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

In this Issue:

  • 4/22/18 Sunday Sharing
  • Ministry Events: Youth Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, Over 50 Club
  • Private Schools Tax Credit Scholarships
  • May 4 Youth Leadership Awards
  • July 23-27  Vacation Bible School "Shipwrecked" Information and Confirmation service hours applied
  • July 9-13 Notre Dame Vision
  • October 8-16: 9-day Choir Pilgrimage to Ireland!


By Rachel Waldron, Head of Early Childhood

          Each spring the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) sponsors the annual Week of the Young Child.  Started in 1971, this week is used as an opportunity to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.  Early childhood, being the time from birth through age 8, is one of the most critical times, developmentally, for children.  During this time frame, neural pathways are formed and connections in the brain are made; a nurturing and appropriately stimulating environment can positively impact a child’s development.  The importance of quality early childhood education is key during this time in a child’s life.  At St. Benedict Prep we are blessed with a large group of young children.  Our Early Childhood program focuses on many key skills children need to be successful both inside and outside of school.       
     While our preschoolers learn many important pre-reading and pre-math skills that begin to build a solid foundation for kindergarten and beyond, our teachers also focus on hands-on experiences and the social-emotional needs of young children.  Helping them learn how to play cooperatively, to be a good friend, to share and to participate in group experiences.  Our kindergartners learn how to read, to add and subtract, to make complex patterns and other important academic concepts.  They also have many opportunities where they continue to build on the importance of being a good friend, working cooperatively in a small and large group and discovering their many gifts and talents.
     This coming week we will be taking time to celebrate our nine Preschool classes and three Kindergarten classes with special activities planned both during the school day and after school using the NAEYC theme of We All Fit Together.  Each day has a special theme and activity to correspond.  We kick off the week with Music Monday, each class will have dance breaks throughout the day that will allow the students to get up and dance and shake all their wiggles out!  On Tasty Tuesday the kids will make a delicious yogurt snack with their classmates.  After school Ms. Hyland, our early childhood PE teacher will be hosting an open gym.  For Work Together Wednesday each child will decorate a puzzle piece that will be one piece of a giant St. Ben’s Early Childhood puzzle.  After school, Ms. McDonough, our early childhood Spanish teacher will be hosting a fiesta for students and their parents.  Artsy Thursday will give the kids a chance to show their artistic skills, as they each paint a stone that will be a part of our new sensory garden.  After school Mrs. Johnson, our early childhood Music teacher will have a fun music class for students and their parents.


     We will conclude the week with Family Friday.  As a Catholic school celebrating our youngest learners, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our kids and involve our families than inviting them to Mass.  The Kindergarteners will be attending the parish Mass at 8:30 and their parents, family and friends are invited to join.  At 9:30, we will have our very first all Preschool Mass!  All preschoolers and their families will be attending a Mass for our youngest students.  While our Preschoolers and Kindergarteners attended the Friday morning Mass, we have never had all of our preschoolers, all 172 of them, attend the same Mass.  We would also love to have any parishioners with young children to join us at this Mass, as well.  Parents and caregivers of young children are invited to join us on Friday morning at 9:30.
     Quality early childhood education is about more than just having a good program. It also needs a faculty and staff that are in tune with the needs of young children and a community that is supportive of all that we do.  Our Early Childhood teaching staff is a very talented group of teachers and we are so blessed to have them at St. Ben’s.  We are also so thankful that we have the support of the St. Benedict community.  We are all looking forward to a fun and enjoyable week celebrating our youngest learners!



Summer is quickly approaching an
that means
BenFest will be here before you know it! 

Do you want to get all of your BenFest purchases out of the way before school ends and you forget?! Make all of your BenFest purchases online using our advance purchasing option! Purchase your BenFest Friend (BFF) sponsorship, beer tasting tickets, BenFest Buddy tickets and weekend activity wristbands all before you get to the gates!  New this year get your game truck punch card!  5 30 minute sessions for $45!  Click here for advance purchasing! 

Thank you to our BFFs!

