Adult Education & Faith Formation » Stay at Home Opportunities Over Zoom

Stay at Home Opportunities Over Zoom

A Saint’s Devotion to Mary 

The book that made a decisive turning point in the spiritual life of John Paul II, originally written in 1712 but lost until it was discovered 130 years later, and what is considered the greatest book on Marian spirituality ever written – St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary is the Spiritual Classics choice for discussion on December 6.  The Lifelong Learning and Adult Faith Formation Committee invites you to join the discussion over Zoom on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:30.  This discussion will be led by Joan Johnson, a member of Ascension/St. Edmund Parish.  
To participate, just send an email to [email protected] with the name of the book in the subject line. You’ll receive a return email before the discussion with a link for the Zoom meeting. Reading the book is not required in order to join the discussions – feel free to just come and learn more about St. Louis de Montfort and his inspiring devotion to Mary.

The book is available in hard copy and electronic formats for less than $10 at The Book Table, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.  It is widely available for free in pdf and electronic formats over the Internet, including at The Collected Writings of Montfort and the Internet Archive.  Both formats are also available at the Oak Park Public Library and through interlibrary loan. 

Montfort believed that the easiest and most perfect path to Jesus Christ lay in worship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. By praising, loving, and honoring Mary, one was truly loving and honoring God and Jesus Christ.  True Devotion to Mary is St. Louis de Montfort's classic statement on the spiritual way to Jesus Christ though the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Beloved by countless souls, this book sums up the entire Christian life, showing a way of holiness that is short, easy, secure, and perfect—a way of life chosen by Jesus.

The next book discussion will take place on February 7 at 7:30 pm over Zoom and will be on New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton. 
October 4
A Simple Path by Mother Teresa
led by Jeff Wood
November 8
Rediscovering the Saints by Matthew Kelly
led by Clare Kalemba
December 6
True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort
led by Joan Johnson
January – month off due to Christmas holidays
February 7
New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
led by Maryanne Rusinak
March 7
Hymn of the Universe by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
led by Rich Kordesh
April – month off due to Easter and Holy Week
May 2
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
led by Jeff Wood
June 6 
Loaves and Fishes by Dorothy Day
led by Marci Madary
Thursday Morning Bible Study Begins Exodus 
The exodus of the Hebrew people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, the story of Moses leading the Hebrews and communicating with God, the Passover, the parting of the Red Sea, the delivering of the Ten Commandments, the construction of the tabernacle, the covenant with God and the stubbornness of God’s people.....  So much happens in the Book of Exodus that is central to our understanding of the Bible and our celebration of the Mass!
The Thursday morning group meets online over Zoom each Thursday at 9:30 am. Discussions include the readings for the coming Sunday Mass, reading through the Book of Exodus, and prayer. If you are interested in joining the group, send an email to [email protected] with “Thursday Bible Study” in the subject line.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have read and discussed the following works: 
•    The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
•    Dark Night of the Soul by Saint John of the Cross
•    Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich
•    The Cloud of Unknowing
•    Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
•    The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux
•    The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander
•    The Way of the Pilgrim
•    On Loving God by St. Bernard of Clairvaux
•    The Rule of Benedict by St. Benedict
•    Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
•    Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
•    Advent Meditations by Alfred Depp
•    Let Us Dream by Pope Francis
•    The Name of God is Mercy by Pope Francis
•    Our Father by Pope Francis
•    Our Mother Earth: The Challenge of the Environment by Pope Francis


Video Recordings of The Foundations and Future of Ministry 2021


Here are video links for the recordings of three programs on The Foundations and Future of Ministry, provided by Father Bob Hutmacher and Vicky Tufano on April 22, 29, and May 6. 


The first session reviews scriptural foundations for service to God’s people and provides a broad understanding of ministry. The next two sessions address the future of ministry and offer new, revitalized ways to view service in ministry. As we begin a process of transformation through Renew My Church and think about new ways of being the Church, we consider the past, present, and future of ministry in service to God’s people. How can we best revitalize ministry today for the Church of tomorrow?


Father Bob Hutmacher, OFM, has been part of the Ascension community since 2012. He is a liturgist, composer, and guardian of the Franciscan community at St. Peter’s in the Loop.  Vicky Tufano previously served as pastoral associate and director of liturgy at Ascension.  She is a frequent writer and speaker on liturgy and Christian initiation. 





Thursday, April 22 – Scriptural Foundations of Church and Ministry

Thursday, April 29 – Ministry in our Post-Covid Church


Thursday, May 6 – Revitalizing Liturgical Ministries