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



Assumption Spotlights - November 2017


By Susan C. Gold

Betty and Frank Manna have had a lifetime love story.  They first met when Frank was 12 and Betty was 10 growing up on the South side of Chicago.  Betty went to Harper High School and Frank went to Leo High School after Catholic elementary.  Both of them attended DePaul University School of Music where their love of music and theater flourished. After graduation in 1960, Frank spent his entire 42 year career as a music instructor.  He was the founding Band Director at Marist High School in Chicago.  He has conducted community theater and founded the Southside Imperial Youth Band that existed for 34 years.  Frank plays a mean piano and they both have lyrical voices. 

The Mannas were married in 1958 and immediately started a family while still in college.  Today, after 59 years of marriage, they are the proud parents of 8 children (six girls and two boys), who all attended Most Holy Redeemer grade school, 19 grandchildren and one great grandchild, all living in the Chicagoland metropolitan area.  Family gatherings are amazing!  Betty and Frank lived in Evergreen Park and were always members of Most Holy Redeemer parish.  Frank was the very first Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist there and remained so until they moved downtown in 2005. Betty served as Secretary for the Most Holy Redeemer Woman’s Guild and a Girl Scout leader.  Living downtown in retirement , she joined a golf league and a bowling league, but her love of music and theater surpass the sports.

After deciding to sell their home on the Southside and moving full time downtown, the Mannas became more involved with the ministries at Assumption.  Betty is a Eucharistic Minister at the 9:00 Sunday Mass and says that she was so nervous the first time that her knees were wobbly and she felt unworthy, but after all this time she has settled in and her feeling is now one of privilege to serve.  Before we had a formal Usher / Greeter ministry, Frank would help with the collections at what was then 8:30 Sunday Mass.  Once Fr. Joe became Pastor, Frank became an “official” member of the group.  Fr. Joe asked him if he would explore the idea of helping to start a Knights of Columbus Council at Assumption and Frank accepted.  He is still an active member of the K of C.  Both Betty and Frank volunteered year after year as servers for the Annual Italian Dinner in the Church Hall--exhausting but lots of fun they say. 

Both the Mannas say that the intimacy of the Assumption parish and the warm community that belongs here are what made them realize this was their new spiritual home.  There is no comparison to other churches that were just too large.  They have made a number of friends and have shared the joys and sorrows of those they met here.  The homilies given by the Servites have impressed them from the beginning.  The commentaries on life in and around the Church and the parish have been inspiring.  One last thing: Frank said the parking lot was a very big attraction in the beginning because they drive everywhere and always to church.

Please say hello to Betty and Frank any Sunday morning at the 9:00 mass.  You can’t miss Frank. He will attack you with his big personality as a Greeter as soon as you walk in the front door.  Both are wonderful salt of the earth parishioners.  We are happy that they chose Assumption.