Blessings Repeated

Since the launch of our Foundations of Faith campaign, there have been numerous ways to support this special initiative. The majority of the families and friends who pledged did so using the multi-year payment option and have been giving on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis. We have also received stock donations and IRA distributions. Some people are earning valuable reward credits by fulfilling their commitments via credit card. Others have made one-time cash contributions, recognizing the need for “up-front” money so that the renovations and improvements could be accomplished quickly.

Now that we are in the second year of our campaign (and are just $210,372 away from our $2,250,000 goal), we are delighted to report that several of the faithful supporters who originally offered one-time donations have made the decision to continue to give to Foundations of Faith. These people are such a blessing! Following their lead and knowing the incredible generosity that exists at St. Giles, we have initiated a “Repeat-A-Gift” program that provides the opportunity for additional financial participation in our campaign without the burden of an actual pledge commitment.

When you receive your letter asking you to “Repeat-A-Gift,” please know that we are truly appreciative of all you have done – and continue to do – for our Parish and this capital campaign. We are so close to successfully reaching our goal! Our thanks to everyone who has brought us to this point in the campaign. Our thanks to everyone who decides to duplicate their initial gift. And our thanks to everyone who understands the impact they can make today with their new pledge or gift!

Questions? Need a pledge card?



Sharon Bresnahan at 708-383-3430, ext. 420
or email

Please return the form above via mail, offertory basket or hand deliver to the Parish Office at 1025 Columbian Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302. If you would like to make your pledge or gift using our online service thru GiveCentral, CLICK HERE.

However you choose to financially participate, please know that every gift is a blessing and greatly appreciated!


Here a Tuck, There a Tuck!

In case you haven’t noticed the large equipment around the church, we’re happy to let you know that the tuckpointing for this beautiful structure is now well underway. In order to ensure that all the renovations and improvements done to the interior of the church during our last campaign are protected, this work was necessary. Why tuckpointing? Simply put, deteriorating or weakened mortar can cause moisture to break down the stone or brick masonry wall and cause moisture problems behind it. When tuckpointing is done properly, it provides a relatively waterproof mortar joint that extends the life of the wall… thereby extending the life of our church.


The Blessing of Accessibility!

We are delighted to announce that another funding priority of our Foundations of Faith campaign has been successfully completed. This past weekend, Fr. Carl blessed the new elevator in the Corrigan Building and then applauded the men and women who were honored to take their first ride. Our thanks to the Family Mass Community for spearheading the elevator project and to all the St. Giles parishioners who are generously supporting our campaign.

In less than a year (we launched this $2.25 million campaign in February, 2018), we have received $1,965,955 in pledges and gifts from 436 donors. This allowed us to complete the Frawley Building windows and then move on to the elevator installation. With just $284,045 needed to reach our goal – and so many parishioners still deciding about their level of support – the future looks bright.

If you are interested in participating in Foundations of Faith or have any questions, please contact Sharon Bresnahan at 708-383-3430, ext. 420 or email at In the meantime, your prayers for a successful conclusion to this effort are greatly appreciated!


I’m ready to help make the St. Giles Foundations of Faith campaign a success!

Since the launch of our Foundations of Faith campaign in February, Fr. Carl, members of the Leadership Team and St. Giles parishioners have hosted small group events to share information, answer questions and enlist financial gifts. These gatherings are a wonderful way to learn about the funding priorities and the many different options for giving. The campaign video is receiving rave reviews and people have stated that these events are very comfortable – and fun!

Taking care of our beautiful campus is something that requires our attention, prayerful consideration and unified positive response. To reach our $2.25 million campaign goal requires the support of each person who calls St. Giles their spiritual home. Please let us hear from you today!

Are you ready to support Foundations of Faith?



Sharon Bresnahan at 708-383-3430, ext. 420
or email

Please return the form above via mail, offertory basket or hand deliver to the Parish Office at 1025 Columbian Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302. If you would like to make your pledge or gift using our online service thru GiveCentral, CLICK HERE.

Please pray for the success of this effort by joining us in the official campaign prayer, asking that it be met with open hearts and generous spirits! May God bless our Foundations of Faith campaign and all we do in His name at St. Giles Parish.

Dear Lord,

We give thanks today for the gift of St. Giles Parish, for the men and women who followed Your guidance and sacrificed for future generations.

We give thanks today for the strong Foundations of Faith they provided, recognizing the need for structures where worship, education and fellowship would thrive.

We give thanks today for the welcoming spirit of our parish family, the commitment to stewardship, sharing and reaching beyond our own walls.

We give thanks today for the opportunity to secure the beautiful buildings entrusted to our care and to tend to the faith-filled hearts formed within this community.

Bless us, Lord, on this journey as we join together with grateful hearts, knowing that this work is being done in Your name.



How do we get there?

Our thanks to all those who have volunteered their time to serve as callers in the Foundations of Faith campaign phone-a-thons. Without you, we could not conduct these events.

Our thanks to all those who answered the calls, spoke to our phone-a-thon volunteers and offered their financial support on behalf of our campaign. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to announce that we have $1,885,724 toward our $2,250,000 goal.

