Assumption Catholic Church
323 West Illinois Street - Chicago IL 60654
(ph) 312-644-0036  (fax) 312-644-1838    Map & Directions
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By Susan Gold

Peggy Brown has been an outstanding member of Assumption Parish since 2009 when she moved to River North from Libertyville. Peggy became a regular at the 9:00 a.m. Mass.  Being the very friendly and personable person that she is, within the first few weeks she met and befriended Katie Kennicott, who invited Peggy to become a part of the Garden Club and help with the revitalization of the church garden.  It was a perfect introduction to the parish and its community plus it helped fill the void of missing the yard and garden at her old home.  By being part of the Garden Club she met other parishioners who enjoyed the tasks of “playing in the mud” that they too missed with downtown life. 

As she met more parishioners, Peggy expanded her group of friends, which led to becoming more involved with other ministries of Assumption.  She joined Bible Study and was then recruited to become a Lector and then an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. When asked, she volunteered to be a server at the Annual Italian Dinner.  When we needed volunteers to be Assumption Ambassadors to deliver flyers to hotels six times a year, Peggy stepped up.  She thoroughly enjoys being a part of the monthly Taize prayer service and when The Chicago Help Initiative needs someone to fill in to pick up food for their Wednesday Supper, Peggy volunteers.

Peggy was born on the south side of Chicago and was educated in Catholic schools all the way through law school at Loyola. After marrying and giving birth to her first two children, she gave up the long City commute from Libertyville and practicing law in downtown.  Peggy became involved in St. Joseph’s, Libertyville, where her now three children attended school.  Within the process of researching volunteer opportunities for her teenage children, she was introduced to Franciscan Outreach in 2002, which is the second largest homeless shelter in Chicago.  With Franciscan Outreach she became more aware of the issues surrounding the homeless and over the years became more involved with their mission.  While she currently sits on their Board of Directors, Peggy also works directly with the people who Franciscan Outreach serves.  As if she is not busy enough, Peggy is part of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, a group of men and women aged 50 and over, who commit to serving in poor and marginalized communities two days per week, nine months a year.  On Friday mornings she prays with the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants at the Broadview Detention Center, from which immigrants are bused to O’Hare for deportation every week. 

With her background in law and her involvement with Outreach and other social service groups, it was a natural that when Assumption’s Social Justice Committee became active, Peggy immediately joined.  The Social Justice Committee hopes to encourage parishioner participation in action and prayer aimed at helping those in need in our City.  The need is extreme and our parish is surrounded by it. Peggy is working with others to expand the Committee believing that Assumption parishioners are generous with their time, talent and treasure in the service of others.  She hopes that this reinvigorated Committee will encourage even more participation in the areas of homeless and housing initiatives, right to life action, incarceration injustices and immigration issues.   We all know the need has never been greater than now.

Peggy has been blessed with a large family of four siblings, all living in the Chicago area.  Her youngest daughter is enrolled in a Masters program at Yale University, her son lives in Bordeaux, France and her oldest daughter, son in law and seven month old granddaughter live in Santiago, Chile.  She is always engaged in family affairs.  Needless to say, Peggy has a very fulfilling life.

Peggy Brown is an outstanding, highly motivated individual and before I finish I need to quote her own words because she best conveys her motivation to get involved:  “Assumption is a small community in the midst of a huge City that offers the gift of connection, friendship, communication and a sense of belonging.  It is all that is good about church communities offering opportunities to give and share and enjoy.” 

If you are inspired by Peggy’s desire to help others, please consider Assumption’s Social Justice Ministry or one of the many other opportunities our Church offers through its ministries.


By Father Joseph Chamblain

Every year 70 to 90 couples choose to celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony at Assumption. Although most of these couples are living somewhere close, often one (and sometimes both) of the parties was raised outside the Chicago area. They finished college in Iowa or Michigan or Indiana, and the lucky ones found a job in Chicago, where they met their future spouse. Downtown Chicago then becomes a convenient place to hold their wedding. There are plenty of hotel rooms nearby to house family and friends for the weekend. That is why our busiest weekends for weddings are often holiday weekends like Memorial Day and Labor Day, because the holiday provides an extra day for travel. Couples sometimes invite a family friend who is a priest or deacon to preside at their wedding, but most of the time it is myself (or, to a lesser degree) Fr. Doyle, who spend time with them during the preparation period and officiate at the ceremony. As part of the preparation process, couples complete what is called the FOCCUS inventory, which covers more than a dozen different areas in the marriage covenant, with special emphasis on the faith dimension. In addition to time spent reviewing the FOCCUS, those preparing for marriage must also attend a Pre-Cana day led by a married couple. There are also forms to fill out and the marriage liturgy itself to prepare. For some couples, this is their first time back in church in a while and the first church they have made a connection with in the Chicago area. We are happy that we can be a church of welcome for these couples, especially since the number of Catholics choosing to have a Catholic wedding has declined sharply in our Archdiocese. Our Pastoral Council is presently looking at ways to provide more on-going support and encouragement for these couples after their wedding.

    Other couples living in the neighborhood around Assumption choose to go back home to get married or choose to have a destination wedding. Our job then is to take care of the preparation and package up the paperwork to be transmitted to their chosen destination. Although the Catholic Church normally does not sanction weddings between two baptized persons that do not take place in church, some churches in resort cities have grown wise to this growing trend toward destination weddings and make it easy for those who want to have a Catholic wedding at an exotic location to have one.