Center for Lifelong Learning and Faith Formation for Oak Park


The team for the new Oak Park initiative that will unify Religious Education for our children, offer opportunities to people of all ages, and reach out to people in the parishes as well as people who are searching has been working diligently and prayerfully. Multiple people from five worshipping communities were asked to participate.

Bringing together all the feedback from the previous Survey, the Town Hall, the Vision Day, emails, and conversations, a group of volunteers crafted a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement. We now seek your feedback on these statements. Please follow the link below for this survey, which will close on Sunday, June 18 – Paper copies are also available in the back of the churches.




Center for Spiritual Growth and Development Survey – We are continuing to share the results of the Survey conducted in January, which began to gather the community’s input on the development of a center for Spiritual growth and faith formation.

Question 3: How would you like to participate in the proposed Center? – 127/167 respondents answered this question.

Other responses included:

  • 4% stated that they would not participate.
  • 5% stated that they are not currently sure, or would participate as the Spirit leads.
  • Other individual responses included participating in, assisting with or helping lead: Retreats / Social Justice as an integral part of faith formation / Pre-evangelization / Meditation / Lunch and learns / An atmosphere of welcoming / Family activities inspired by the liturgical seasons / Participate in integrating the Center into the wider community, helping its members to grow as a unified – and unifying – body, bringing the light of Christ to the world.



Continuing Development of a Center for Catholic Faith – On Sunday, March 12, 75 people gathered to contribute toward the Mission and Vision of the Oak Park Catholic center focused on spiritual growth. Conversation was lively and a lot of ideas for the center emerged. Now a smaller group of people will synthesize the feedback from Sunday, the survey and townhall meeting into a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement.

Center for Spiritual Growth and Development Survey – One hundred and sixty people completed the survey. The responders were asked what their worshipping community is. The following is the percentage breakdown: Ascension 44% – Family Mass 16% – St. Catherine-St. Lucy 15% – St. Edmund 23% – St. Giles 26%

Over the next weeks, we will be sharing the results of this survey, one question at a time.

WEEK 1 – What are you looking for in your Spiritual Community? – 165/167 respondents answered this question.

Respondents also noted a desire for

  • the traditional rituals of the church and getting back to religion;
  • education, formation, youth activities and catechesis;
  • diversity, inclusivity, and acceptance;
  • intergenerational faith sharing;
  • preaching opportunities, service opportunities, and a relevance to today’s world.
  • Many respondents noted the synergy of many of these categories, and some responded – “all of the above!”

Other question results will be posted HERE in the future!

If you have any questions. please email us at or call us at 708-738-3430 ext 404.

Center for Lifelong Learning and Faith Formation – Town Hall Summary

On January 26, a town-hall style meeting was held to discuss the possibilities of a center for lifelong learning and faith formation. More than 30 people attended and participated in the conversation. The evening began with prayer and brief history of the origins of this center. The planning teams were also introduced. Participants then divided into small groups, each with a facilitator who took notes. The evening ended with a large group forum for people to ask questions and express their feelings.

The following is a summary of the responses to the small group discussion questions:

What is something faith related that you would invite your neighbor to? – While there was a variety of specific events, the responses fell into six main categories:

  • Prayer and liturgical gatherings
  • Service and Justice events
  • Speakers, presentations, retreats, and workshops
  • Small group gatherings centered on a topic
  • Celebrations and festivities
  • Social events and potlucks

Have you had a significant experience that made your faith come alive? – The responses to this question were personal and thoughtful. Some people talked about the significant impact of retreats, pilgrimages, special masses, and other prayer experiences on their faith life. Others shared that life events, like having a child or losing a loved one, connected them deeply to their faith. Still others reflected that there wasn’t one specific moment but it is a lifetime being in a faith community and walking with God that has made all the difference.

After hearing the introductory remarks, what did you feel? – Some participants were excited that the process is open to the movement of the Spirit. The whole community has so much to offer. They feel this work is really important and desirable. They liked the idea of sharing resources and expressed that vibrant and different programs are needed. A couple expressed the hope to feel more personal attention and saw that there is more work that needs to be done in building bridges between the parishes as well as within the parish. Other participants didn’t have a good understanding of the endeavor and were not trusting of it. They were worried about the possible location of the center. Others were clear in their desire to see a level of transparency in this process and in the progress along the way.

What do you see as a potential for this center? – The following are a summary of the ideas that surfaced:

  • Social justice
  • Pair up teens with the elderly for community
  • Build relationship and providing meals
  • Focus on evangelization – evangelization to our own families and to the wider community.
  • A spiritual home for people in new high rises
  • Offer spirituality, scripture, speakers
  • Small group learning, centering prayer, learn from each other
  • Ecumenical outreach in LOVE, ACCEPTANCE, DIVERSITY – learning and understanding about others.

There were a few lingering questions: Where will we find the space? What is the timing on the Center? What are the potential costs and financial needs for this center?