Can we successfully complete this important effort? Absolutely! With 1,500 registered members of our parish yet to participate, there is great potential still out there. Here is one scenario on how we could get there.

  • $15,000 … $5,000/year – 2 gifts
  • $10,000 … $3,333/year – 4 gifts
  • $7,500 … $208/month – 6 gifts
  • $6,000 … $167/month – 10 gifts
  • $5,000 … $139/month – 15 gifts
  • $3,000 … $83/month – 20 gifts
  • $1,800 … $50/month – 30 gifts

With just 87 additional pledges/gifts (as listed above), we will reach the additional $364,276 needed. Are you ready and able to make a commitment to Foundations of Faith? If so, please consider doing so before the end of the year! What a blessing that would be.

Every gift makes a difference!
If you have any questions or need additional information,
contact Sharon Bresnahan at 708-383-3430 ext. 420.


As 2018 draws to a close, many parishioners are making decisions about their end-of-year charitable contributions. With so many worthy organizations to consider, we pray that the St. Giles Foundations of Faith campaign is at the top of your list. Pledges and gifts received toward this special effort are helping us with several projects around our beautiful campus that require funding above and beyond our offertory budget.

To date, we have received $1,872,484 toward our $2,250,000 goal. This has come from 382 donors – just 19% of our parish population. To reach our goal, we need to raise an additional $377,516 from the remaining 1,500 St. Giles households. Our potential is great, and we pray that we can announce success very soon!

Are you 70½ years of age or older? – If so, you can make a tax-free donation to the Foundations of Faith campaign up to $100,000 from your IRA as your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD). If you are interested in supporting Foundations of Faith, consider transferring all or a portion of your RMD directly to the St. Giles Parish campaign without increasing your adjusted gross income. IRA funds that are withdrawn by you and then contributed do not qualify and are taxable. Gifts from 401(k), 403(b), SEP and other plans also do not qualify. The bottom line is that this can be a win-win for you and Foundations of Faith – a direct tax-free donation transferred from your IRA will count toward your required minimum distribution while moving us closer to our campaign goal!

Every gift is a blessing!
Please let us hear from you today.

If you have any questions or need additional information, contact Sharon Bresnahan at 708-383-3430, ext. 420.


Since the launch of our Foundations of Faith campaign in February, we have made great progress toward both our financial goal and completion of our funding priorities (the Frawley Building windows are installed and the Corrigan Building elevator construction is well underway). In fact, when you look at the numbers, there is every reason to believe that we will successfully reach our $2.25 million goal. Statistically speaking, we are in great shape! Carefully review the following…

  • Current number of registered households – 2,011
  • Donors as of Monday, October 29 – 330
  • Unspecifieds (will give but haven’t finalized their pledges/gifts) – 20
  • Refusals – 30
  • Pledges, gifts and Family Mass contribution – $1,744,896
  • Collected as of Monday, October 29 – $ 698,641

In other words, only 19% of our parish population has made a decision (pledge, unspecified or refusal) regarding support of our campaign. Of those, 16% have said “Yes!” and returned their completed pledge cards – totaling 78% of our campaign goal.

Take a moment and let that sink in. We’ll wait.

Now take another moment and think about the fact that we are asking the other 81% of our family of faith to help us raise the remaining 22% of our goal. Statistically speaking, when you consider what 330 donors have already done, imagine what 1,631 undecided parish families/individuals could do.

Our campaign goal is attainable.
We just need to hear from you. Please.

And thank you!



Our thanks to everyone who offered their support to our Foundations of Faith campaign on Commitment Weekend and to all those who have mailed in their pledges and gifts since that event. Our totals to date…

$1,602,316 in commitments
278 donors
$655,488 in cash

We continue to move closer to our $2.25 million campaign goal and, with so many parishioners still considering their level of support, we are confident that success is within our reach.

Perhaps you weren’t able to join us for Commitment Weekend or maybe your campaign packet has been misplaced. We’re here to help! You can pick up a pledge card, return envelope and brochure at the campaign table at the back of church. You can contact Sharon Bresnahan at or 708-383-3430 ext. 420 and she will provide replacement materials.

Or you can wait for your friendly call from a campaign volunteer who will be happy to take your pledge or gift over the phone. A series of phonathons will be held in October and November as the next phase of our Foundations of Faith campaign. We’re making great progress but there is still work to do. Would you like to assist as a volunteer caller? Call Sharon at the number above to sign up. This is yet another important – and fun − way to say “thank you” to the parish you love!


During each of the Masses this weekend on September 29-30, we will share the official Foundations of Faith campaign video along with an update of progress to date for this special effort. Since our February launch, we have been blessed with people willing to serve on the Leadership Team, individuals who have opened their homes for group events (or who have co-hosted with Fr. Carl and fellow parishioners), people who attended functions to learn about the planned funding priorities and the many options for giving, and donors who responded to the invitation to financially support this $2.25 million campaign. Yes, we have been blessed indeed!

During the past week, each registered member of St. Giles who has not yet offered a pledge to the campaign received a letter, brochure, pledge card and return envelope from Fr. Carl. At the writing of this article, we have commitments totaling $1,350,000 (60% of our goal) from just 10% of our registered parishioner base. We are now respectfully asking the remaining 90% of our parish family to help us raise the final $900,000 needed to be truly successful.

