Assumption Catholic Church
323 West Illinois Street - Chicago IL 60654
(ph) 312-644-0036  (fax) 312-644-1838    Map & Directions
Assumption Spotlights > Assumption Spotlights - February - 2015



Assumption Spotlights - February - 2015


Someone You Should Meet:  Jackie Hayes
By Susan Gold

Jacqueline (Jackie) Hayes has been a parishioner here at Assumption since 1978 when she moved downtown into what is now the New East Side Area neighborhood at the edge of Maggie Daley Park.  During the following years Jackie’s real estate career flourished.  While she was working hard in the River North area with commercial clients in the late 1990’s, she saw a problem.  The homeless population seemed to be growing right before her eyes.  Men and women were sleeping in the doorways of buildings she was showing to clients. 

In 1999 she started working with a group of business, religious and social work organizations, including Catholic Charities, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Holy Name Cathedral, Northwestern Hospital, North Michigan Avenue Association, Lawson House YMCA, area residential groups, outreach organizations, the City of Chicago Human Services and the 18th Police District.  Then HELP (Help Ease Local Poverty) was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in August 2000.  A decade later, HELP was transitioned into a new organization called Chicago Help Initiative (CHI). HELP began by trying to educate the underprivileged as to where they could find services to help in their plight. 

The focus of HELP kept evolving once Jackie saw that these poverty stricken people had trouble finding food.  HELP served its very first meal in March 2001 using the facilities of Catholic Charities on LaSalle Street.  Jackie solicited volunteers, food providers, food donors and all types of clothing and personal items that a person would need. 

Just before Christmas 2005, Jackie asked Fr. Mike Doyle, Assumption’s pastor at the time, to request for donations of wool caps from our parishioners.  When not that many came in, Fr. Doyle asked parishioners for $5 each so we could buy them.  Given the legendary generosity of our membership, so much was raised that Assumption could not only buy the hats but also sponsor two meals that year.  Fr. Joe has continued those good works and today CHI is a ministry of Assumption, sponsoring four meals a year with many parishioners actively volunteering.  Assumption parishioners have become a major part of Jackie’s volunteer endeavors.  God also saw a need and showed us all how our parish could be very involved in helping the needy. 

CHI has served more than 225,000 meals; provides a literacy program; offers a medical program through the Night Ministry, Stone Psychiatric of Northwestern Hospital and others; publishes a resource guide to be handed out on the street to the needy; established a bike program that provides working bikes and helmets to at least 70 people a year; and created a jobs program with training, a resource program for safe housing, educational opportunities, holiday gift packages that include food coupons, clothing, reading glasses and so much more that it’s impossible to list.  More information about CHI can be found at
Jacqueline Hayes has accomplished this at CHI with the help of all volunteers and just one paid employee.  But it was Jackie’s foresight and heart that made it all possible.  If you don’t know Jackie, you should meet her.  She will never tell you about herself, only about the need for more donations for CHI.  As someone who has known Jackie for 11 years and seen her in action, I can tell you that God already has a chair with her name on it in Heaven!

CHI’s Leadership Continues with Anne McEnroe
By Susan Gold

In the above article about Jackie Hayes, I didn’t mention that at the end of 2015 she will become Chairman Emeritus of the Chicago Help Initiative (CHI).  And wouldn’t you know it, we found a unique and totally qualified person to take the helm right here at Assumption: Anne McEnroe.  Anne and her husband Pat became active parishioners in 2012 when they decided that Assumption was home. 

Anne heard about CHI and immediately started to volunteer when Assumption sponsored one of the meals.  She has since been responsible for actively soliciting and scheduling the weekly meals with donors and working closely with Jackie on a multitude of other responsibilities.  She also volunteers at every Wednesday meal, helping serve food or working with our guests.  Anne has gotten to know so many of CHI’s dinner guests by name.  She enjoys talking to them and offering any help or advice she can.  Anne even has recruited her brother, a former Loyola faculty member, to be part of the CHI literacy program. She brings to CHI her highly developed skills as a CPA and CFO in the insurance industry. 

Her husband Pat McEnroe has also become a weekly volunteer at the CHI meal.  A Certified Financial Planner by day, he is also active at Assumption as a member of the Communication Committee and is Assumption’s resident photographer.  Pat’s photos are used on both Assumption and CHI’s websites and Facebook pages.  Assumption is lucky to have parishioners such as Anne as the next leader at CHI and Pat offering his photographic services here and at CHI. 

Ministry Fair Set for February 28 & March 1

Mark your calendars for Assumption’s Ministry Fair, which will be held after the 5 pm Saturday Mass on February 28 and all Masses on Sunday, March 1 downstairs in the Parish Hall.  The Fair is designed to encourage more parishioners to become involved in service through church sponsored ministries and other local charitable and service organizations.  Last year was the first year for this event.  The Fair is being held at a perfect time, as Lent begins, for our members to learn how they can become more involved in Assumption’s good work.