Recognition Note – Image above by Fran Gregory

CLICK HERE for All Lenten Opportunities and Resources among Oak Park Parishes


REFLECTION – FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT – In Sunday’s Gospel, the Spirit drives Jesus into the desert. The desert seems stark, harsh, and unfamiliar in our busy lives. Our deserts may be different than a physical desert: we enter deserts of grief; of isolation; of workplace stress and strife; of loss of connection with God. The desert may strip us bare, allowing us to be truly dependent on God. This year, as we accompany Jesus into the desert, what will we find? What is your soul thirsting for?

REFLECTION – ASH WEDNESDAY WEEK – In a world that can feel full of tension and discord, busy-ness and chaos, Lent helps us to strip away the things that weigh us down and distract us from God, the source of our life. Let us go into the desert with Jesus – to find an oasis of renewal. What do you need to renew your soul this Lent?


At all worship sites, you will be able to pick up, or use the PDF file below, our path of prayer booklet with reflections written by our parishioners for each day of Lent. Take a few minutes each morning to reflect and be renewed.

Path of Prayer – Reflection Booklet (PDF)


Have you noticed purple paper strips in the churches? – This Lent, you will find strips of paper by baskets in our churches – Prayer renews our soul, changing our hearts and connecting us with God.

Is there something in particular you are praying this Lent? – Write an intention on the strip of paper and place it in the baskets at the foot of the Mary statue in either church, or by the statue of the Sacred Heart. Let us also join in prayer with each other – if you feel called, take an intention that was left in the basket home with you to pray for this week.


Wednesday, February 21 at 1:30 pm in McDonough Hall (St. Giles Campus) – That All May Be One: Centering, Connection and Communion with Shelby Boblick – Come for an afternoon of exploring our need for community and our shared challenges through Scripture, prayer and song – MORE INFORMATION


On Lenten Wednesdays at 6:30 PM, we gather for prayer in front of the tabernacle at Ascension Church – Come for a simple, intimate ritual of scripture, song and prayer.


Come to a Bible Study on Wednesdays at 7 pm in the St. Giles Parish Center Living Room (1025 Columbian Avenue) or participate over Zoom – We are studying CS Lewis’ classic: “The Screwtape Letters”.

All are welcome – It is NOT necessary or required to attend each week… Come when you can!!

Please contact Maria Samatas ( or Alex Ryan ( to get all the information – We’ll be sending out study guides, including bible verses / chapters that will be referenced as well as questions to ponder and discuss together.


Try making Adoration a part of your Lenten routine, held between 7-8 PM on Thursday evenings at St. Giles Church – Even if you have never been to Adoration before – all are always welcome to spend some time in the presence of Christ.


Fridays – February 23 and March 1, 8, 15

February 23 – 7 pm at St. Edmund Church
 A simple supper of Soup and Bread will be provided at 6 PM.
Stations of the cross with a focus on peace and justice will follow at 7 PM.

Come, accompany Jesus on the way of the Cross!


Have you joined the Hallow App’s #pray40 challenge yet? – Commit to praying every day in Lent with the Hallow App – either listen to the daily pray40 selection, join in the Rosary, listen to scripture reflections of the day or explore one of the selections for kids and families. All for free through Easter!

Hallow is the #1 Catholic app worldwide and includes over 5,000 audio-guided sessions designed to help you grow closer to God and develop a daily habit of prayer.

Hallow includes prayers for kids and families, resources for mental health, meditations for sleep, seasonal music, novenas, multiple languages (including Spanish, Portuguese, and Polish!) daily trivia, podcast-style courses to learn more about faith, and more!

Register today by selecting our parish using the link below – Need instructions on how to register? See the step registration information below – If you need help with signing up or finding Hallow, contact

Hallow – Online Registration

Hallow – Step Registration Information


Shoeboxes collected will be donated to the Franciscan Outreach Organization and Housing Forward – Collection will start on Ash Wednesday, February 14, and end on Palm Sunday, March 24

Fill a shoebox or a comparable-size container (you provide the container) with a variety of personal size items. These are just a few suggestions: Tube Socks, Hotel Size – Soap and Shampoo, Kleenex (small packages), Brush and/or Comb, Plastic Rain Poncho, Deodorant, Wash / Face Cloth, Small Towel, Toothbrush / Toothpaste, Razor, Baby Powder, Hand Lotion, Hand Sanitizer, Other Small Items, and Gift Card from McDonald’s, Burger King, etc. (not to exceed $10.00)

Please be sure to include these items: Word Search or Crossword Puzzle Book with Pen or Pencil, and some wrapped Easter candy.

When your shoebox is filled (you can decorate it if you choose to do so) put a rubber band around it. Mark the box either “Man” or “Woman.” Place your shoebox in the designed box at the back of your church or on the back pews in the Gathering Space at St. Giles Church or drop it off at the St. Giles Parish Center. During Holy Week the boxes will be delivered to the two organizations so that they may be distributed during Easter time.

Thank you for caring and participating! – Know that your work of mercy will make a difference in someone’s life!

Any questions, please contact Barb Schulz at 773-622-2121.


From February 14, 2024 (Ash Wednesday) to the Paschal Triduum

Abstinence from meat is to be observed by all Catholics 14 years old and older on Ash Wednesday and on all the Fridays of Lent. Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age but not yet 59. Those who are bound by this may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted if necessary to maintain strength according to one’s needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted. The special Paschal fast, as well as abstinence, are prescribed for Good Friday and encouraged for Holy Saturday.

SPANISH – Abstinencia: Todos los católicos mayores de 14 años, deben abstenerse de comer carne el Miércoles de Ceniza y todos los viernes de Cuaresma. El Ayuno debe ser observado el Miércoles de Ceniza por todos los católicos que han-cumplido los dieciocho (18) años pero no han llegado a los cincuenta y nueve (59). Estas personas sólo pueden hacer una comida completa, y dos comidas pequeñas si son necesarias para mantener las fuerzas, de acuerdo a las necesidades individuales, pero no se permite alimento sólido entre las comidas. El ayuno así como la abstinencia Pascual especial obliga el Viernes Santo y es recomendada en el Sábado Santo también.

“Lent is ordered to preparing for the celebration of Easter, since the Lenten liturgy prepares for celebration of the Paschal Mystery both catechumens, by the various stages of Christian Initiation, and the faithful, who recall their own Baptism and do penance.” (Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year, #27)

By the threefold discipline of fasting, almsgiving and prayer the church keeps Lent from Ash Wednesday until the evening of Holy Thursday. All of the faithful and the catechumens should undertake the serious practice of these three traditions. Failure to observe penitential days totally or a substantial number of such days must be considered serious.

“(On) weekdays of Lent, we strongly recommend participation in daily Mass and self-imposed observances of fasting. In light of grave human needs which weigh on the Christian conscience in all seasons, we urge particularly during Lent, generosity to local, national and world programs of sharing of all things needed to translate our duty to penance into a means of implementing the right of the poor to their part of our abundance.” (U.S. Bishops statement on penitential observances, 1966)