As you consider your level of support to Foundations of Faith, please think about what the St. Giles community means to you. Think about the founders of this parish who sacrificed to give us the beautiful facilities we enjoy today. These buildings are entrusted to our care, and we want to secure them to the best of our ability – particularly our beautiful church. The pledges and gifts received on Commitment Weekend will be used to insure that the church tuckpointing is completed and that the exterior adequately protects the interior.

We’ve accomplished quite a lot, but there is still much to do. Please remember that every gift is a blessing when it is given as an expression of gratitude for the goodness God provides. Reflect on the blessing that is St. Giles and then offer a gift to say “Thank you!” to the parish you love.


This Sunday, September 9, immediately following the 5 pm Mass, Fr. Carl is hosting a musical event in the courtyard featuring the Stonegate Brass Quartet. This one-hour free concert will showcase sacred music and is being held in appreciation for all that we have accomplished to date in our Foundations of Faith capital campaign. We are more than halfway to our goal, and we are very grateful to all those who have offered their financial support. Every gift is a blessing and, today, we rejoice in each one. How did we reach our current $1.3 million in commitments? With pledges of all sizes.

$75,000 to $50,000 – 3
$25,000 to $20,000 – 8
$15,000 to $10,000 – 22
$ 9,000 to $ 6,000 – 27
$ 5,000 to $ 2,500 – 51
$ 2,000 to $ 1,000 – 24
Less than $ 1,000 – 22

Add to these 157 gifts $225,000 from the Family Mass community, and we are well on our way to success.

To all our current donors – please join Fr. Carl for this special gathering that you helped make possible. For everyone who loves St. Giles, this will be a wonderful way to say goodbye to summer while giving thanks for this truly blessed family of faith.

This is not a fundraising event. It is simply a celebration. So please bring a lawn chair and your favorite beverage… and pray for clear skies and cool breezes. Let’s fill the courtyard on Sunday evening with happy hearts.


With each new pledge or gift to our Foundations of Faith campaign, we move closer to our $2.25 million goal and successful completion of each of our funding priorities. We are delighted to offer our heartfelt thanks to our most recent donors.

Michael and Molly Andolina
The Babbo Family
Damian and Maria Gonzalez
Isabella Kochevar
Catherine and James Marshall
Peggy and Rick Plastina
Therese and Werner Sabo
The Shalo Family
Nancy Wesclitz
Peter and Joan Wrenn
Henrietta Yardley

If you are ready to add your name to our growing Honor Roll of Donors list, please contact Sharon Bresnahan at 708-383-3430, ext. 420 or email her at Every gift is a blessing!


Last Tuesday, something very exciting happened without much fanfare or ceremony. Ground was broken to prepare to pour the foundation for the elevator project in the Corrigan Building! This will make the second floor accessible for the many different activities that happen in the gym: sports, band concerts, plays and Family Mass.

The Frawley Building windows are almost all installed, so that project soon will be complete. And it’s all just in time for school, which begins on August 20. While the elevator project will continue through December, it will only affect the entrance to the building that is off the alley. The inconvenience should be minimal, and school will be using the entrances on Linden until the New Year.

As we move along, I ask that if you have not yet participated in our Foundations of Faith Campaign, that you try to make your commitment soon. The parish needs everyone’s support to reach our goals. Thank you!


Thank you to everyone who has attended a gathering for our Foundations of Faith capital campaign, has served as host and/or has offered financial support. Because of your generosity, we are more than halfway to our $2.25 million goal and, even though it has been less than six months since our campaign launch, the new windows for the Frawley Building have already been installed!


Fr. Carl and members of the Campaign Leadership Team have been working together to make our Foundations of Faith campaign a great success. We are very grateful to them, to all the men and women who have served as hosts for the group gatherings and to those who are financially supporting this important project. We are more than halfway to our $2.25 million goal from just 129 families and friends of St. Giles. This is a remarkable accomplishment, but we still have work to do to ensure we complete each of our funding priorities.

Our heartfelt thanks to our most recent Foundations of Faith donors.

Beverly Adams
in honor of St. Giles Benefactors
Rich and Mary Arsinow
Ronald and Lois Belusko
Marilyn Brumund
Margaret and David Lau
Ken Cuculich and Carol Bularzik
Mike and Mary Jo Desmond
Gerard and Barbara Downey
Mary Sue Egan
John and Lynn Farrell
George and Suzanne Kasang
Susan Lescher
Lauren and Joseph Locke
Kevin and Adrienne McInerney
in memory of Edward J. Wilk, Edward and Viola Rogalski, Drs. Thomas and Edna McInerney
Edward and Sara Naureckas
Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Phillips
Mary E. Phillips
Thomas and Mary Rodts
Michael and Tracy Wysockey


Our heartfelt thanks to our most recent Foundations of Faith donors and to previous donors who have offered memorial designations.

