastoral support materials, and inspirational books and music. Second generation Chester Paluch developed the company over a period of 35 years and his wife, Margaret, served as chair of the board from 1980 to 2010. Their daughter Mary L. Paluch Rafferty, a third generation of the Paluch family, currently owns the company, and her husband, William J. Rafferty, is President.


The company website is The J.S. Paluch Company is committed to promoting church vocations and vocation awareness. In addition to contributing to national vocation projects, the company hosts and completely underwrites an annual seminar for leaders in vocation ministry, now in its 25th year. The company also works with the Paluch Family Foundation to honor and support service to the Church and the community in the areas of liturgy, stewardship, and vocations.