Non-Parish Offsite Community Events

“Let’s Light up Oak Park!”

PRE-ORDER FORM – Pre-order your Luminaria Kit for “Light Up the Night” or Christmas Eve:

  • $10.00 Kit includes 6 candles, 6 bags, and sand.
  • New pick-up location this year – Pick up your kit for “Light Up the Night” in Oak Park or Christmas Eve from St. Edmund’s!
  • Address – St. Edmunds Church Garage – In between the parking lot and the church – 188 South Oak Park Avenue in Oak Park, IL 60304

2023 Luminaria Pre-Order Online Form


  • Friday, December 15 from 4 to 6 pm
  • Saturday, December 16 from 9 am to 1 pm
  • Sunday, December 17 from 9 am to 1 pm
  • Tuesday, December 19 from 5 to 7 pm

The Catholic Parishes of Oak Park have collaborated with Infant Welfare Society of Clarendon Hills. We purchase all our Luminaria Kits from them. When you purchase your Luminaria Kit you can feel good knowing it has helped The Infant Welfare Society of Clarendon Hills and Spirit and Light Religious Education.

Payment – We are not accepting pre-payment at this time. Payment can be made at pick up.  We are accepting cash or checks. Checks can be made out to Spirit and Light.

Caregiver Support Services Presentation

Are you currently taking care of a loved one who is a senior citizen or has a disability? Have you often felt overwhelmed, isolated, or “waiting for the next shoe to drop”? Do you know a friend, relative, neighbor, or client who is a struggling caregiver?

Oak Park Township Senior Services is offering a Zoom presentation on Caregiver Support Services. On Tuesday, December 12, 2023, at 10 am, there will be a presentation for the community on services available to family caregivers, including counseling and respite, as well as how to apply.

Those who have doubts about their role are especially encouraged to attend, as one of the purposes of the presentation is to explain who is considered a family caregiver. There will also be an opportunity for questions after the presentation.

For more information, please contact Devin Andrews, Caregiver Support Specialist, at 708-725-9116 or

Healing Prayer, Healing Song: An Ecumenical Service to Pray for Healing

Join us on Thursday evening, December 21, at 7:30 pm at Ascension Church for Healing Prayer, Healing Song – A new ecumenical prayer outreach. The service includes scripture, healings songs and prayers from various traditions, shared silence, and the opportunity for individual prayer, laying on of hands, and anointing.

A special “Healing Choir” provides musical support and songs of healing at the service. Additionally, an ecumenical and multi-cultural prayer team of pastors and other pastoral care ministers assist in this ecumenical outreach of prayers for healing, wholeness, and unity in our world.

As an ecumenical service, we recognize the unifying power of Christians from different traditions, ethnicities, and races to join as one, intentionally to pray for the healing of division and for a deepening of unity in our world. The service will be also livestreamed.

For more information, contact David Anderson at – Ascension Church is located at 808 S. East Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60304.


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: