15 Ray Dowdle (left), St. Athanasius

With gratitude for his contributions, St. Athanasius Parish names Ray Dowdle as its Keeper of the Vision for 2017.

The name “Vision Keeper” fits. Ray makes a difference through tutoring economically disadvantaged Chicago youth from the Cabrini-Green neighborhood in the seventh grade through high school. His dedication and constant vision create an encouraging model of possibility. Ray started as a tutor for a fourth grade student in 1985. He joined the Cabrini Connections organization in 1993, quickly becoming and remaining chairman of the board. Cabrini Connections pairs students with trained adult volunteers for one-on-one tutoring and mentoring. It also maintains information city-wide to direct persons to tutoring aid in their neighborhood. Over 90 percent of the program’s graduates enter college or join the military. “That really motivates me,” says Ray, who has led the organization’s growth in the area.
Ray and his wife Chris have been part of parish life since 1993, and they support each other’s ministries. Ray is an active member of the Hospitality Ministry, including ushering and welcoming, and he previously served on the parish pastoral council. Chris is a member of the St. Vincent DePaul Outreach to persons in need. The Dowdles have two children, Alena and Nick, who also support their parents’ ministries.

Ray is account manager for Schwarz Supply Source.