Junior High & High School teens

Calendar of Events


The Where...and the What...About our 2018 ASP Service Trip


We’re only a few weeks away from our departure date (July 21 at 9:00am) for this year’s ASP trip.  We wanted to say thank you again for all of your support thus far.  It helps defray the costs of the trip, but more importantly it lets us all know that the people of Ascension believe in what we are doing.

Some have asked where are we going and what we will be doing.  While we won’t know specifically what type of work we are doing until we get down to our work sites, we can report that we are going to ASP’s Centers in Guyan Valley, WV and Magoffin County in KY. 

Guyan Valley is in Brenton, WV and it is one of ASP’s permanent centers (they have 3).  This means the 77 people going here will have real beds and a guarantee of indoor showers (not all locations are so lucky).  Some statistics about the county:  Population is about 22,000, major employers are coal companies, Wyoming County Board of Education, other community/county resources and retail.  Per capita annual average income is $19,000 and 22% of the population lives below the poverty line.

The 91 people going to Magoffin County will be staying at a middle school in Salyersville, KY.  They will have indoor showers and air conditioning, but they will be sleeping on air mattresses in a gym.  Some statistics about the county: Population is about 13,000, major employers are Magoffin County Board of Education, Joy Mining-Continental Conveyor, Salyersville Health Care Center. Per capita annual average income is $15,838 and 30% of the population lives below the poverty line.

You can go to to learn more about all of their centers and their organization.  You can also follow each of the Counties on Facebook and see updates of the projects and families.  Guyan Valley is: Appalachia Service Project: Guyan Valley, West Virginia Center.  Magoffin is Appalachia Service Project: Magoffin County, Kentucky Center.

Thanks again for your support and prayers.

Want to support our teens? We'd love your participation!

  • Join a prayer group and say a decade of the Rosary to support our ASP participants! 

ASP participants are leaving for Appalachia on July 21 and returning on July 28. If you are interested in being part of a prayer group that will say a decade of the rosary each day of the service trip, please contact Matt to be included in this group. Matt will contact you if you participated in previous years to see if you are still interested in praying for the ASP participants.

  • Welcome back our ASP teens and adult chaperones on July 28 and assist with unlading and cleaning out the vans

We are looking for volunteers to welcome the ASP participants back and help them with unloading and cleaning out the vans. We especially invite Confirmation Candidates, incoming freshmen and their families. This is considered a service hour opportunity for Confirmation Candidates. Email Matt for information and to RSVP.


YM News for the Week of July 16, 2018


Life is so busy. We’re pulled in many different directions, yet we want our actions to matter. Join us for any of 5 events taking place throughout the Chicago area designed to make a difference in the lives of children. Or gather and drop off supplies for one of our collections: school supplies for children in Chicago’s near west side neighborhood or books for underserved children in the larger Chicago area. By giving a couple hours of your time you CAN make a difference in the life of a child. Click the link about for more details or contact us at, or @chicagojusticedays on Facebook or Instagram

  • Scroll down for information on the many camps available this summer for teens and youth

There are several opportunities for faith growth over the summer for youth (high school and younger) in the form of retreats and camps.  See below for a list. For example, Totus Tuus is a great opportunity for youth (1st grade through senior in high school) to engage in their faith in a fun way the last full week of July (July 22-27).  This is a Faith Booster for Confirmation Candidates.  Find more about this at  There are limited spaces available; registration is first come, first serve. Please contact Matt Goto with questions.

  • Youth Mass: Join teens around Oak Park and River Forest @ St. Luke’s Parish in River Forest for a monthly Youth Mass followed by dinner and Youth Group.


Go here for a more complete calendar of events

Contact Matt Goto to RSVP or get more info: 708-434-1555 or or


Summer Activities & Events



  • One Bread, One Cup

    • Brief Description: At the conferences, youth and adults discover the Church's treasures of Word, Sacrament and Mission and enjoy opportunities for fellowship and fun through team building, outdoor recreation, a variety show and a dance. Participants come to appreciate the Benedictine balance of prayer, work and recreation.

