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


Fr. Joseph Chamblain, O.S.M. Pastor




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2/17/2019 Fr. Joseph Chamblain, OSM



Business consultants, marriage counselors, and even community organizers often encourage their clients to look for what they call a “win/win situation”: Can we arrive at a solution from which everyone receives something valuable and no one ends up feeling like “the loser”?  Win/Win solutions are rarely achieved, however, without some sacrifice on the part of each of the participants.  Often it is a matter of giving up something smaller in order to achieve something more substantial.

The past few years, the Annual Catholic Appeal, which helps keep afloat many of the ministries of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has proved to be a win/win situation for both Assumption and the Archdiocese. Each year we have exceeded our parish quota (6% of the previous year’s collection) by a significant amount; and any amount contributed over and above our quota is returned to us at Assumption. Thus, the Archdiocese has received what it has asked for and Assumption’s income has received a significant boost. This is because many of you were willing to make a financial sacrifice in order to accomplish a greater good.

Although money is at the center of the ACA, I believe its importance goes well beyond money. The ACA raises our awareness of the many ministries that our Archdiocese provides in Cook and Lake Counties and the many people needs that surround us. One summer when I was not working full-time in a parish, I spent most weekends traveling to different churches around the country, which had been assigned to the Servites by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, to appeal for funds for our Servite missions in South Africa. Some of the parishes I preached in were so small and isolated that we actually ended up losing money by my going there; but I always felt that the appeal was important because it reminded people that they were members of the “Catholic” Church (a word that means universal). We are brothers and sisters in Christ, whether we live in a small town in Iowa or out “in the bush” in Africa. The hopes and dreams and needs of our brothers and sisters anywhere become our hopes and dreams and needs. The ACA makes that connection real in very practical ways.

The Archdiocese has tried to keep open as many Catholic schools as possible, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. This past year this effort has been helped by the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarships (and most recently by a generous donor who is offering to match 2 for 1 every dollar designated for this program). Yet, the largest chunk of the ACA fund still goes to provide scholarships to needy students and to provide grants to poor schools. Many of us who are beneficiaries of a Catholic education did not come from well to do families. Do we really want Catholic schools to become the exclusive domain of the wealthy? We may not be in need of special counseling or special education or catechist formation right now. We may not need to call upon the Archdiocesan offices that support peace and justice, immigration concerns, or respect for human life; but these offices often provide a lifeline to our brothers and sisters who are in crisis or do not know where to turn. How would our brothers and sisters suffer if these offices were to disappear? The ACA helps fund Catholic Relief Services, which provides emergency relief to people victimized by a natural disaster—whether in California or Ethiopia. When we see pictures of people who have lost everything, isn’t it good to know that Catholic Relief Services is on the ground ready to help? And as the Archdiocese ramps up its efforts to evangelize the churched and the unchurched, it is looking to the ACA for the necessary funding.

The prayer that Jesus taught us begins with the words “Our Father.”  I think the plural form is deliberate. When I pray I do not just pray to “My Father” for my needs. I am to bring all my brothers and sisters into my prayer.  Your pledge to the Annual Catholic Appeal is a way of affirming that you really believe what you say when you pray the Our Father. In fact, your gift might actually be part of the answer to someone’s prayer.

                                                                                    Fr. Joe