Adult Education & Faith Formation » Stay-at-Home Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic

Stay-at-Home Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic


Modern Spiritual Classics:  Books of Pope Francis

Concluding on May 17, 2022 at 7:30 pm, the Lifelong Learning and Adult Faith Formation Committee is presenting a series of monthly discussions over Zoom on recent books by Pope Francis.  The book for May 17 is Our Mother Earth: The Challenge of the Environment.

Registration is required. To participate, just send an email to 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.
Our Mother Earth: The Challenge of the Environment is available in paperback and electronic formats, which retail at various prices between $13 and $17 at The Book Table, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.  The book is not available at the Oak Park Public Library.    

The occasion of Earth Day on April 22 (which is a secular commemoration) invites us to contemplate the status of our environmental world, our common global home.  More deeply, Pope Francis sets forth a Christian vision of ecology in Our Mother Earth: The Challenge of the Environment.  Responding to our global ecological crisis, Pope Francis says, will require a global approach in which the whole human family in the search for a sustainable development unites to protect our common home.  
In an exclusive new essay that concludes Our Mother Earth, Pope Francis develops a theology of ecology in a profoundly spiritual discourse.  This final chapter offers thoughts on how a Christian vision of care for the earth goes well beyond a secular vision of ecology.  As Pope Francis writes, "This means that it is for humanity's capacity for communion to condition the state of creation. … It is therefore humanity's destiny to determine the destiny of the universe."
Pope Francis writes: "Now, a global crisis demands a global vision and a global approach, which first of all requires a spiritual rebirth in the noblest sense of the word. Climate change could paradoxically become an opportunity to ask fundamental questions about the mystery of creation and what it is worth living for. This could lead to a profound change of our cultural and economic models, toward growth in justice and sharing, the rediscovery of the value of each person, a pledge that those who are on the margins today can be included and those who will come tomorrow can still enjoy the beauty of our world, which is and will always be a gift offered to our freedom and responsibility."
The discussion over Zoom on May 17 will be led by Laura Kelley, a member of the Lifelong Learning and Adult Faith Formation Committee at Ascension.  


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