SATURDAY: 5PM  -  AND  -  SUNDAY: 7:30AM, 9AM,  10:30AM, 12 NOON AND 6:30PM

This week, SEMINARIAN EDUCATION will be included in second collection,
immediately following Communion.Thank you for your generosity.

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  By Fr. Steve Kanonik 

As I write to you today I am now about two and a half months as pastor of St. Benedict.  This has been a wonderful time as I am getting to know people and discover the many strengths of this community.  One thing that I deeply appreciate and am very thankful for is the quality of the many volunteers that work to make this parish such a wonderful place.  I think of things like last weekend’s Bell Tower Open and the many long hard hours by the HSA that went into the Green Garage Sale. 
     Another important gift at St. Benedict is the quality of people who step up to leadership.  Back when I first became a priest it seemed that the way a pastor led a parish was different than now.  I am not saying it was easier or harder, just different.  But as I have moved forward in my priesthood and as a pastor, the world has changed (as it always does and for all people).  Because I knew I wanted to do a good job as a pastor: being good for the people of the parish and being able to answer to God one day for what I did as a priest and pastor, I looked carefully at what I was doing and how I was getting it done.
     The mission we have been given by Christ is clear.  It has not changed.  At the end of the Gospel of Matthew we hear Jesus say to the disciples and us:  “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”  This is WHY we do everything we do.  We are building the Kingdom of God here on earth.  
But HOW we do this through our parishes has changed.  This is the reason pastors count on leadership groups from the community to assist in setting and guiding the community in the vision and mission that Christ gave us.  There are three main leadership groups of parishioners that work with a pastor to guide a parish in its mission:

1) THE PASTORAL COUNCIL:  This very important group works with a pastor to oversee the working of the whole parish with all its ministries like Religious Education, or all the Liturgical Ministries, or our youth ministry, and outreach like the Domestic Violence, or Peace and Justice committees, just to name a very few.  This body of parishioners consists of members who have good skills in business, communication and other areas to assist the pastor in guiding the parish to build the Kingdom as God has commanded us.

2) THE FINANCE COUNCIL:  Finances have become more complex in our world.  To be responsible in how donations are handled and used for the Mission, we must be transparent and we must use all the wisdom of the financial world.  To oversee the financial operations of a parish a pastor needs women and men who have those skills to guide him in the proper processes for handling resources and to help set goals and vision for accomplishing the Mission with those resources.

1) THE SCHOOL BOARD:  The largest of our ministries is our Catholic school.  We are deeply responsible for the lives of many children who have been entrusted to our care and guidance, and for the families who have entrusted us.  It is important that every person is given the best opportunity we can give for them to develop their knowledge of God’s love and presence in their lives, and for them to develop themselves as fully rounded persons: intellectually, emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually.  There are a number of persons who have high quality business, communications, marketing, technological, and educational skills who are willing to give freely of their time and knowledge to make our school the top quality educational institution it is.  I know I speak for Rachel Gemo as well as myself when I say we consider this group to be our partners in the guiding and building up of this important ministry. 
     I cannot say thank you enough to all the people who are willing to use their gifts and give so freely of their time and energy to make St. Benedict such a special place.  You are truly amazing. Because the Pastoral Council is the group whose leadership helps to guide the whole parish community, next Sunday, October 1st at the 10:30 Mass this group will be commissioned.  We will offer prayer for their guidance.  In next week’s bulletin I will also be talking about the structure of the council a little more.  In the meanwhile I ask you to pray for the members of these three groups that God will guide them and bless them as they work with myself and the staff to accomplish the important mission that God gave us:  

“Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”  



Protecting God’s Children Training  Thursday, September 28th 

Are You Planning to Volunteer for St. Benedict Parish and School this year? Did you know you need to attend a Protecting God’s Children Training  in order to volunteer? Here’s how to sign up for the training hosted at  St. Benedict Parish and Preparatory School:

In the Ackerman Center 2217 W. Irving Park Road (Corner of Irving Park Road and Bell) Beaven Hall (lower level) Please enter on Irving Park Road.

This training is mandatory for all parish and school volunteers. Spaces fill up fast so register early. If you have already completed this training, there is no need
to do it again.

Attendees must RSVP for the training.
Please RSVP at Children are not allowed to attend.

Late arrivals will NOT be permitted entry to training so please give yourself a little extra time to get here safely. Please feel free to bring a snack or a beverage if needed.

If you have any questions or difficulty registering, please contact Christine Clardy at


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Join us for our first no-pressure, no-obligation rehearsal. Spend an hour making some music and enjoy some tacos afterward! The Tone Rangers is our parish teen music group, and is made up of young singers and instrumentalists in grades 6-12. The Tone Rangers meet weekly on Wednesday from 5:30pm to 7pm, and play for the Noon Mass once a month.

We have openings for the following:

  • Vocalists (solo and chorus)
  • Guitar
  • Keyboard
  • Percussion
  • Woodwinds
  • Brass

Instrumentalists should be able to play at an intermediate level or above (3 or 4 years playing minimum).Rehearsal takes place in church at 5:30pm, refreshments to follow!To sign up or request more info, go to:

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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!

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Spiritual Dream Group - Next Session: Monday, October 16th

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 third Monday of each month at 7 pm until 9 pm in the basement of the rectory in the small meeting room.Please contact Rachel at if you plan to attend.

Are you a crafter or a small business owner and thinking about Christmas?

