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Searching for help, finding blessings: Camilo’s Story

Community Services Feature Story: Searching For Help, Finding Blessings

Ilsi Palacios has a reputation within the Hispanic community not only as a resource of help but also bendiciones – blessings.

Ilsi Palacios, working out of a satellite office at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Sedalia, serves as Catholic Charities’ Hispanic Community Services Coordinator.


Ilsi Palacios has a reputation within the Hispanic community not only as a resource of help but also bendiciones – blessings.

In her role as Hispanic Services Coordinator at Catholic Charities, clients come to her for case management and referrals for services ranging from access to mental health counseling in Spanish to basic needs assistance that sees them through financial strain, and even spiritual comfort in times of distress.  

“Nearly a year ago one of my clients approached me for help for their son, Camilo*” Ilsi shared, “he was struggling with drug addiction, and both he and his family were suffering greatly.” 

Ilsi’s first idea? To begin a prayer chain among their community to cover the family with grace. And while the community prayed, Ilsi set to work finding resource after resource for Camilo and his parents – including connecting his mother to La clinica para familia, online therapy sessions made available by her local Catholic parish to help with the heavy burden she carried for her son. 

About eight months later, Camilo contacted Ilsi; feeling that he had reached the end of his rope he knew he needed to change. He was ready to finally take the leap and reach out for help. 

“He wanted to meet in the evening with his partner, so I invited a trained volunteer to come along and when we were all together, I shared with him the resources for treatment,” Ilsi shared, “then we asked him if we could pray for him.” 

Camilo said yes.  

“In that prayer, he experienced such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit,” Ilsi continued, “He experienced God’s love.” 

Just a few weeks later, Camilo attended the diocesan Hispanic Renewal Conference and found a community of believers ready to embrace him. In the following months, he found steady employment, became more involved at church, and began healing wounds in his relationship with his parents. This year Camilo and his family are looking forward to receiving the grace of the Sacraments. 


I know for ten years these two households suffered, but now they have found healing – a healing that ripples outward.”

– ILSI PALACIOS


It is not uncommon for case managers and program coordinators at Catholic Charities to encounter a client for one reason and lead them to wrap-around services that help them accomplish another goal entirely. That’s why, for Ilsi, the personal care and attention given to each client is just as important as the service they receive from the agency. 

“I cannot tell you how many hours I spent with this family, supporting them and hoping for them,” Ilsi shared, “I know for ten years these two households suffered, but now they have found healing – a healing that ripples outward.”