Assumption Catholic Church
323 West Illinois Street - Chicago IL 60654
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Assumption Spotlights > Assumption - Spotlights June & July 2016



Assumption - Spotlights June & July 2016


By Susan Gold

Approximately five years ago Assumption Parish was blessed with two new parishioners who have truly made a difference.  Lynne and Paul Japp relocated to Chicago when Paul’s company offered him a position in their Schaumburg offices.  It was a difficult decision for the Japps to leave their many friends and the constant sunshine of Southern California where they had been living for twenty years.  However, they always wanted to live in an urban environment and decided to reside in downtown Chicago and Paul would commute to the suburbs.  Living in the River North neighborhood they chose Assumption as their new parish.  Lynne wanted to meet people and make some new friends here so she quickly became active in Assumption activities.  Both Lynne and Paul were Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist at their parish in California so joining the EME team at Assumption was a natural. 

Lynne is originally from Massachusetts and Paul from Florida, and after graduating from different colleges they both moved to New Orleans for work, where they met, fell in love and married at Lynne’s Massachusetts home parish of St. Patrick’s.  Shortly thereafter they moved to Houston and it was through their parish there that after five years of marriage they attended a Marriage Encounter weekend.  It made such an impact that they remained involved in Marriage Encounter for the next five years in Houston and the following twenty in Los Angeles.  When they discussed their background of working with married couples with Fr. Joe, he asked them to help him with the preparation for couples marrying at Assumption. Lynne also became a member of the team that counts the collections and now does the scheduling and setting out the procedures for their work.  Paul also fills in as an usher.  Two years ago Lynne was discerned as a member of the Pastoral Council and during her term she developed and leads the Faith Sharing Groups during Advent and Lent. Both Lynne and Paul volunteer with The Chicago Help Initiative ministry. Assumption Church has become a source of many great friendships for both.

After thirty-five years with his company, Paul retired last summer.  With his retirement they had talked about going back to California or maybe to South Carolina.  A decision had to be made where to retire and on a beautiful summer day in Chicago they said, why not here?  So instead of renting they went ahead and bought an apartment in the same building to solidify their decision. Then there was winter.

Lynne and Paul have always enjoyed traveling, both domestically and internationally.  For years their retirement plans had been to buy an RV and travel the country.  The dream was realized this past Spring with the purchase of a Class A (bus-style) motor coach, which they named “Miss Adventure” because their car in tow is “Adventure” and they just completed a "maiden voyage" to the mid-Atlantic states.  They plan to be on the road South or back to Southern California during winters and to be in Chicago for its lovely active summers, interspersed with international travel.

I asked the Japps if they would send periodic postings for Spotlights and I would call it “On The Road” with Lynne & Paul similar to the late Charles Kuralt and his CBS Sunday morning show.  We’ll see if that happens!  In the meantime, I’ve included a few photos from their travels on the “maiden voyage”.


We have been on the DelMarVa (Delaware-Maryland-Virginia) Peninsula. Sunday Mass at St Francis de Sales, a visit to Assateague Island where wild horses roam free and plenty of seafood everywhere.


By Susan Gold

MICHELLE VAN ALSTYNE moved to Chicago from Michigan with her husband John and three sons in 2010. Two sons have graduated college and are living in Chicago and New York; the youngest is in his senior year at the University of Michigan. Michelle works at Sentergroup, Inc. as the Membership & Operations Coordinator. Her commitment to the Catholic faith can be seen through her work as a Big Shoulder mentor for five middle school students at St Malachy. Her three sons attended Catholic School from K-12 grades and Michelle spent a number of years as a substitute teacher at St. Regis Catholic School in Michigan. 

Michelle and John joined Assumption Parish soon after moving to Chicago.  Once settled in her new home and job she sought to get more involved with Assumption’s ministries.  She was discerned as a member of the Pastoral Council and has just completed her term.  During her term the PPC discussed various ways to get parishioners together in a casual environment within the church.  Michelle prepared and presented a proposal to form a book club that would meet quarterly in the Church Hall and she volunteered to be the moderator / coordinator.  That proposal was well received and thus our Book Club was born.  It has turned out to be a great place to meet and have informal discussions with fellow parishioners.  Even if you haven’t read the book Michelle invites you to attend to see what it’s all about. The next Book Club Meeting is on August 3rd.  Here is the information:

The book is:  God is My Broker by Christopher Buckley and John Tierney.                       
Meeting date: August 3, 2016 from 6:30-8:00 pm

Overview:  The author, a failed alcoholic Wall Street trader, had retreated to a monastery. It, too, was failing. Then, one fateful day, Brother Ty decided to let God be his broker--and not only saved the monastery but discovered the 7 1/2 Laws of Spiritual and Financial Growth. Brother Ty's remarkable success has been studied at the nation's leading business schools and scrutinized by Wall Street's greatest minds. Brother Ty reveals the secrets he has gleaned from the ancient texts of the monks, and tells how you can get God to be your broker.

We invite you to read the book and join us in what should be a lively discussion! For those of you who don't finish reading the book, please feel free to join us for an evening of fellowship. It’s a great way to meet other parishioners.  If you have any questions contact Michelle VanAlstyne at 248-496-0384or


 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2016    6:00 – 9:00 pm

The answer to everyone’s question:  With all the construction what happens to our Annual Italian Dinner?  Well, we can all relax because we are planning on having an event this November and we are excited because while it won’t be the same as years past, but it will be a great evening of good food, music and friends at a lovely venue nearby.  Keep watching the bulletin and your mail for all the details as final plans are made!  But put the date on your calendar now because that’s a definite!


Also, very important:  Please update/verify:  email address, phone number(s), home address with the Parish office.  In the future you will be able to do it easily and safely on our website but until then please email:  All information is kept confidential.


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