Mary Ann Bloom
Bill and Donna Bobco
in memory of our parents, William D. and Eleanor J. Bobco and Peter and Bertha DiFrancesca
Flora and Herbert Breidenbach
Kevin Cassidy
Raymond Connor
John Curran
in memory of Sheila Curran
Carole DiCicco
Bernard, Gina and Declan Judge
Mike and Margie O’Neill
James and Nancy Pauletto
Sherry and Nick Scouffas
Tim and Stacy Senechalle
Tom and Therese Sullivan



St. Giles students are enjoying their summer break but there is still a lot of activity going on at the school, particularly at the Frawley Building. Thanks to advance planning, the contract for these windows was signed last year − prior to cost increases − with the same company that worked on the Corrigan Building windows. Even though our Foundations of Faith campaign just kicked off in February, we have received more than $1 million in financial commitments and have received approval to address this important first funding priority.

We have accomplished much in four months and look forward to adding more names to our Honor Roll of Donors. Starting next week, new donor “short lists” will be included in the bulletins as our public expression of thanks. In the meantime, please offer a prayer for safety for the laborers who are installing the beautiful new Frawley Building windows!



And, just like that, Memorial Day weekend is here! We went from extremely cold temperatures directly into summer. Spring was a fleeting thought. Now that the warmer weather is here, the outdoor events and activities we’ve long awaited are underway. The sunshine, the flowers and the blue skies are all wonderful reasons to gather with family and friends. Perhaps one of the parties you host this summer will be in support of our Foundations of Faith capital campaign. What a blessing that would be!

Hosting an event for the campaign is an easy way to help us provide information to more parishioners while moving us closer to our goal. You simply coordinate a date with Fr. Carl’s calendar and decide what you would like to serve. You can compile your own guest list or ask the campaign office for assistance. One afternoon or evening can make a significant difference by providing an additional opportunity for people to learn about the Foundations of Faith funding priorities and the many ways to give.

If you are interested in hosting a summer soiree or attending an upcoming party, please contact Sharon at 708-383-3430, ext. 420, or email her at

Next weekend, we will publish our first Honor Roll of Donors in the bulletin as a special “Thank You!” to the individuals who have brought us to our current level of success. This will be an alphabetical listing with no dollar amounts attached. If you did not complete the Honor Roll portion on your pledge card, your name(s) will be listed as written on the front of your card. This notification was included in your thank you letter. Those who checked the “Anonymous” box will not be included.

Updates to the Honor Roll will take place regularly in order to express our gratitude to all those who are sharing their gifts on behalf of the St. Giles family and our $2.25 million campaign goal.


As we have mentioned, the approach for our Foundations of Faith campaign is heavily based on small group events in the homes of St. Giles parishioners. These parties are a wonderful way to learn more about the funding priorities, to have questions answered, to view the official Foundations of Faith video and to gather the details you need to make an informed decision about your level of financial participation. In order to successfully reach our $2.25 million goal, we are asking every member of the St. Giles family to become involved.

The men and women who have opened their homes and hearts in support of the campaign have made a significant difference in moving us closer to our goal. Today, we offer our thanks to the wonderful hosts and co-hosts who have made our campaign a priority in their lives.

Mary Ann Bloom
Maudette Carr
Jeanne and John Gallo
Louise and Jim Gates
Ellen and Michael Griffin
Rebecca and John Hachem
Annette and Frank Hulefeld
Sheila and Tom Kunkel
Laura and John Milder
Margaret and James Murphy
Cathy and Roger Rhomberg
Sue Rhomberg
Alexandra Ryan
Maria and Bill Samatas
Linda and John Tibensky

Would you like to add your name to this list?
Please consider hosting an event and making a difference for the St. Giles community!
Simply call Sharon Bresnahan at 708-383-3430, ext 420.


EVENT LAUNCH! – This past week (March 4-10, 2018), the inaugural group gatherings were held on behalf of our Foundations of Faith campaign. Fr. Carl, along with Leadership Team members serving as hosts, shared the official campaign video (to rave reviews!). He also provided details of the funding priorities, the campaign brochure and invitations for financial support.

Additional events are being scheduled, and everyone is invited to attend. If, however, you prefer a personal visit – reminiscent of our last campaign – we will be happy to make those arrangements. Simply contact Sharon Bresnahan at 708-383-3430, ext. 420 or email her at In the meantime, please enjoy pictures of your fellow parishioners enjoying each other’s company at the first two campaign functions.


This week, the first home events for our Foundations of Faith campaign will take place. Our thanks to Jim Gates, Margaret Murphy, Cathy Rhomberg and John Milder for hosting these inaugural gatherings. As we mentioned in last week’s bulletin, this approach is different than what we did during our last campaign but, hopefully, will be equally successful.

Individuals are opening their homes (or other venues) to share information about the planned projects, answer questions and invite financial participation. A special video featuring Fr. Carl will be shown at each function. If you are eager to attend an upcoming party – or if you’re interested in serving as a host – please contact Sharon Bresnahan at 708-383-3430, ext. 420 or email

Recognizing that not everyone may be able to attend the scheduled events, we are also gathering some of our dedicated parishioners to serve as volunteer Ambassadors. These individuals will visit with their fellow parishioners at a place and time convenient to them. It’s a great opportunity to see old friends, build new relationships and personally share information regarding Foundations of Faith. If you served as an Ambassador during the last campaign, please consider doing so again. Two training sessions will be offered in early March. Please contact Sharon Bresnahan (listed above) or Tina Walker, our campaign consultant (815-557-6773) if you are interested in participating in this way.

