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 C. Gold

Jan and George Miller are two endearing, unassuming and hardworking parishioners. On January 10th at Holy Name Cathedral they received a Christifidelis Award from Archbishop Cupich. This award is given annually to an individual or a couple from parishes throughout the Archdiocese who have exemplified service to God and Church.  Recipients are nominated by their pastor.  The Millers have been an integral part of our parish since 2009.  In their case, the Church brought them to the neighborhood. 

Prior to settling downtown, they lived and brought up their family in Batavia, IL.  George had worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission, with his office in the Loop on West Madison Street.  Often he would go for a walk that would bring him past Assumption Church.  He began to stop in regularly and began to feel very much at home here.  It wasn’t the physical beauty of the Church that first captured him; it was the peacefulness surrounding the Church and rectory--how the courtyard was so inviting to sit and meditate, pray or just rest.  On a visit to the City, George brought Jan over to see Assumption and from then on when they would come into the City there would make time to stop by the Church for a visit or Mass.  George retired in 2008 and the decision was made to leave the suburbs.  Since their son and family were living in Plainfield and their daughter and her family in Vernon Hills, moving to the City was a no brainer, because it was equal distance from each.  Jan and George knew they wanted to be within walking distance of Assumption and that’s how they decided to purchase a condo in a brand new building just two blocks away.  Watching their new home take shape gave them more opportunities to become semi-regular parishioners until they actually moved in December – just in time for our annual Parish bake sale.  Jan eagerly signed up and donated her goodies and offered to help with the sale.  As luck would have it, one of the first people she became friends with was Katie Kennicott.  Luck, because the one thing that Jan missed most about suburban living were the endless hours she enjoyed gardening.  Katie had come up with a plan to start a Parish Garden Club and turn the Church’s courtyard into a beautiful city garden and here was Jan, the perfect partner:  perfect because Katie had never gardened in her life and Jan was an enthusiastic gardener. You know the rest of that story. Fr. Joe gave the permission, garden club was formed, thousands of bulbs were donated and through an immense amount of labor and love our new beautiful garden grew splendidly over the years and won the 2015 River North Association’s Most Beautiful Garden Award.  Jan has spent very many days planning, digging, carrying, planting, watering and mulching throughout the years.  As her circle of friends flourished, so did her willingness to help wherever she was asked, like decorating the altar for Easter, Christmas, etc., the Italian Dinner/Auction, parish picnic and working in the rectory when someone was needed to answer phones.  She always says yes with a happy laughter and a big smile. Jan will tell you directly that she doesn’t want to be in charge that she is a dedicated worker bee and George is the thinker.  This is not to say that George isn’t a worker too but more in line with his past accounting career.  Early on George joined the Adult Faith Group that, among other things, plans the Lenten series and serves the accompanying meals, is one of the sacred collection counters (a very auspicious group indeed), has been an integral part of the Finance Committee for four years overseeing church expenditures and repairs and one of the original members of the weekly Bible Study Group.

If you haven’t met Jan and George Miller, you are missing out.  They usually attend Saturday 5:00 p.m. Mass, so stop and say hello or look for Jan in the garden.  These are two of the nicest people you could ever meet.

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By Lynne Japp

During Advent this year parishioners of Assumption participated in Advent Awakenings.  This program of four weekly meetings of small communities gathered prayerfully to reflect on and share the Word of God, to make better connections between faith and life, and to live their faith more concretely.  Every week the Sunday Gospel was read and the participants were guided in their sharing through discussion questions.  Each week there was also an invitation to act.  Jesus emphasized the connection between faith and action, between what we believe and what we do.  Each week the members were asked to decide on an individual or group action that was inspired by what was shared.  One group became aware of the parish's participation in "Celebration of Giving", the program sponsored by Catholic Charities to adopt a family in need and fulfill their Christmas wishes.  The group decided their action would be to adopt one of the families.

Parishioner Sandy Olson is a member of Catholic Charities' Lay Advisory Board.  She first learned of the "Celebration of Giving" through her involvement on the Board and   four years ago brought the needs of four families to Assumption for parishioners to adopt.  Through the generosity of our parishioners, the program has grown to ten families adopted this year.  The head of the family prepares a wish list for the members of the family.  Sponsors are advised not to exceed $75 in gifts per family member.  The Advent Awakenings group selected a family with five members - a grandmother supporting her four grandchildren.  The group got great satisfaction in shopping to fulfill the wishes of the family.  They wanted their giving to have a religious component too so each family member received a religious Christmas tree ornament.

Through this activity, many spirits were lifted this Christmas, both those of the family receiving the gifts from anonymous donors and the donors who gave in the true spirit of Christmas.  Consider joining the next small group sessions, Lenten Longings, as part of your Lenten observance, which begin the week of Ash Wednesday.  Signup sheets are in the back of Church,







As part of an effort to build closer connections among Assumption parishioners, we are planning to have a once-a-quarter spiritual book discussion. The first gathering will take place on Wednesday, February 3 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall. The topic will be Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino by Joyce Rupp, OSM.

Please read the book (available on Amazon, Kindle, etc) and come and enjoy the discussion. Any questions? Call Michelle Van Alstyne at (248) 496-0384 or email:

Be a founding member.  Meet fellow parishioners.  Have an enjoyable interesting discussion.  All for only the cost of the book.  What could be better!