Around Town

Programs, Events & Volunteer Opportunities in & around Oak Park
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Retreats, Spiritual Enrichment and Prayer Opportunities

Events to Support Local Organizations & Charities

Volunteer Opportunities to Support Local Organizations & Charities

Programs on Social Justice and Social Concerns

Resources for Families,  e.g. Camps in the area

Follow this link to find information available from the Archdiocese of Chicago


♦ Retreats, Spiritual Enrichment and Prayer Opportunities


Kevin Matthews Presents: Broken Mary hosted by St. Colette Parish

October 21st, 2018 at St. Colette Parish in Rolling Meadows as renowned author Kevin Matthews Presents: Broken Mary. The presentation will be followed by mass at 5:30 PM.


First Corinthians. The Church and the Christian Community

Eleven-part bible study featuring Time Gray. Starts Thursday, October 4 at 7 pm in Kyle Hall, St. Vincent Ferrer church. Meets every Thursday until December 13.


A Journey of Faith. St. Giles Fall 2018 Spiritual Enrichment Program

Please join us this fall for gatherings of Prayer, Fellowship and Spiritual Enrichment. October 2 and 30, November 13, December 4, and December 11. All sessions will be at 7:00 p.m. Click on the title above for details.


Autumn Spirituality Series for Women - Mondays in October and November

Shelby Boblick will facilitate the discussion, and we’ll use as a catalyst Trouble Don’t Last Always: Soul Prayers, a book by Diana L. Hayes. “I believe I have learned, because of my own struggles, how to see, hear, and feel the struggles of others, voiced and invoiced.  This has led me to explore theology and the role of Christian Churches in the U.S. in a new and challenging way—from the bottom up.  I know what it is like to be poor, to be discriminated against because of my poverty, my race, my gender, and my disabilities.  These many years of struggle and pain, which continue to this day, have forged me in the fiery furnace of God’s love.”  (p. 6)   

Diana L. Hayes will be the keynote speaker on “Difference is not dangerous; difference is Divine” at St. Catherine of Siena-St. Lucy Church on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 pm.  It will be a special evening…not to be missed…open to all men and women…which will also feature some of our local community’s black female spiritual leaders.


The Well Spirituality Center Upcoming Retreats 

Beginning Again: A Taste of Julia Cameron’s “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again”
Wednesdays Oct 10, 17, 24   7-9 PM

Are you ready to begin your “second act?” Discover creativity and meaning at midlife and beyond. Facilitator Carol Hohle will help us engage with Morning Pages, Artists’ Dates, and other creative exercises. Cost: $75 or $25 per session.

Finding Jesus Among Muslims: Book Discussion with Dr. Mary Jo Curtsinger, CSJ, D.Min.
Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 PM, October 11 & 18, November 1 & 15
Want to explore the Catholic Church’s understanding of Muslims and interfaith dialogue?  Come join the presentations of Dr. Mary Jo Curtsinger, CSJ, D.Min., and group discussion of a great little book Finding Jesus Among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me A Better Catholic by Jordan Denari Duffner. You may attend any or all of the sessions.   Cost:  Optional free will offering, and buying the book, on your own through Amazon, or pickup through Sr. Mary Jo ($19 includes shipping/tax).

Sara Thomsen: Concert and Sacred Universe Award
Saturday, October 20  7PM

In the tradition of singer-songwriter-activists Joan Baez, Holly Near, and Peter Paul and Mary, Sara Thomsen's songs carry you inward and outward - in, to the movements deep within your soul, and out, into the humanity we all share. Join us for a concert that is sure to inspire you and also to thank Sara for her gift of music and depth of feeling for all Creation. Cost: $20

1515 Ogden Avenue, LaGrange Park, IL. To register: online at, or call 708-482-5048


Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House

October 14 from 8 am - 6:30 pm. Veterans Retreat: Coming Home. For Veterans & Adult Family Members of Military Veterans, Active Duty or

Go to the website via the link above to register and for a more comprehensive list of all upcoming retreats.