    • Age: High School

    • Cost: ~$550 plus transportation

    • Dates: 4 conferences - June 11-15 (M-F), June 21-25 (Th-M), July 6-10 (F-Tu), July 16-20 (M-F)

    • Location: Conference 1-3: St. Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana (Southern Indiana), Conference 4: Conception Abbey, MO

    • More information: or contact Matt Goto.


  • Totus Tuus

    • Brief Description: A local summer Bible Study camp for grade schoolers (1st-6th grade) during the day and an exciting youth group experience for 7th-12th graders in the evening.  This is a faith booster for Confirmation Candidates.

    • Age: 1st-12th grade

    • Cost: $60 per child / $40 for each additional child from the same immediate family

    • Dates: July 22-27 (Su-F)

      • For children entering Grades 1-6 this fall:  9:00 am to 2:30 pm Monday-Friday

      • For junior high/high school students:  7:00 to 9:00 pm Sunday-Thursday

    • Location: St. Luke Catholic Church River Forest, IL

    • More information:, see this pdf, or contact Matt Goto.

    • Additional Notes: The grade school portion fills up fast.  So if you are interested, please sign up promptly.


Youth Ministry Description

Ascension Youth Ministry consists of teens and adult volunteers and provides opportunities for service, faith formation and social activities. Its signature events – among many – are the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) and Youth Group meetings where we learn to bring our faith into our lives.

Ascension Youth Ministry’s (AYM) mission statement is: “a voyage of hope (from Confirmation forward) to anchor teens into a life-giving Eucharistic faith.”  Why? 

  • The world is full of many values and masks we all inevitably wear to survive. Teens need a place to go to be anchored into something solid (God) and to be accepted for where they are at in their lives while being encouraged to live out a faith in Christ.  Youth Ministry is a meant to help teens be real in their sharing and to find and live out their connection to God
  • Life is messy, unpredictable, exciting, exhausting, and yet exhilarating.  It is helpful for teens to have a place to go to share what is going on, to build new friendships with people who share similar morals and values, and to be known for something other than academics or sports
  • Sometimes a teen just has to get away from the stress of life and play some games and laugh, to allow their heart to share its pains and pray through them, and to know they aren’t alone in those deeper thoughts 
  • So teens can be accepted, mentored and cared for by people (young adults/adults other than one’s family) who want to find the best in in a teen and affirm and help them to grow in their unique giftedness
  • Ultimately, to know that rooting yourself in a Catholic community, with the richness of spirituality and strength that comes in its values, practice, mission, and beliefs, allows all of us to become better people.  Eucharistic living means we allow Jesus to feed us through the Eucharist in order to more fully care about each other and the needs of the world.  So that, we praise the good stuff and lift up the bad, and keep on walking with Jesus as our guide.  The friendship with Jesus, found individually and through others, is essential for making it through life (and to heaven too.)


How is all this done?  Through events offered monthly (or more!); Leadership opportunities (Peer ministry and ASP teen leaders); Retreats and lock-in’s; Social events; Service events & Mission trips; &  prayer opportunities.

For more information, please contact our Youth Ministry Coordinator, Matt Goto.


THANK YOU from St. Angela School

On Saturday, April 21 the Austin community of St. Angela School welcomed an amazing crew of Ascension adults and teens to help build a beautiful green space where once stood only abandoned buildings.  Thanks to the ASP leadership efforts of George Lyons and Paul Kraft, and a deeply embedded call to service that is the hallmark of Ascension Parish, this team helped us make great strides toward the transformation of our campus.

We prepared three large garden areas for planting; we built a retaining wall to prevent erosion; we moved four cubic yards of compost and twelve tons of cobblestone and probably another two of pebbles and sand; we constructed six Gabion benches and one thirty feet long Gabion wall.  We moved slabs of marble, slabs of flagstone and kept nine wheelbarrows in constant motion.

It was wonderful for me personally to work with old friends—and the children they have raised to help others.    I am proud to be part of a parish that rolls up its sleeves, and now to know that my connection to that parish was the impetus for their presence in a community that needs them so much.

On behalf of all of us at St. Angela – faculty, staff, boys and girls – thank you.  We are profoundly grateful for your friendship.

-Lynn Fredrick