Assumption Catholic Church
323 West Illinois Street - Chicago IL 60654
(ph) 312-644-0036  (fax) 312-644-1838    Map & Directions
Assumption Spotlights > Assumption Spotlights - February 2016



Assumption Spotlights - February 2016



By Elizabeth Kabacinski


Andrea Cohen has been a member of Assumption Church since 2010. She normally attends the 9 am Mass, unless it is the third Sunday of the month -- then she can be found at the 5 pm Mass on Sunday evenings with the Assumption Young Adults and is one of the key coordinators for the group. Andrea is a Senior Internal Auditor at DePaul University and was a DePaul graduate with a 3.87 GPA Magna Cum Laude and earned an MBA in Business Strategy/Decision Making and Sustainability Management at DePaul's  Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.  She spends her work days performing risk assessments and process reviews for various departments.

Andrea says that she loves the down-to-earth homilies and tight-knit community that she has found here at Assumption. I greatly appreciate the homilies’ emphasis on lessons that align with the church’s true pillars – love, humility and solidarity.  Hopefully, her new academic credentials keep her here in Chicago for a long time.

Here are 5 fun facts about Andrea, according to Andrea:

·         I am a ‘cashew’ – my dad is Jewish and my mom is Catholic.  My parents somehow decided that if they had sons they’d be Jewish, daughters Catholic.  Well, four daughters and loads of Catholic sacraments later, here we are.  My mom claims she never prayed so hard.

·         While I grew up playing sports year-round (soccer, softball, basketball, tennis, swimming, etc.), have spent my entire life in the wintery world of Chicagoland and am typically very athletic/capable, I cannot ice skate for the life of me.  I apparently require traction to be coordinated.

·         I love traveling and am lucky enough to have been to Europe 5 times.  I always have a list of next trips (Glacier Park is on deck!).  I studied German and love practicing it when I’m abroad to feel less obviously touristy.

·         I am from Indiana, which apparently makes me exude approachability.  A stranger asks me for directions at least once a month – sometimes they will pick me out of a crowd of dozens of Chicagoans or stop their car while I’m walking along the sidewalk/waiting at a streetlight to ask me in particular.  Very strange, but I guess it comes with the territory of looking friendly and like I know where I’m going. And, yes, being from Indiana also means I love Bobby Knight and playing euchre.

·        I play in a handbell choir at a Methodist church downtown.  My public middle and high schools actually had handbells as a class and I’ve been ringing since I was 12.  It’s one of my favorite extra-curriculars (hint hint, I wish Assumption had one).



Got a great idea of someone to Spotlight?  Please send an email to




A A special thank you to all who attended the inaugural Assumption Book Group meeting on February 3rd. Your part icipation in the discussion helped make the meeting a success! The next book group meeting will be held on May 4th from 6:30 - 8:00 PM in the Parish Hall. The book being discussed is The Name of God is Mercy by Pope Francis. The book can be purchased from Pauline Books & Media on Michigan Ave, Barnes & Noble, and  Amazon. Any questions, please feel free to contact Michelle VanAlstyne 248-496-0384 or All are welcome to attend!



The Social Justice Committee 

What We’re Up To and What You Can Do

By Morris Reeves


Practicing our Catholic values is not always simple and easy but that is part of the Christian challenge.  The Assumption Pastoral Council has created a Social Justice Committee tasked with the mission of putting Catholic values into action with a concrete project.   The Social Justice Committee seeks to give meaning to the seven basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching: (1) Life and Dignity of the Human Person; (2) Call to Family, Community, and Participation; (3) Rights and Responsibilities; (4) Options for the Poor and Vulnerable; (5) Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers; (6) Solidarity; and (7) Care for Creation. In essence, we seek to promote the common good through programs of education and action that nurtures a society based on our Catholic values.


Our program for 2016 takes direction and inspiration from Pope Francis’s call for a Jubilee Year of Mercy. As he has said: “True mercy, the mercy God gives to us and teaches us, demands justice.” We honor and respect the wonderful contributions of charity to improving the lives of the poor and vulnerable in our community, but the Social Justice Committee looks to go beyond. In the words again of Pope Francis: “Charity that leaves the poor person as he is, is not sufficient. . . . [Mercy] demands that the poor find the way to be poor no longer. It asks [us]. . . to ensure that no one ever again stand in need of a soup-kitchen, of makeshift lodgings, of a service of legal assistance in order to have his legitimate right recognized to live and to work, to be fully a person.”


Our Social Justice Mission strategy is twofold: (1) To educate for justice, and (2) To help the poor and vulnerable speak and act for themselves. This mission strategy mirrors the organizational strategy of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which is grounded in the mandate of the Scriptures and the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, in particular, the principle of Solidarity. Pope John Paul II explained that solidarity is a “moral and social attitude” that requires a “firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.”


We believe it is important to develop specific programs in the coming year that carry out our mission and strategy, but also fit the capabilities and resources of the Committee and Parish. Intention is not enough; actual accomplishments and sustained, incremental growth are essential. We propose carrying on the spirit and activities of 2015’s Year of the Family by focusing on the needs of vulnerable families in the parish communities of Assumption and Our Lady of Sorrows, with an emphasis on the economic and financial obstacles that threaten the stability of families mostly headed by women.


While the Social Justice Committee considered several possible projects we settled on what has been titled:

The ABC’s of Credit Repair.


This will be instructional outreach to help family members contend with the details and consequences of credit scores and credit reports. These confusing and consequential documents play a crucial role in everyone’s life, affecting our ability to get a loan, obtain mobile phones, receive utility service, rent an apartment, and get a job. Many people are unaware of the impact of these credit reports (even unaware of their existence), and most of us have difficulty understanding the complexity of the credit report and the procedures for correcting reporting errors. Without knowledge and guidance about these credit reports, social and economic lives can be ruined.  We see this project as having a long term effect of helping to change lives for the better.  Our goal is to give those we help something they can use for the rest of their lives. This is what we want to accomplish through the Assumption Church Social Justice Committee in 2016. Pope Francis has given us the framework for understanding our role regarding such activities:  We see the credit repair project as doing something local with a direct effect on the lives of the persons we want to help.


The Assumption Social Justice Committee has formed a partnership with our sister parish Our Lady of Sorrow to initiate the credit repair counselling program at Our Lady of Sorrows titled the ABC’s of Credit Repair.  As part of instituting the project at Our Lady of Sorrows we are seeking volunteers to act as credit repair counselors.  We expect a counselor will have to commit 3 hours per month toward working with parishioners at Our Lady of Sorrows who register for the program.  Each Class will be held on Sundays from 1:30 until 3:30 once a month. The first class will be March 13, 2016.  If you are interested in participating in the Credit Repair Counseling project or learning more about the project please contact Morris Reeves (312) 952-0894 or Rosemary Reeves