Parish Highlights: St. Benedict Parish Online Weekly Newsletter

Benedictine Children's Chorus

Transformation, Collaboration, and a Bright Future

Jeremy Kiolbassa & Hannah Stapleton

This Sunday’s Gospel tells us the familiar story of Jesus’ Transfiguration. In Matthew’s account, Jesus transforms from his human form into a bright, shining figure, his clothes as white as light. Whether it be bread and wine in the Eucharist, the changing of the seasons, or simply making a positive change to better oneself, transformation is a necessary part of our lives. In order to grow, we must change. We cannot move forward by standing still, nor can we expect to succeed if we don’t adapt to the world around us. It is fitting that today’s Gospel speaks of change, as one of our parish choirs is about to undergo a transformation all it’s own. We are excited to announce the formation of a new group: The Benedictine Children’s Chorus. This choir will be made up of young musicians in grades 3-5, and will take the place of our parish children’s choir. Here is an overview of some of the changes that will define the future of this choir.

Our Mission

The Benedictine Children’s Chorus strives to develop and strengthen the vocal talent of our elementary students, to serve the church, and to glorify God in song. We aim to create a professional-level children's program that grants a high quality musical experience to our children.

Service Through Musical Excellence

The chorus will serve our community in numerous ways. We will provide music for Sunday Mass once a month, as well as weekly school Masses. We will participate in regional and nation children’s choir festivals, including the Pueri Cantores national federation for catholic children's choirs. We explore a wide range of repertoire from antiquity to the present day.

Rehearsal time change

One of the pieces of feedback that we have received consistently over that past few years is that the rehearsal time (Monday at 4pm) was inconvenient for a myriad of reasons. The children’s chorus will now meet before school at 7:15am every Monday. We will rehearse until 8:30am, then the children will be dismissed to their classes after Mass. We feel that this will better accommodate the schedules of our elementary school families while simultaneously eliminating conflicts with countless other after-school clubs and activities.

Collaboration Between School & Parish Staff

The children’s chorus will now be co-directed by Hannah Stapleton and Jeremy Kiolbassa. We have already been working closely over the past year, and this collaboration just makes sense on so many levels. It is our hope that our shared talent and musical knowledge will allow our children’s choir to grow, and that we can create a powerful educational experience for our children. It is our vision to make this ensemble something much more than a “typical” children’s choir. We want to get beyond just making the kids sing, and to start to form them into real musicians. We will achieve this by building on the music education they already receive in their classroom and continuing to develop their musicianship through literacy and repertoire. In other words, they won’t just learn to sing, they’ll learn to think like musicians.  

How Can My Child Participate?

There are 30 spots available during our pilot year. Choir members must be enrolled in grades 3-5 at St. Benedict Preparatory School. There is a one-time fee of $75 that will help cover the cost of sheet music, festival registration, and a t-shirt for the year. Registration will be done on a first-come-first serve basis. There is no formal audition, but all potential choristers should have a love for singing and a desire to learn. We will host a meet and greet on August 21st during our school open house.

We are so excited to embark on this next chapter in our musical life here at St. Benedict Parish & Preparatory School. All of the music faculty and staff have been working very hard over the past several years to create and excellent program and pave the way for this next step in our journey. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to move forward and grow together!

Take a Historical Tour of St. Benedict Church!

We will be giving tours of our beautiful Church on the first Saturday of each month at 9am, following the 8:30 morning Mass.

Retrouvaille - Next: August 25-27

The word Retrouvaille(re-tro-vi with a long i.) is a French word meaning rediscovery. This program helps couples heal and renew their marriages and offers tools needed to rediscover a loving marriage relationship. Do you feel lost, alone or bored in your marriage?  Are you frustrated, hurt or angry with your spouse?  Are you constantly fighting?  Have you thought about separation or divorce?  Does talking about it only make it worse? Thousands of couples headed for cold, unloving relationships have successfully overcome their marriage problems by attending the program. Some couples come during the initial signs of a marriage problem and others are in a state of despair. The Retrouvaille Program consists of a weekend experience combined with a series of 6 post-weekend sessions. The tools learned here will help put your marriage in order again. The main emphasis of the program is on communication between husband and wife and will give you the opportunity to rediscover each other as well as examine your lives together in a new, positive way.

August 25-27, October 20-22, December 1-3

Contact: Robin & Phil Kain, (773) 544-0498,

CLICK TO READ THIS ARTICLE: Hope for our future: How Retrouvaille helped our marriage by Phil and Robin Kain

Phil and Robin Kain reside in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago. They have 3 children and attend St. Benedict's Catholic Church. They are passionate about the Retrouvaille ministry and presenting weekends in the United States.

Spiritual Dream Group

In this group we learn to become like a container of sacred space as a group to provide a secure connection between the individual’s inner world and the outer world.  Spiritual dream work affirms that our (nocturnal) dreams offer us support in our spiritual journey.  This work helps us towards living a guided life from within with the support of others and helps us to recognize the symbolic language of the soul.