Whether you attend a group event or prefer a personal visit, we thank you for your ongoing support and prayers for St. Giles Parish. We are blessed with good stewards willing to share a portion of their time, talents and treasure to ensure a bright tomorrow for our wonderful family of faith. God bless us as we work together to make this campaign a great success!


During the last several weeks, we have introduced the men and women of the Foundations of Faith Leadership Team who are working closely with Fr. Carl in support of our upcoming capital campaign. They have been very busy with behind-the-scenes planning for a successful fundraising initiative for St. Giles Parish. Recently, they reviewed several logo designs from which to choose, and the “winner” is unveiled here this weekend.

This beautiful logo includes an anchor, a dove and a heart. Two of these icons can be found behind our altar, one is in the baptistery and all were specifically chosen as special reminders. The anchor is a symbol of our Catholic faith which secures us in this life and brings us into the next. The dove represents the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. We each need the Holy Spirit to help us walk in the Light of Christ. The heart reminds us of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the love that He calls us to share with one another in the community.

Our thanks to our Leadership Team, to the parishioners who offered early year-end gifts and pledges toward our campaign, and to everyone who makes St. Giles a priority by sharing a portion of their God-given blessings on behalf of Foundations of Faith.

If you are interested in attending a campaign event in the home of a fellow parishioner, hosting (or co-hosting) your own function or would like additional information about the funding priorities for this effort, please contact Sharon Bresnahan at or call her at 708-383-3430, ext. 420. In the meantime, please pray for God’s guidance each step of this journey.


Meet the Team! – We hope you have enjoyed being introduced to the Foundations of Faith Leadership Team. In this, our final “Meet the Team” article, please say a prayer of thanksgiving for John Milder. Then begin reflecting on how you will help make the upcoming campaign for St. Giles a great success for our wonderful parish community.

John Milder has been a member of St. Giles Parish since 2011. He and his wife, Laura, are active supporters of both the parish and school communities, with three children attending St. Giles School.

Faith and service have been a strong part of John’s life. After graduating from Loyola University of Chicago, he joined the Peace Corps and served in Senegal, West Africa. He continues to extend his time and support to a variety of charitable causes, and currently serves as a member of the Finance Committee at St. Giles.

John’s career in financial services began in Chicago and took him all over the world − working in Boston, London and Seoul. In 2004, John joined LPL Financial, and he and Laura moved to San Diego. Growing up in Winfield the youngest of ten, John is happy his career led him back home where he is currently a partner at MLM Wealth Management, a Naperville-based wealth advisory firm.

John and Laura have been married for 14 years and are grateful to be raising their family in the St. Giles community. With three boys (two fourth grade twins and one first grader), they spend much of their time juggling school activities, music recitals and sports events − including coaching both basketball and baseball.

As a member of the Leadership Team for the Foundations of Faith campaign, John reflects on the sacrifices that were made by past generations of St. Giles families to build and maintain the church. “We need to do our part to ensure future generations can enjoy this beautiful building and campus as much as we do.” The Foundations of Faith campaign is close to John’s heart as he hopes someday he’ll see his children and his friends’ children married in St. Giles Church.

Securities offered through LPL, Member FINRA/SIPC.


Meet the Team! – As we prepare for our Foundations of Faith campaign, we continue to introduce you to the men and women who have graciously agreed to serve as campaign leaders. This week, please say a prayer of thanksgiving for Sue Rhomberg and Michael Griffin.

Born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa, Sue Rhomberg lived in St. Louis for 20 years before moving to Chicago in 2001. As she was searching for a new house, she was drawn to Oak Park where she would be close to her work and her brother and sister who were/are parishioners at St. Giles. Now living just two blocks from Church, Sue has participated as a Eucharistic Minister, a member of the Ministry of Consolation, Open Hearts/Open Minds, Prayer Circle and on the Leadership Team for The Shared Cup capital campaign. When asked to, once again, serve in a leadership capacity for Foundations of Faith, Sue did not hesitate.

Eight years ago, Sue started her own business, Create Your Legacies, LLC. She works with family leaders connecting generations in preserving what’s important to them and their family as a whole. This is a special way to help people recognize the contributions they have made and leave lasting remembrances for those they love. Previously, Sue served as the Executive Director for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and managed outpatient therapy clinics and services.

Just as Sue is currently ensuring that families appreciate the foundations from which they come, she is excited to work on the Foundations of Faith campaign for St. Giles where parishioners will be joining together to address various issues around our campus that will make us even more welcoming, accessible and secure. “Taking part in this campaign is my opportunity to respond to the call and help preserve the legacies that have been created at St. Giles. Having solid foundations and open access to all our facilities will help our community members stay engaged. I’m confident the results of this campaign will ensure we remain a vibrant parish far into the future.”

“Now it’s our turn”  is a phrase Michael Griffin frequently uses when he talks about why he made the decision to participate in St. Giles’ upcoming campaign in a leadership role. “As an active and healthy church community, we are standing on the shoulders of parishioners who came before us. They passed on a gift – both in terms of their legacy of generosity and stewardship, and the physical plant and facilities we have. Our campus buildings allow us to do what we need to do as a family of faith. It’s now our turn to help maintain the parish facilities in a way that provides the greatest utility and opportunity for greater good.”