Become a BFF by May 1st and get 2 free beer tasting tickets!

Visit for a complete list of exciting things going on at BenFest 2018!

Stage Friends
James and Jeanette Murphy
The Stern Family

Courtyard Friends
The Buchar Family
The Knuckey Family
Christian and Melanie Schlachter
The Stark Family

Gate Friends
The Straley Family

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Late Nite Catechism Coming to St. Benedict Gymnasium
This Saturday, April 21st at 7:30PM

Join us for an evening of laughs as Sister is back in the classroom;
Tickets include Open Bar and Hors d'oeuvres.  
$40 Adults    $30 Seniors
Doors open at 7 pm. Purchase your tickets at the rectory or school offices or online at and click after parties.


Take It Downstairs on April 22nd!

Join us on April 22nd, 2018 in the church basement after the morning masses and noon mass for fellowship, coffee and refreshments. Hosted by the Hospitality Ministry.

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it - Hebrews 13:2


Join us for DONUT SUNDAY, May 6th!

Donut Sunday will take place after the 7:30am, 9am, 10:30am and 12 noon Masses on Sunday, May 6th. Come and enjoy or buy them by the dozen to take home!

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 Rita Kattner (left), with cardinal Cupich Photo taken at the 65th Anniversary Celebration of St. Benedict High School

Rita Kattner (left), with cardinal Cupich Photo taken at the 65th Anniversary Celebration of St. Benedict High School

St. Benedict Ladies Society
Rita Kattner is this Years Woman of the Year!

ACCW-Vicariate II Luncheon Saturday, May 12th

We are honored to announce the outstanding woman nominated as this year’s St. Benedict Woman of the Year is Rita Kattner.  Rita will be honored at the ACCW-Vicariate II Luncheon on Saturday May 12th. (More details will be shared in future Steward articles.)  Please mark your calendar for the next Ladies Society meeting which will be held on Wednesday, April 4th at 9:30 am in Beaven Hall.  Come and learn how to make the Cookie Baskets out of recycled Christmas cards that we use for our December project each year.  Treats for the meeting will be provided by Joanne Finger, Glorieta Gaston and Lucy Consing. 

Coming this summer Vacation Bible School Shipwrecked:
Rescued by Jesus

July 15th through the 19th from 6:30 until 8:30 for 6th graders through High School, we will engage in conversations about faith as well as train volunteers to assist with the younger children the following week.

July 23rd through 27th from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm for Kindergarten up to 5th grade.

Register your children for Shipwrecked VBS today by going to:

Youth Ministry is Seeking Youth Leaders for Vacation Bible School this Summer. Can You Help with SHIPWRECKED? July 23-27.

All 6th through High School aged people are invited.
We will meet from 6:30pm-8:30pm each day during the July 15-19 week and prepare for the Young Kids who will attend VBS the next week.

Then, July 23-27 during the day, you will be helping the adults lead small groups of kids through the program.  The daily program would run from 8:30-2:30.  This time commitment would be applicable to the Confirmation Service Hour Commitment (40 hours total for the two weeks)

Sign up here if you are interested or if you’d like more information:


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JULY 9-13  A group of High School students will be traveling from St Benedict Parish to the University of Notre Dame to participate in the Summer program VISION. ALL high school aged young people who are interested in attending are welcome. See Ms. McMillan for details. Our group will be traveling to the University July 9-13. The cost of attending is the $100.00 deposit and some earnest hours of fundraising. Please do not let the cost keep any person who is interested, from attending.

The sign up for Vision is included in our Summer Service Opportunities. I will follow up to answer questions and share details for all those who sign up, on the sign up genius.

