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



Assumption - Spotlights November 2016


Highlighting Members and Events

November 2016

Meeting Nancy DeBiasi
By Kevin Zajdel

Someone you’ve regularly seen in the choir is Nancy DeBiasi, an active, involved parishioner since 2001.  Currently Nancy is the Contract Meetings and Event Manager for The Academy of General Dentistry, responsible for logistics setup of annual meetings, CE Scientific sessions, leadership conferences, etc.  What you may not know is just how involved Nancy is in our parish.
During Nancy’s 33 year tenure  at the Merchandise Mart, she, like many other workers in River North, attended services at conveniently-close Assumption Church.  Asked to be the Godmother for a co-worker’s child in 1997, Nancy met Fr. John Dowd at the baptism.  Because of Fr. Dowd’s friendly, easy-going manner and enticing homilies, Nancy continued attending mass at Assumption, even though it meant driving in from Chicago’s Forest View neighborhood.

After Nancy accepted Fr. Dowd’s invitation to attend a ministry fair at Assumption, she met Arthur Carvajal who, in turn, asked her to consider the Assumption Church choir; Nancy joined in 2001.  As she began meeting choir members at practice and parishioners at hospitality Sundays, Nancy felt more and more welcome. 

Led by several enthusiastic choir members, Assumption Church began a community of Secular Order of Servites, St. Mary Source of our Joy, in 2006.  Fr. Damian Charboneau, the first Spiritual Director of this community of seven (holy) founders, approached Nancy inviting her to begin a year of formation in preparation for membership in this Secular Order of Servants of Mary.  Once again, Nancy accepted this offer to grow spiritually.  Supported by both Fr. David Brown and Fr. Damian, Nancy made her public promise to serve as a member of the Secular Servite community in 2007. 

As the Assumption website explains, “The Order of Secular Servants of Mary (Servite Secular Order) is a Catholic organization of lay men and women living their Christian faith in the context of the world.  Secular Servites seek to grow spiritually following the example of the Seven Holy Founders of the Order of Servants of Mary, who were known for their commitment to community, service and devotion to Mary.  Secular Servites strive toward holiness according to the spirituality of the Servite Order, following the directives of their Rule of Life and committing themselves to bring to fulfillment the evangelical commandment to love.” 

Under the leadership of the first three Priors, Dennis Waldeck, Mary Ann Anderson, and David Iaccino, Nancy grew in commitment to the Mary Source of our Joy faith community, and in December 2013 became the fourth Prioress, a position of service that she holds right now.  Nancy then accepted a second term as Prioress (from 2015-2016) in large part because she wanted to continue to grow spiritually under the direction of the second Spiritual Director, Fr. Michael Doyle.

As Prioress, Nancy works with Fr. Joe regularly in order to, for example, set dates for meetings and prayer events and other activities.  The service involvement of this Secular Servite community has grown to include running an annual toiletry drive for men and women’s shelters; sponsoring some Sunday coffees; participating in the parish bake sale, ministry fair, and the Italian dinner; and sponsoring the RCIA Easter Vigil reception for new Catholics and their families.  In addition, this community sponsors the monthly Fair Trade sale, another social justice initiative.  Besides her dedication to the Servites of Mary, Nancy has assisted Fr. Joe in the Wedding Ministry, helping visiting priests who come in for weddings.

This faith and service community also contributes to the Child Jesus Petit-Goave orphanage and school in Haiti.  When a wall was damaged by the hurricane a few years ago, the Mary Source of our Joy community (and our cantor John Eskola) sponsored a music concert in our church which generated $10,000 to rebuild the school. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Assumption Church Secular Servites, they meet monthly, usually the 4th Monday of the month, to pray (Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament takes place from 5:30-7:00 pm), pursue service projects, and enjoy faith sharing.

Nancy DeBiasi is someone you should meet and get to know.  Her warm smile and gentle laugh invite friendship.


The party’s over and it was a huge success!  Clearly the nearly 200 attendees had a wonderful time and enjoyed the food, drink, music, raffles and most of all the ease of mixing and enjoying each other’s company.  Thank you to everyone who attended and those who generously supported our event.  Please visit the Celebrations section to view a few photos from this inaugural event held at The Ballroom.


From the Chicago Help Initiative:

The Chicago Help Initiative offers an Adult Learning Class every Wednesday from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Catholic Charities (721 N. LaSalle Street).   We provide help with reading, writing, math and computer skills.  Additionally, we help our students with resumes and job applications.  We ask that our tutors be present each Wednesday at 2:50 p.m. so we are ready for our students at 3:00 p.m. and also attend an after-tutor session from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  We are especially in need of training for basic computer skills and resume writing.  If you are interested, please contact Mickie Gordon at



You and your children / grandchildren are invited to a private screening of a holiday favorite ...

Miracle on 34th Street
at The Music Box Theatre
on Friday, December 9, from 6-9pm
3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago.
Tickets are only $20 each

You and your entire family can enjoy Caroling, Libations, a Visit from Santa and, of course, one of the most iconic movies of all time, shown at Chicago's oldest and most beloved theatre, all while supporting The Chicago Help Initiative.

Click Here to purchase tickets at the Music Box Theatre