Michael and his wife, Ellen, have been married for 23 years; their four children – Joe (21), Peter (19), Molly (17) and Libby (14) – attended St. Giles School. Michael feels that being able to assist his home parish in a significant way while also supporting the larger Archdiocesan campaign (To Teach Who Christ Is) is a privilege. “Ellen and I really appreciate what a value parochial education is for our children, and I’m happy to help make it possible for those families who otherwise couldn’t afford a quality Catholic education.”

When Michael and Ellen first moved to Oak Park in 1997, they felt fortunate to have a church so close to their new home. As they became more involved in both the parish and school, they recognized that St. Giles was unique… and still is. “We are all fortunate to be part of an engaged and caring community that strives to exhibit the best of what a faith community can be. St .Giles is an example to other parishes of what can be done and should be done. There is pride here too. I like the fact that it is a quiet, humble yet confident pride. We are all lucky to be part of a such a special place!”


Meet the Team! – As we prepare for our Foundations of Faith campaign, we continue to introduce you to the men and women who have graciously agreed to serve as campaign leaders. This week, please say a prayer of thanksgiving for Cathy Rhomberg.

Cathy Rhomberg is “overwhelmed with gratitude” when she reflects on the 20 years that the St. Giles community has been a cornerstone in her family’s life. Moving to Oak Park as a young couple, Cathy and Roger joined St. Giles and found a wealth of blessings. “We have shared so many milestones and memories here. Our kids have progressed through the school, participating in the sacraments, service projects, choir, altar serving, etc. Similarly, my husband and I have spent time serving on committees and sharing our faith with others on School Board, PREP, CCW, Men’s Society and, importantly, Retreads basketball.”

Cathy reflects on how quickly time has passed. Now they have two sons in college (Charlie, 21 and Ben, 19), one in high school (Roger III, 16) and are on their third four-legged family member, Daisy, an English bulldog.

Roger is self employed in sales and contracts with La-Z-Boy Furniture. Cathy assists Roger with his business, manages their household and does what she can to support St. Giles and the Oak Park community. Cathy’s hobbies include cooking, traveling, reading and pilates. She also delights in “Forced Family Fun Nights” when she and her men explore Chicago, go to the symphony or try new restaurants. “It’s mandatory!”

Cathy loves the reaction that visitors have when they first come to the St. Giles campus. “They are in awe of our beuatiful church, grounds and vibrant community spirit. It is then that I am reminded how special St. Giles is. We have a lot to be proud of and, with that, comes responsibility. This is one of the reasons I have volunteered to serve on the Leadership Team for the Foundations of Faith campaign. It is important for me to give back so that future generations will have experiences like the ones my family have enjoyed.”


Meet the Team! – As we prepare for our Foundations of Faith campaign, we are happy to introduce you to the men and women who have graciously agreed to serve as campaign leaders. This week, please say a prayer of thanksgiving for Jeanne Gallo and Jim Gates.

Jeanne Gallo is intimately familiar with most volunteer opportunities at St. Giles, particularly regarding capital campaigns. Foundations of Faith will be Jeanne’s third, and she is just as enthusiastic about this effort as she was for the Good Gift and Shared Cup campaigns.

“St. Giles has been at the center of our family life since we moved to the parish in 1996. My involvement in this project is a concrete way to pay it forward and say ‘thank you’ for all that the parish has given me and my family.”

Married for 32 years, John and Jeanne were high school sweethearts who grew up in the Western suburbs, were students at Benet Academy, went to Catholic colleges and then lived in Boston while John attended law school. Jeanne has her own event planning businesses – G.E.M. (Gallo Event Management) and a wedding planning business – GalloMilo Weddings. After 21 years in private practice, John recently became CEO of the Legal Assitance Foundation of Chicago.

Over the years, Jeanne has been significantly involved in both the parish and school, particularly when her four children were students at St. Giles. Recognizing that it is sometimes difficult to stay connected after children graduate, both Jeanne and John actively sought new volunteer roles… and they found many. Each provided the opportunity to meet new people who have become lifelong friends. Jeanne sees being able to participate in Foundations of Faith as a blessing. “I’m so grateful to be in St. Giles at this time in my life – reaping the benefits of being a parishioner. I’m looking forward to working together again toward a common goal of securing and improving what makes up the foundation of our parish family.”

Jim Gates is a strong believer that “The Lord never asks more of us than we can handle with His help.” A parishioner since 1987, Jim has said yes to many volunteer opportunities at St. Giles – Parish Pastoral Council (currently as chair), lector, catechist for 8th grade, trainer for altar servers, and Ambassador for The Shared Cup. Professionally, Jim taught middle-school English, history and humanities for 33 years in District 97, served as the District Department Chair for History and English, and was President of the District 97 School Board. The Lord has clearly given Jim strength to handle many different responsibilities at St. Giles and in the community.