What You Need to Know About the “Invest in Kids” Tax Credit Scholarships

Through the “Invest in Kids Act,” Illinois children from low-income households who want to attend private schools will have access to new scholarships. The scholarships offered through this program could cover up to 100 percent of tuition and eligible fees for next school year*. Below is more information about how to apply and details on eligibility requirements.  
Tax credit scholarships: Students from low-income households in grades K-12 have the opportunity to receive tax credit scholarships for the 2018/19 school year. These scholarships are funded by donors who receive a credit on their Illinois state income tax as a result of their donation.
Application process: You will need to apply for tax credit scholarships through a scholarship granting organization (SGO), which will manage this process, instead of the Archdiocese or your school directly. There are several SGOs in Illinois. The Archdiocese of Chicago is working with two SGOs: Empower Illinois and Big Shoulders Fund. The application process with Empower Illinois will be completed online at The application process will open January 24, 2018. The application process with Big Shoulders Fund will be completed online at The application process will open January 22, 2018. 
What you need to apply: Based on what we know today, families will need the following documents in order to apply for a tax credit scholarship:

  • Copy of 2016 federal tax return or 1099, W-2 or year-end pay stubs
  • Proof of Illinois residency (driver's license, state ID or utility bill)
  • Documentation of student age (birth certificate, federal/state ID or passport)
  • If available, a letter of acceptance or enrollment at an eligible, participating, non-pubic school

Note: There may be changes to this list as the application process is finalized by the SGOs. We will provide updates as they are available.
Help applying: You will be able to get help applying for the scholarship in-person at a variety of events in your community in the coming months. The Archdiocese will share the dates and locations of these events as these details are finalized. For families whose first language is not English, we will have in-person resources available to help you through the application process.
Application deadline: The deadline for submitting applications is still being determined. Scholarships will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, so it is very important that when the application process begins, you apply early.
How to qualify: Eligibility to receive a scholarship is based on your family’s household income. For example, a student could receive a scholarship if his/her family income is less than $73,800 a year for a family of four. See chart below for more information on eligibility for tax credit scholarships.  
Scholarship amount: Your family could receive a scholarship that covers up to 100 percent of tuition and eligible fees for next school year. 
See the chart below that shows how much you could receive to cover tuition based on your income for a family of four.

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To learn more, please visit or contact the Archdiocese at or 312.534.5321. 
 *Scholarships may NOT exceed $12,973, the 2018/19 statewide average public school cost for K-12 students. 

Second Act Ministry - Just what is the Second Act Ministry and what is it all about?

Mission Statement:  To promote stewardship and fellowship within the parish and community. Under the Parish Life Commission umbrella, activities will include events and service projects.

Background: It has been theorized that life can be divided into three acts, like a theatrical production.  The First Act is our introduction to life.  We absorb the facts of our society with its trials and tribulations, learning how to make our way in this world.  The Third Act is a time of introspection and reconciliation.  Like a play, it is the denouement of our personal story.  We reflect and make judgments on the use of our time on earth.

While the First and Third Acts are the Alpha and Omega of our lives, it is the Second Act that stands out.  This act showcases the best qualities of our human spirit that have developed with age.  Thus, the impetus behind the formation of the Second Act Ministry at St. Benedict.  We share our time, talents and treasures with those we know and those who are in need.  We put into practice all our learned knowledge, experience and expertise. We demonstrate the execution of the mandate left by Our Lord to take care of one another as He would – to do His work until He returns.  This is manifested in our special gatherings and our outreach activities.

If you have any questions, please contact Dradyne Robyne Eudeikis at

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Spiritual Dream Group - Next Session: Monday, May 21st

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.


Pope Francis has often called the church to “go, do not be afraid, and serve.” Are you looking for a unique way to do just that?

Join the Mercy Home for Boys & Girls' Heroes team for the Oct. 7, 2018, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and transform the life of an abused child in Chicago.

Mercy Home has been a solution for kids in crisis since 1887. By joining our Heroes team, you will make it possible for us to provide a safe home, emotional healing, and academic opportunities for children who have suffered abuse, neglect, poverty, and abandonment. Running a marathon as a Hero will be life-changing for the countless children you will help, and for you as well.

Hebrews 12:1 calls us to "run with endurance the race that is set before us." Is this your race? Join us as a Mercy Home Hero, where we believe "No distance is too far to save a child." Don’t let fear stop you.

Go to to sign up, or contact Jim Harding at or 312-738-9381 with any questions.


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