Edwina Gately to speak at Still Point Theatre's 25th Anniversary celebration 

Sunday, October 21 from 3:00-6:00 pm, at Ravenswood Presbyterian Church, 4300 N. Hermitage, Chicago IL 60613. Tickets:

Archbishop Oscar Romero – A Saint for Today 

Tuesday, October 30 at 7 pm at St. Giles Parish McDonough Hall, 1101 Columbian Avenue in Oak Park, IL


St. Vincent Ferrer Men's Retreat with Fr. David Meconi. January 25-27, 2019
Joyful Again! Program For Widowed Men and Women

A spiritual program for widowed men and women who want to resolve the normal grief they feel and begin to live again. Workshops and retreats throughout the year., (708) 354-7211, Upcoming Program dates and locations: Nov 10 & ll  -  Nazareth Retreat Hse., Batavia. Nov 17 & 18 -  Our Lady of the Angels Retreat Hse., Lemont


Sisters of Providence to host Come and See Retreat

What are you looking for? Come and see if God might be calling you to a life full of joy as a Sister of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. The retreat will take place on Oct. 26-28 at the spirit-filled Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. Spend time with sisters in prayer, ask our younger sisters questions you may have and get to know our foundress, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, while exploring where God may be calling you. The retreat is free and is for single, Catholic women ages 18-42. Learn more and register at link above.



Racial Identity Organization, Inc. is designed to empower individuals, families, and groups across the racial identity spectrum to undo racism and build a more equitable and inclusive future by 2050. The program begins in the evening on Friday, November 2nd, at 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., and continues Saturday, November 3rd, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Fee: $59 per person until, October 15th, then $69 and $90 at the door.


Catholic Theological Union Fall Lecture Series

Lectures offered on Wednesdays at 7 pm from September 5-December 5, 2018. 


♦ Events to Support Local Organizations & Charities 


Rush Oak Park Hospital Classes and Events

Rush Oak Park Hospital offers a wide range of classes and events throughout the year — in your local community — to help you live a healthier, happier and more informed life.
ALL PROGRAMS ARE FREE, but registration is required. Call (708) 660-4636 or visit to register. Programs are held in the Rush Medical Office Building, 610 S. Maple Avenue, second floor, suite 2000, unless otherwise indicated.


♦ Volunteer Opportunities to Support Local Organizations & Charities 

Irving Elementary WORM Club Looking for Volunteers

At Irving Elementary School (1125 South Cuyler) we have a reading program for grades 1-3 called WORM Club (Working On Reading In The Morning). The program is held at Irving School in the library before school from 7:30 to 8:00 am on Mondays through Thursdays. Worm Club is for struggling readers where volunteers read with primary aged students working on their oral reading fluency and comprehension. Several of our volunteers are Ascension parishioners. You can volunteer as many days as you want and come when it best fits your schedule. The program starts in mid October and ends in late April. Please contact me via email if you are interested or if you have any questions. Nick Sakellaris (Ascension Parishioner) at


Cluster Tutoring needs you!

Help students from Chicago's Austin community realize their potential through one-to-one learning. Work with a student in grades K-12 for 90 minutes weekly on reading, homework, and other enrichment activities. We have a reading specialist, a computer room, math coaches, and a fully stocked library. Tutoring is 6:30-8 p.m.on Tuesdays at Pine Avenue Church, 5460 E. Augusta in Chicago, or on Thursdays at First United Church of Oak Park, 848 Lake St., and runs from September to mid-May. For more information, contact Executive Director Kara Kalnitz at 773-378-5530 or at, or check out


Little City Foster Care and Adoption Program

As is part of our mission, Little City is constantly searching for welcoming homes and loving parents regardless of age, race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, income or education level. Details on our information sessions. Frequently asked questions.

Hines VA Chaplain needs Volunteer Help

The VA Chaplain needs a few volunteer ministers to assist veterans at their 11 am Sunday Mass services in Extended Care Center/Hospice at Hines VA, Maywood.  

If you are interested in volunteering to help the VA Catholic Chaplain, call and leave a message or email John Nally, 708-802-4847 or, for more information.


Check out our Volunteer page for volunteer opportunities at Ascension.


Area-Wide Programs on Social Justice & Social Concerns

Many opportunities available.  Go to our Peace & Justice webpage for current programs.


♦ Resources for Families

For a list of teen programs in and around Chicago, visit our Youth Ministry webpage