Jim and his bride of 31 years, Louise, have a decades-long tradition of weekly date nights where they enjoy sampling different ethnic cuisines. Even when their three children were younger, this time together was a priority. “The stronger we are, the stronger our family is!” In addition to their children – all with careers in education – they have two grandchildren (9 and 12). The picture shows the family celebrating Jim and Louise’s vow renewal on their 25th anniversary.

Born on his mother’s birthday, Jim feels blessed to share her sense of humor and love of laughter. He also feels blessed to be part of such a special parish. “We love it here! I love the fact that it seems like my second home. I feel like I belong, like I am welcome, like I am invited to participate. I’ve had many major surgeries and the parish was there for me. When I’ve needed the parish, it’s been here for me, so I want to do all I can for St. Giles.”


Answering the Call to Leadership – As St. Giles prepares for its upcoming capital campaign, Fr. Carl has been busy enlisting individuals willing to serve in a leadership role. Some of these men and women volunteered during the Feasibility Study, some were recommended by fellow parishioners and others said yes to their pastor’s invitation. Our heartfelt appreciation to…

Jeanne Gallo
Jim Gates
Michael and Ellen Griffin
John Milder
Cathy Rhomberg
Sue Rhomberg

We’re sure you are familiar with many of these names as they have – over their many years at St. Giles – participated in multiple ministries and organizations of the parish. Even with all their current volunteer efforts and their extremely busy lives, they have graciously stepped forward to assist Fr. Carl in this very special way.

As we enter the week of Thanksgiving, we ask for prayers of gratitude for our Campaign Leadership Team and for every person who makes St. Giles a priority through the sharing of their precious time and talents.


Feasibility Study Highlights – In preparation for our upcoming capital campaign, a Feasibility Study was conducted last summer to test proposed funding priorities and enlist parishioner feedback. Our thanks to the 40 individuals who took time out from their busy schedules to participate.

While much of the Study focused on the campaign – what would people be willing to support, who do they feel should lead the effort, would they serve as volunteers, etc. – we also wanted to know how people felt about St. Giles overall. We offered 20 specific elements of parish life and asked the participants to evaluate them on a scale of 1 (poor) to 4 (excellent). The statistical responses as well as the conversation showed that people are quite happy at St. Giles.

The highest ranking item – clergy − received a 3.74 weighted average. The second highest, receiving a 3.50 weighted average, was the school. Fifteen of the 20 areas ranked between good and excellent, which is a testament to the love people have for this wonderful family of faith.

When asked to describe the special or distinctive characteristics of St. Giles, almost every comment was positive and heartfelt. The sense of community, the welcoming spirit and the inclusiveness were the most frequently mentioned. Many of these same sentiments were repeated when participants were asked what elements draw people to St. Giles. In this section, however, the school was most often repeated followed closely by Fr. Carl (“He has made a phenomenal difference here.”)  and the community.

Over and over again, we heard that people feel blessed to be part of St. Giles Parish. And that, in itself, is a great blessing!

If you are eager to learn more now rather than wait until next week’s article, additional information can be found at


During the past four weeks, information regarding the Archdiocesan-wide capital campaign – To Teach Who Christ Is  (TTWCI) − has been shared through our bulletin and website. Every parish in the Archdiocese of Chicago has participated, or is now participating, in this special fundraising initiative. While some parishes opted to simply raise money for their portion of TTWCI, most have recognized additional facility needs and are combining those for a broader based campaign.

That is the case with St. Giles. A campus of our size always faces maintenance and repair issues and, while we accomplished much with our Shared Cup project, our upcoming campaign will allow us to focus on four main components… (1) Church tuckpointing, (2) an elevator in the Corrigan Building, (3) the balance of the new windows for the Frawley Building and (4) the renovation of the bathrooms outside of the gym.

These are the items that were deemed most important by the parishioners who participated in last year’s feasibility study. We thank them for their involvement and their input. One of the things that they felt was absolutely vital to the success of this effort was… time. They asked for some extra time between the end of our last campaign and this one. We listened and have spent the past year preparing and planning. Please watch the bulletin for additional information regarding our campaign and the ways you can be a blessing to St. Giles while helping us achieve our goals.


A vibrant parish life is central to fulfilling the mission of the Church. The To Teach Who Christ Is campaign is helping to strengthen and sustain parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago. The funds that remain in the parishes ensure our faith communities are economically stable and can continue to bear hope through their presence, sacramental life and ministries. Each parish has been assigned a campaign target − a goal that is 130% of their total annual offertory giving, including Christmas and Easter collections. Parishes keep 60% of all funds they raise for needs they identify and share the remaining 40% with other parishes and ministries for the benefit of Catholics throughout the Archdiocese. Parishes exceeding their goals keep 100% of the funds collected above their campaign target.

More than 2,800 individual structures − sacred spaces as well as parish activity buildings, convents, rectories and schools − can be found in Cook and Lake counties. Many of these buildings have needs and issues beyond what some parishes in distressed communities are able to address given their financial circumstances. Addressing these issues in a timely manner is often critical. A full $30 million of the funds raised for To Teach Who Christ Is will be designated for urgently needed repairs in low-income parishes and to help them provide for handicapped accessible services. In addition, a facilities information management system has been created to track projects across the Archdiocese and allow for a more collaborative and economical approach to purchase construction services.

Here at St. Giles, the portion of funds we will retain will go toward continued care for our beautiful complex which will include the tuckpointing of the Church and the completion of new windows in the Frawley Building. All improvements will help us continue as a vibrant family of faith. Future bulletin articles will offer more detail on the priorities on which we will focus.


A pilot initiative of To Teach Who Christ Is, the Caritas Scholars Program, has already provided scholarships to more than 2,000 children. These scholarship awards are not only helping to eliminate the financial barriers that often stand between families and a Catholic education, they are being given to children and their families – not to schools. Caritas scholarships follow children to whatever Catholic school they choose to attend, a measure of flexibility that will further help sustain the Catholic school system.

With regard to religious education, this is a ministry for which all Catholics are responsible. More than 96,000 elementary and secondary school children are enrolled in religious education programs in parishes throughout Cook and Lake Counties. In addition, parishes provide religious education to teens through youth ministry as well as to adults, including those seeking to enrich their journey with Christ or join our faith through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Ensuring that religious education remains a high priority requires educated and trained catechetical leaders to teach the Word and parish programs that evolve along with the communities they serve. To Teach Who Christ Is will provide $10 million for formation programs leading to Archdiocesan certification of religious education coordinators as well as youth ministers, and the ongoing formation of certified religious education directors and other certified catechetical leaders.

“Day after day, both in and around the temple” – Those involved with ministry in the Church today are keenly aware of the need to effectively engage children, youth, young adults and adults in their Catholic faith. Parishes throughout the United States, including in the Archdiocese of Chicago, are now creating innovative religious education programs based on new models of child, youth and adult learning. To Teach Who Christ Is seeks to provide a minimum of $2 million to identify, study and replicate the current best approaches to religious education. The Archdiocesan Department of Parish Life and Formation will engage a group of parish leaders with a goal of examining strong religious education and faith formation programs and then, after measuring outcomes, replicating them for broader use. Funds for innovation will support the enhancement of religious education programs in parishes, as well as professional development, staff and volunteer training, and equipment.


As Cardinal Blase Cupich now leads the effort, he reinforces the hopes and dreams of Cardinal George. “The Cardinal shared with me the needs which the campaign will address and why the very ambitious goal of $350 million has been set. A majority of the funds raised will be returned to parishes for their unique needs. Building strong parishes is essential to current and future generations of Catholics, and $150 million will directly benefit the needs, and reward the efforts, of our parishes. Also vital is ensuring Catholic education is always available to families in need. A second $150 million is being directed to the newly established Catholic Education Scholarship Trust to ensure scholarship awards are available to our children, our grandchildren, and even their children! This endowed fund truly helps guarantee excellence in Catholic education in perpetuity. How exciting it is to see faith formation being taken to a new, innovative level, and support given to catechists, as well as facility and life safety issues being addressed at our most vulnerable churches and properties.”


During last year’s Feasibility Study to gather parishioner feedback regarding our participation in the upcoming Archdiocesan capital campaign, To Teach Who Christ Is, there was a strong desire expressed to delay the launch of this initiative for one year. Recognizing that we are required to participate in this effort, along with every parish in the Chicago Archdiocese, we requested – and were granted – a delayed start date. With that time now past, we are in the planning phase for this important effort. While To Teach Who Christ Is was launched in the Archdiocese more than four years ago, there may be parishioners who are unfamiliar with the campaign and its objectives. We will be providing information during the next several weeks through the Arrow and on this webpage, so that the people of St. Giles are well versed as they make their decisions regarding volunteer, financial and prayerful participation. In addition, we will share the details of the funding priorities for our campus buildings which are currently being finalized.

What exactly is To Teach Who Christ Is? It is a capital and endowment campaign, originally spearheaded by Francis Cardinal George, to raise a minimum of $350 million in gifts and pledges for parishes, faith formation, scholarships to Catholic schools, and critical facility issues. Priorities of the campaign were identified in a comprehensive Case, which included input from administrators, educators, pastors and staff. The campaign’s fundraising goals have been outlined as:

Scholarships − $150 million allocated for scholarships will generate millions of dollars annually for new and continuing needs-based scholarships.

Program Enhancements for Catholic Schools − $8 million of direct cash infusion will ensure academic excellence.

Strengthening Religious Education Programs − $10 million will support Religious Education programs.

“Next Generation” Religious Education − $2 million will develop and pilot new approaches to religious education and faith formation.

Capital Needs − $30 million will address specific capital needs in Catholic schools and related parish facilities.

Parish Needs − $150 million will address parish-specific needs through the parish-based portion of the campaign. This number reflects a total parish-based campaign goal of $250 million, of which 60 percent ($150 million) will remain at the parishes for their needs and 40 percent ($100 million) will come to the Archdiocese to meet parish needs.

Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., chose the theme because of its significance to his order, his vision of our Archdiocese and the spirit of the campaign. To Teach Who Christ Is comes from the writings of St. Eugene de Mazenod, founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, who sought to teach “who Jesus Christ is.” At St. Eugene’s canonization, Pope John Paul II reflected that he was “a man of Advent, a man of the Coming. He not only looked forward to that Coming, he dedicated his whole life to preparing for it, one of those apostles who prepared the modern age, our age.”