Junior High & High School teens

Calendar of Events


YM News for the Week of May 20, 2018

  • ASP Car Washes are Back!

We are having the annual car wash fundraisers for ASP on Saturday June 2, 9, and 16 from 9 am-3 pm. If  you would like more information about the ASP trip or the car wash, please contact Paul Kraft at or Matt Goto.


  • Six Flags Great America Trip

    Do you like roller coasters?  Ascension Youth Ministry is going on Friday, June 8 for a full day of fun.  All youth, those entering 8th grade and up, are welcome.  Please see the Ascension Youth Ministry Google Calendar for permission slip and details.  RSVP by June 1.  Spaces are limited - first come, first served. We are still looking for additional chaperones.  If you are a Virtus trained adult and would like to go, please contact Matt asap.


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

There are a number of opportunities for faith growth over the summer for youth (high school and younger) in the form of retreats and camps.  There are some very good personal witnesses of the power of the ECHO camp during the second half of this week's Lifelong Journey Radio show.


Go here for a more complete calendar of events

Follow AYM on Facebook: Ascension Youth Ministry and Twitter: @ascension_op_ym.

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


Summer Activities & Events - More will be added later on.  Please check back!



  • Discovery Retreat

    • Brief Description: The Discovery Retreat is for teens, put on by teens! It’s a 24 hour overnight experience of exploring faith and friendship with God and other Catholic teens. It’s a chance to Discover who God created you to be and how to begin living out that dream.

    • Age: Must have completed Freshmen Year in High School.  This is generally intended for Outgoing Freshmen and Sophomores but is also appropriate for incoming Juniors and Seniors who have never gone on a retreat.

    • Cost: $30

    • Dates: June 15-16 (F-Sa)

    • Location: St. Cecilia Parish Mount Prospect, IL

    • More information: Contact Matt Goto

    • Additional Notes: Limited to only a few applicants.  Must be willing to commit to helping to bring (and lead) this retreat back to/at Ascension.  This is not appropriate for someone who has already gone on a high school retreat, such as Kairos.



  • 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