Welcome Our New Youth Minister

We are happy to announce that we have hired a new youth minister, Cooky Perez-Eraci. Cooky will be leading the youth ministry program for both unified parishes in Oak Park and will be on the Spirit and Light Team. She has vast experience and abundant energy. In all three of her interviews, adults and teens from both parishes affirmed who she is and the vision she has for youth ministry in Oak Park.

Cooky’s passion is working with those who connect the Gospel message with their work. Her love of her work began with summer camps and teaching, where she was called to a youth ministry vocation; she has over 30 years of experience working in youth ministry. Cooky lives by the motto of “Todo es posible con Dios” (everything is possible with God) and holds degrees, certifications, and training in extensive youth ministry training, theology, education, lay ministry, sports and recreation, and cultural diversity at institutions and programs. Cooky’s greatest gift is being a wife and mother. “I am so excited and look forward to being part of the Oak Park Community.”

Cooky will be working full-time, beginning on Monday, October 30. Please welcome her warmly.

St. Catherine – St. Lucy and St. Giles Youth Ministry

St. Giles Parish offers many ways for teens and adults to become involved in our parish and build community with one another. Via the two programs below, check out how you can be a part of our ministry:

CHAOS Teen Group – is a high school ministry program that focuses on forming supportive relationships by community building activities grounded in our Catholic faith. Our goal is to empower our teens to develop their own Catholic identity and develop the skills to be leaders in the St. Giles parish community and for their future communities as young adults. CHAOS meets weekly for a teen night on Thursdays at 7:30pm, in the Alley (the youth room on the back side of the pastoral center). Each gathering involves faith, fellowship, and fun. All high school teens (incoming 9th-outgoing 12th grade) are welcome to join us for our weekly gatherings and any of our special/seasonal events.

Appalachian Service Project (ASP) – is a high school ministry program with the goal of empowering high school students to grow in faith and fellowship as they work together to serve the people in Appalachia and bring the richness of their experience back to share with our parish community. This is a week-long mission trip during the summer with a formation and fundraising program throughout the year, prior to the trip. Sign-ups and required meetings begin in the fall of each year.

Adult Support for Youth Ministry Research into the lives of young people consistently shows that connecting young people to even just one additional trusted adult can reduce their feelings of loneliness, isolation, and stress. Beyond that, if a young person is accompanied by 5+ trusted adults, it significantly reduces those negative feelings and increases levels of happiness, development of good habits, and retention of positive life skills. There are many ways to support the young people in your community and we can help you find the best way for you to do so. These can include contributions of time, resources, and finances. Please contact our Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry to discuss how you can offer your support so that we can have an intentional conversation about your own desires and the needs of the community.

Please see the links to the right for more complete descriptions of these programs and the ways to get involved!