 All dreamers are welcome and there is no experience necessary.  I encourage anyone who has been interested in their dreams, but has not had the opportunity to share and explore them further to attend.  This ongoing group will meet on the first and third Mondays of each month at 7 pm until 9 pm in the rectory’s “Pine room”. 

Free will offering to St. Benedict Church: $5

Please contact Rachel Winborn at if you plan to attend.

Facilitator’s bio: Rachel Winborn has been working with dreams for 10 years.  She is an artist and holds an MA and MFA in Fine Art.  She is part-time faculty at Loyola University Chicago. Rachel is a certified Spiritual Director through the Haden Institute and Mt. Carmel Spiritual Centre in Ontario. 

Spiritual Direction Ministry

Spiritual Direction is an ancient tradition. Its main purpose is to allow individuals to deepen with God by journeying alongside a soul friend.  These one to one monthly meetings gives the directee a sacred time to explore their personal relationship to God by discussing how they experience or don’t experience the movements of Holy Spirit in their daily lives. The spiritual dimension can be mysterious and tough to navigate at times, so in this practice one’s discernment and reflections are closely listened to. The Spiritual Director is trained and experienced in sacred conversation and are able to hold the space in prayer for God’s grace. Spiritual Direction does not tell you how to act or pray in a particular way, nor is it psychological counseling or psychotherapy. 

Personal Sessions: If you are interested in exploring one-to-one spiritual direction, contact Ellen Roberts at or by phone, 773-588-6484 to schedule a preliminary meeting with a spiritual director. During the meeting, you will learn more about spiritual direction and financial contributions. (Financial contributions generally range between $35 to $65 per session depending on individual financial resources.)

Meet the Directors:

Rachel Winborn is an artist and holds an MA and MFA in Fine Art from the University of Iowa.  She is part-time faculty at Loyola University Chicago. She is a certified Spiritual Director through the Haden Institute and Mt. Carmel Spiritual Centre in Ontario.  She has been working dreams for 10 years and is the Spiritual Dream Group facilitator at St. Ben’s. Rachel’s gifts reside in teasing out the unique voice authentically found within the Self. She and her husband are parishioners at St. Ben’s and their children attend St. Benedict Preparatory School. 

 Elaine Lindia is the Pastoral Associate here at our parish. Elaine holds a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Spirituality from Loyola University Chicago.  Her spirituality degree includes a specialty concentration in the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. Elaine serves as one of the Spiritual Directors for the Spiritual Exercises of Everyday Life (SEEL) retreat offered by Loyola University.  Elaine is honored to walk with others that wish to explore the Spiritual Exercises that will enable them to witness the many ways God is at work in their lives.  Feel free to contact her directly if you are interested in exploring the Exercises at (773) 509-3806 or

Laura Field is a lay leader of Old St. Patrick’s Church’s acclaimed Beloved Retreat since 2002.  She earned a Master’s in Spirituality at Loyola University in Chicago in 2011.Laura transitioned a career in corporate communications with Fortune 500 and smaller companies into a thriving self-owned PR firm. Laura understands the deep longing for wholeness that informs the life of singles. Laura earned a BA in Journalism and Economics from Indiana University in 1984.


Centering Prayer: Growing Closer to God through Silence

Are you looking for a prayer form to enrich your relationship to God?  Centering Prayer is one way to move from prayer with words to prayer in silence.  It is where God transforms you from the inside out as you sit once or, where possible, twice a day for 20-30 min and open to God presence and action within.  All without having to come to any meetings or paying a fee.

This online community begins every four months, on January 1, May 1 and September 1, with the teaching of the Centering Prayer Introductory Program with opportunity for questions each day.  The program is followed by the reading and discussion of Fr. Thomas Keating OCSO’s Centering Prayer primer, Open Mind, Open Heart, 2006 edition.  This book explains in detail the conceptual background of Centering Prayer in the Christian contemplative heritage. Daily guidance, direction and support in establishing this prayer as a twice daily practice is provided.  Admission can take place at any time during the year.  To request a free subscription to the Centering Prayer One list write to:centeringprayerone-subscribe@yahoogroups.comor visit Centering Prayer One Online

 This online community is posted/monitored by parishioner, Margie Tomlinson.  If you have further questions she can be reached at  When signing up please say you are from St Ben's.     

St. Benedict Parish Library 

The St Benedict Self-serve Library is opened every Sunday.  The way it works: you get books, read them and return them after.

Ushers Needed

With the new Mass schedule beginning on August 9, the Ushers of St. Benedict could use your help!  While we could use help at all the Masses, at the moment we don't have any ushers for the 10:30 Mass.  If you feel the calling to become a part of this ministry, you would be most welcome and appreciated.  Please call Joe Daprile at 773-472-7050 to volunteer for this important ministry.