McNabola Family in ChicagoThis article was initially published in the summer 2024 issue of our quarterly newsletter, The Vincentian.

With generations of connections to members of the Congregation of the Mission, Mark and Eileen McNabola of Chicago recently reflected on their devotion to and support of the Vincentians. They share some of what inspires them about the spirit and work of the followers of Saint Vincent de Paul.

Tell us about the Vincentian roots of your family.

(Mark) My maternal great-great-grandfather was Thomas Tully. A native of Caven County, Ireland, he came to Chicago and served as a lieutenant for the Chicago Police. Two of his mother’s brothers — both Vincentians priests — immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1800s to help strengthen the Congregation’s presence here.

Frs. Thomas and Edward Smith, C.M., were pioneering leaders. They built churches and founded universities, including DePaul University, St. Vincent de Paul Church in Chicago, and the iconic St. Joseph Church in New Orleans.

My father, Dr. William McNabola, attended DePaul University and was a member of its basketball team in the early 1940s. After he became a surgeon, he volunteered for many years serving the DePaul Athletic Department as team physician. I attended DePaul from 1977-1984, completing my undergraduate and law school studies, and I had the opportunity to assist Fr. Walter Brennan, C.M., at St. Vincent church!

Other Vincentian priests shaped my path with their unique and guiding influence, including Frs. John Richardson, Dennis Holtschneider, Thomas Munster, Thomas Croak, and Patrick McDevitt.

And you raised your own family close to these roots?

(Eileen) Yes. Mark and I met in 1992 in Chicago and married in 1995. We raised our four children in the shadows of the St. Vincent de Paul Church on the DePaul University campus. Luke, Molly, Jack, and Audrey were all baptized there. The kids are grown, but when we can, we still attend Mass there as a family.

Mark and I have also been involved with the church for many years and have enjoyed assisting with the food pantry.

What is it about the spirit of the Congregation of the Mission that attracts you?

(Mark) The Vincentian spirit is in my spirit. I fully embrace the character of St. Vincent and his commitment to helping the poor and making an impact for others. I strive to put my faith into action by trying to make a difference for people who are less fortunate.

You have offered financial support to the CM priests and brothers. What has inspired that generosity?

(Eileen) Mark and I are devoted to the Vincentian priests and brothers and their mission. Out of respect for those who have dedicated their lives to others, we have offered unrestricted gifts. We have great faith in the Congregation and know the money is being used for good.

Mark and Eileen McNabola conitnue to make their home in Chicago, Illinois. Mark is the founding partner of McNabola Law Group. Eileen is an interior designer and a landlord. Together, they enjoy golfing, boating, and skiing with their kids, as a family.