Join us in December for a Christmas Craft Fair!
The St. Benedict Home and School Association is hosting a day of shopping and holiday cheer for the whole parish to mix, mingle and get a few items checked off of those holiday lists. We’re looking for crafters, parish groups or small business owners to participate in the event. It’s also a great opportunity for your group to fundraise by selling crafts or offering other holiday services (photo booths, gift wrapping, etc). The possibilities are endless!
Date: Sunday, December 10th (after Sunday Masses)
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Place: St. Benedict Gymnasium
Cost: $25 for an 8’ foot exhibit table
($50 after August 31)
For more information, email Vickie Thornley at


Since the two ‘in pew’ commitment weekends that we hosted for our Capital Campaign, pledges have still been coming into the rectory!  Thank you!  That puts us at $4,604,683 pledged toward our Capital Campaign total need of $6.2 Million dollars.  This is so unbelievably generous and will make a huge impact on our future.  Thank you for your generous support of the Campaign!  And thanks to all the volunteers who worked so hard on the campaign to make us such a huge success.  I am so grateful for your generous spirit that has drawn us together tightly as a parish community.  Everyone pitched in to make this campaign a success; old, young, long time parishioners, new parishioners, single parishioners, families, families with kids in our School, families with kids in our Religious Education, large amounts, small amounts, everyone pitched in!  Thank you!! 
    As successful as we have been, this pledged amount includes only 15% of our registered parishioners to date.  For sure a good number of parishioners have been through one, two, three, or four previous Capital Campaigns and might feel a little ‘campaigned out’.  This is certainly understandable.  But what about the hundreds of households who have never contributed to an extraordinary Capital Campaign like this?  Won’t you please consider a gift to this Campaign that secures our future so boldly?  Pledge cards are located at the St. Benedict Shrine near the Campaign banner.   Your gift will go a long way to make us secure for the future.  Please pray about your gift!  
    May God continue to bless you and those you love.  Please pray for me as I pray for you daily.  God bless, Fr. Jason

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Campaign Details

As many of you may know, last week we announced Forward in Our Faith, a capital campaign for our parish and preparatory school. This campaign will help us address the following needs:
1) Maintenance and upgrades to the church and campus facilities ($2,785,000):
        a. A new roof and complete tuck-pointing of the church
        b. New windows and tuck-pointing for the Leavitt-facing side of the school
        c. Resurfaced parking lot and upgrades to the playground
        d. Upgrades to the boiler room and tuck-pointing for the convent
2) A two-story addition to the elementary and secondary school ($2,750,000)
        a. Multigenerational and multipurpose campus learning center
        b. Three new classrooms
        c. Four preschool classrooms, to replace the secondary school library
3) Stewardship to our wider Church ($440,000)
        a. Our contribution to the Archdiocese’s To Teach Who Christ Is capital  campaign, for Catholic education and faith formation
        b. An educational endowment for our sharing parish, Our Lady of the Snows

To support these projects, we have set ourselves a minimum goal of $4,500,000  and a challenge goal of $6,200,000.

These projects will help us to accomplish a number of goals:
First, maintenance and upgrades to the church and other campus facilities will allow us to preserve our historic church and ensure that our facilities are safe and comfortable places for us to gather and grow together. 

Next, a two-story addition to the elementary and secondary school will allow us to begin implementing 21st century learning spaces, thus strengthening the quality of the innovative Catholic education we already offer our students, as well as affording us valuable extra space for our many gatherings and activities!

Finally, as a parish dedicated to Catholic education and to teaching others in the faith, we are proud to accept the call to stewardship and support Catholic education and faith formation throughout the Archdiocese through the To Teach Who Christ Is capital campaign, and to support Catholic education at Our Lady of the Snows.

Once again, many thanks to our Campaign Executive Committee and the members of our faith family who have already given so generously. We look forward to sharing more updates with you in the coming months!

Calling Interested Retirees in the Parish! Become a volunteer at our beloved parish school!

Did you know that the parish Catholic school welcomes retirees to volunteer in the school? We have several retired parishioners who help out on a regular basis in the school. Some activities include working with young students in early childhood classrooms, receptionist subs, tutoring, classroom assistants, library assistant and advancement secretarial work. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Ms. Rachel Gemo, Head of Parish School for more information. We think it is a great way for retirees to stay active and for our students to experience intergenerational learning. Call Ms. Gemo at 773-463-6797 ext 404 or email her at


Offering our Time, Talent and Treasure to our Parish
And to God who has blessed us abundantly!

Our first hour of our time goes to God every Sunday in the Mass and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist.

Please CLICK HERE to download the Ministry Volunteer Form and let us know what ministries to which you are interested in offering your time. Thank you!

New Procedures for Requesting Graphic Design Work or Communications Requests:

When Requesting E-blast Communications, Facebook Postings, Website Assistance, Graphic Design Work and the Like...

We are fortunate to have several talented people in our Mission Advancement Office who can help design and create communications and graphic design work for school needs. Maria Tubay, our Director of Communications for the Parish and School,  Joe Accardi, our Mission Advancement Officer, Janet Gallagher, our Director of Admissions Grades K-5 & Fund Our Future Appeal Coordinator, as well as Erik Petersen, our Director of Secondary Admissions.

Our goal is to use the time of each member of the Advancement Staff as wisely as possible. Smaller project requests can be done by most members of the Mission Advancement Staff, while Maria Tubay can take on much more sophisticated design projects (as well as do the weekly parish bulletin).

In order to help prioritize projects and use staff members in thoughtful, purposeful ways , ALL REQUESTS for communications or graphic design work, will be submitted by an electronic ticketing system. These requests will be funneled through either Fr. Jason for PARISH COMMISSION requests, or Joe Accardi for EDUCATION COMMISSION requests, who will then parcel out the assignments as needed depending on the Advancement Team’s work load.  If you have any questions about this, please contact Mr. Joe Accardi at Thank you so much!

Click here to submit PARISH COMMISSION project requests

Click here to submit EDUCATION COMMISSION project requests