Assumption Catholic Church
323 West Illinois Street - Chicago IL 60654
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Assumption Spotlights > Assumption Spotlights - December 2017



Assumption Spotlights - December 2017


By Susan C. Gold

Jeri-Lou Zike is an acclaimed professional violinist performing since she was 18 years old.  She is a classically trained musician beginning at Chicago’s Lane Tech High School, continuing at Wheaton College, and then earning an advanced music degree from Northwestern University School of Music.  Jeri-Lou’s stellar academic achievements prepared her upon graduation, along with several colleagues, to immediately begin a professional career in Chamber Music and orchestra.  Upon further studies in Canada she began to specialize in Baroque music and period instruments.

Her orchestra, The Metropolis Orchestra, is in high demand to accompany choirs throughout Chicagoland and also to accompany many visiting pop music stars appearing here.  Jeri-Lou manages the Haymarket Opera Orchestra and is also their concertmaster.  They perform at the Studebaker Theater on Michigan Avenue and have a unique mission of performing opera works of the 17th and 18th centuries on period instruments.  Jeri-Lou specializes in owning and performing the music of that time period in historically accurate fashion.

Assumption Parish has been extremely blessed that Jeri-Lou has been playing violin at Assumption for more than twenty years.  She began playing at weddings with our then Music Director, Sheila McAndrews, and then trumpeter, Ross Beacraft.  Approximately ten years ago she met the new organist, Maxine Joachim, and Jeri-Lou began playing with her on Christmas Eve.  She was thrilled that Fr. Joe wanted strings to play with the choir and congregation, to accompany many of the Christmas hymns and carols in the special Christmas Eve music program.  She and Maxine still play together at many weddings.  Jeri-Lou believes the musician family at Assumption is a tight knit community and loves working together with them making great music for special events.  It’s been her pleasure to work with various amazing musicians at Assumption including our Cantor, John Eskola. 

While Jeri-Lou is not an Assumption parishioner (She attends Moody Bible Church), she loves Assumption’s very unique blend of people who live in the neighborhood, come from the suburbs or are visiting Chicago from elsewhere in the country or world.  “It is wonderful to see diversity sitting together worshipping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”  Her childhood prepared her for a life of music devotion and discipline.  Born and raised in Humboldt Park, Jeri-Lou lived with her parents and four siblings in a two bedroom apartment.  Her mother was a piano teacher and her children all started playing piano at the age of three.  At ten years old, Jeri-Lou wanted to play violin and her mother agreed to let her with the caveat that she must also continue with the piano, practicing both instruments an hour a day each.  Looking back, she and her siblings have realized that was the smartest life skill a parent could teach a child.  This discipline has greatly influenced her life in many ways, not just with her music but training for long endurance marathons and triathlons, swimming for miles in Lake Michigan.  She is now a racing triathlete and has finished seven Ironman races.  Racing and music take the same set of skills of discipline, training, making smart decisions, and keeping focused.  With this combination of skills, she keeps a crucial balance in her life to handle the high pressure of excellence in the music field.

Jeri-Lou loves Chicago and enjoys performing in all the great venues and spaces and its beautiful churches.  Please indulge yourself by attending this year’s Assumption’s Christmas Eve special music program with Jeri-Lou beginning at 9:30 p.m. and continuing at the 10:00 p.m. Mass.  It will make your Blessed Christmas all the more special.  Bring your family and friends to celebrate this joyous event at our beloved Assumption Church.


Christmas Masses

Christmas Eve: 4:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 10:00 pm
Christmas Day: 8:30 am, 10:30 am, 12:15 pm

There will be music at all Masses. Our four cantors will lead the singing at the 4:00pm Mass and will offer a music program beginning at 3:30pm. The parish choir, augmented by additional voices and by stringed instruments, will sing at the 10:00pm Mass. The 10:00pm Mass will be celebrated with a little greater solemnity. The music program will begin at 9:30pm.


New Year's Day

Monday, January 1, is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the World Day of Peace. Because January 1 falls on Monday it is not observed as a Holyday of Obligation in the United States. Masses will be at 7:30 and 10:30am. 


We wish all of our Assumption parishioners a Holy, a Happy, and a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with love, peace, and good health.


Fr Joe

Rev. Joseph Chamblaine, OSM, Pastor


Fr. Mike
Rev. Michael Doyle, OSM