Non-Parish Offsite Community Events

A Summer 2022 Series for All

“The God that we were brought up on is not big enough to be God. To be both religious and spiritual, modernity must be able to absorb the notion of a cosmic and evolving God. This notion redefines the place and purpose of humanity itself. The old notions of who is in charge, who is superior and whose theology is paramount is in a state of flux. Unless, or until, this new vision comes into play, directs our hearts, guides our business, underlies our technology, the world itself is not ready to understand or survive the horizon of Newness on which it stands.” – Joan Chittister

On 6 Thursdays, we will meet outdoors in the back yard of the Vernon family at 7 Elizabeth Court, Oak Park, IL.

We will share rituals, reflections, contemplative prayer & meditation, prayerful sacred movement, and some inspiration from important thinkers, like the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Joan Chittister. Our structure will reflect “The Eight Pillars of Joy” from the 2016 Book of Joy co-authored by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.

  • June 30 – Perspective & Humility
  • July 14 – Humor & Acceptance
  • July 28 – Forgiveness
  • August 4 – Gratitude
  • August 11 – Compassion
  • August 25 – Generosity

We’ll offer just one session each listed Thursday from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. We meet in-person only. (There is no Zoom capacity.) No need to attend every session. Join as your schedule permits. No need to register in advance. We will be outside, but a restroom is available. Chairs will be provided. Bring your own beverage. Dress for the weather, and we’ll proceed if at all possible. Past sessions have been held in light rain with meaningful results.

Sessions will be co-facilitated by Shelby Boblick, on behalf of The Well Spirituality Center, and Br. Joseph Kilikevice, OP, on behalf of The Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality.

Parking – Please park on Kenilworth Ave or on Forest Ave. and walk ½ block to 7 Elizabeth Court. Carpooling is encouraged.

Entrance – Please enter the yard using the left sidewalk. It leads to the backyard, which is handicapped accessible. The driveway is shared and must be kept open for cars for both families.

Questions? – Call Shelby Boblick at 630-240-2765 or Christine Vernon at 708-212-0645.

Ignatian Spirituality – Lifelong Learning Opportunities at Ascension

Meeting Christ in Prayer – An 8-Week Life-Enriching Experience Based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius – Enrich your prayer life. Learn new ways of praying. Meet Christ anew through Scripture and reflection. Experience a prayer model based on St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. Feel supported in the Christian life in a new way. Become more aware of God’s presence in your daily life.

Donna Ioppolo, a spiritual director in the Ignatian tradition, will facilitate this 8-week seminar at Ascension’s Parish Center Dining Room from 7:30 to 9 pm on the following dates: April 26 – May 3, 10, 24 and 31 – June 7, 14 and 21 – No Meeting on May 17

Registration is required. There will be a $25 fee to cover the cost of program materials. There is an understanding of commitment to attend all 8 sessions.

To register, please email and put “Meeting Christ in Prayer” in Subject line. This event is open to all Oak Park parishes.

Lifelong Learning and Adult Faith Formation Committee (LLAFFC)

In the spring of 2020 when it became clear we were in the midst of a pandemic, our LLAFFC team worked diligently to continue our efforts to provide lifelong learning opportunities. The ZOOM format has been a great success and the leadership of Chairperson, Jeff Wood, has really promoted our variety of programming such as Spiritual Classics, Books of St. Francis, Fr. Bob’s Psalm series, Peter O’Leary’s series, the Lent Book Project for families in the school and RE, as well as most recently two “live speaker” events. With a few exceptions, the Ascension members have provided the bulk of opportunities for our Oak Park parishes and are happy to continue in that role as we discover areas where all Oak Park Catholics can work together and ones that will be unique to each parish.

If you have an interest in fostering the faith of members of the Oak Park Catholic community-at-large, we are currently recruiting members from what are still the four Oak Park parishes. We would love to have at least one or two new members from each parish as some of our members are rolling off after serving for three years. The desired commitment is monthly meetings on the first Monday of the month (exceptions on holidays when an alternate date is chosen), leadership for one or more events each year, and a three-year commitment. As our name suggests, we wish to provide opportunities for all ages and particularly for adults at the different stages of life.

If this would interest you, please send an email to or give Mary Catherine a call at 708-434-1537. Our next meeting is Monday, June 6.

Mission of Our Lady of the Angels Website


Catholic Charities is working on a pilot program to provide food pantry delivery one Saturday per month to pantry clients 65 and older who live in Cicero and Berwyn. We are looking for volunteers to do the deliveries, which will be from 10 am to 2 pm one Saturday per month. The starting date is still to be determined, but we hope to begin by the end of April. Volunteers will have to undergo a criminal background check and take an online driver awareness course.

If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact Claudia Andrade at or 708-329-4023.

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: