Non-Parish Offsite Community Events



The women of the west side of Chicago and Chicago’s near-west suburbs are invited to gather this fall to reflect & converse.

Join Us to Explore Love and Forgiveness… Our curriculum derives from Lessons from Afghanistan, a collaborative project of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project and the Fetzer Institute: Campaign for Love and Forgiveness.

Lessons from Afghanistan is a compelling exploration of love and forgiveness by Afghan women in a country that has been war-torn for three decades. These writers have borne not only the burden of bloodshed but carry with them the stigma of simply being born female in a deeply patriarchal and conservative society.

If these women – who have been abused, beaten, persecuted because of their gender, threatened because they dare to speak their mind or receive an education – can offer love and forgiveness for their tormentors, it compels us to ask ourselves why we can’t forgive the lesser evils, the marginal hurts, the brush of a misdeed, the imagined oversight. These writers may also inspire you to tend to the deep wounds that all of us human beings experience in this life, the traumas that many of us would rather forget or ignore. You may find that in the writing, there is healing.

Afghanistan offers many perspectives. But you will not find in these pages the prose of the downtrodden, the lament of the weak. You will be inspired not only by the resilience of these women, but their courage to love, and not just for their country, but for us all. Their love seeps from the pages of this book into our souls.

Shelby Boblick will facilitate the sessions and supply the materials each week. No need to prepare in advance. We’ll focus on a different topic each week. It matters not at all if you miss a week or several weeks. You are most welcome to join us when your schedule permits.

We’ll offer duplicate sessions each Monday: one at 1 pm and another at 7:30 pm. Please join us at whichever time suits your life. No need to come at the same time each Monday.

We’ll meet in the gathering space of St. Catherine-St. Lucy Church, 38 N. Austin Blvd., Oak Park. The Church is accessible by ramp, and assistive listening devices are available. Questions? Call Shelby at 630-240-2765.

  • Monday, October 21 – Session 5: Love and Forgiveness that Transcends Boundaries
  • Monday, October 28 – Session 6: Incorporating Love and Forgiveness into Our Lives

from Black Saints and Popes presentation

Father Augustus Tolton was the first black diocesan priest in the United States, the son of slaves of African descent. After studying in Rome, because no American seminary would accept him, he was ordained for the Diocese of Quincy, in southern Illinois, and later came to Chicago to start a parish for black Catholics. He died young, at only 43 years of age.

Fr. Tolton’s cause for sainthood was introduced in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 2010 by Francis Cardinal George, OMI.

“Tolton’s story is one of carving out one’s humanity as a man and as a priest in an atmosphere of racial volatility. His was a fundamental and pervasive struggle to be recognized, welcomed and accepted. He rises wonderfully as a Christ-figure, never uttering a harsh word about anyone or anything while being thrown one disappointment after another. He persevered among us when there was no logical reason to do so.”

– from Bishop Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago – Diocesan Postulator for the Cause of Augustus Tolton

What Can I do to Help the Cause of Canonization of Father Augustus Tolton?

You can pray the special prayer for his canonization that simultaneously presents to God a request for healing or other special intention.

O God, we give you thanks for your servant and priest, Father Augustus Tolton, who labored among us in times of contradiction, times that were both beautiful and paradoxical. His ministry helped lay the foundation for a truly Catholic gathering in faith in our time. We stand in the shadow of his ministry. May his life continue to inspire us and imbue us with that confidence and hope that will forge a new evangelization for the Church we love.

Father in Heaven, Father Tolton’s suffering service sheds light upon our sorrows; we see them through the prism of your Son’s passion and death. If it be your Will, O God, glorify your servant, Father Tolton, by granting the favor I now request through his intercession (mention your request) so that all may know the goodness of this priest whose memory looms large in the Church he loved.

Complete what you have begun in us that we might work for the fulfillment of your kingdom. Not to us the glory, but glory to you O God, through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are our God, living and reigning forever and ever.


– from 2010 Bishop Joseph N. Perry, Imprimatur Francis Cardinal George, OMI – Archdiocese of Chicago

Other ways to help the Cause for Sainthood of Father Tolton would be to attend the various events sponsored by the Archdiocese for the promotion of the Cause, or to help with your donations, used strictly to support the Cause.

To report any spiritual or physical favors granted through prayer in Father Tolton’s name, please write:

Office of the Cardinal – Archdiocese of Chicago
835 North Rush Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611

To request the prayer card for the canonization of Father Augustus Tolton, call or write:

Bishop Joseph N. Perry
Phone: 312.534.8376
3525 S. Lake Park Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60653


“Let us work together to find concrete solutions to help the poor, refugees, victims of modern forms of slavery, in order to promote peace.” – Pope Francis

Support of critical funding is needed for migrants and refugees overseas. The final figures for this life-saving aid have yet to be determined, and Congress has until December 7 to pass a final bill. It will help migrants and refugees around the world meet their basic needs, and addresses factors, like violence, hunger, and lack of economic opportunity, that force people to migrate. Your voice makes a difference. Raise it today!

ACTION: Oppose cuts to foreign aid and ensure Congress is funding these life-saving programs at the highest levels possible. Visit the USCCBs site for ways to contact your officials.

For additional ways to advocate for immigrants and refugees visit: