Social Concerns

Ascension Christmas Angel Project

The 2018 Ascension Christmas Angel Project will be assisting: Ascension parishioners in financial need, St. Martin de Porres,  Franciscan Outreach and Catholic Charities Family Strengthening Center in Berwyn serving families and seniors. We will be providing gifts, gift cards, and food gift cards. Angels may be picked up at the church entrances after Masses on Saturday, November 10 and Sunday, November 11.  Angel gift drop off will be on Friday, December 7 between 4:00 pm-8:00 pm in the school gym. 

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer time, please contact Kathie Walsh at (708) 366-0884, Lynne Nacke at (312) 933-2230.


Community Gardeners

Ascension Community Gardeners gather to plan in January, repair raised beds in March, plant seeds in April and May and harvest on Tuesdays all summer and early autumn. Produce is given to the St Martin de Porres Food Pantry. New gardeners are always welcome and no experience is necessary. This is a fun activity for families. Contact John Owens at or 708 846-1827 for more information.


Domestic Violence Outreach Ministry

DVOM is part of the Archdiocese of Chicago Domestic Violence Outreach, a semi-autonomous organization within the Archdiocese which is comprised of over 80 DVOMs. We seek to aid in the elimination of domestic violence by raising awareness to all forms of domestic violence, promoting prevention education and providing access to resources for those in our parish seeking refuge from domestic violence.  DVOM meets monthly on the third Monday at 7pm.  For more information, contact Lori Thomas at


HOME (Honoring Our Mother Earth)

Honoring Our Mother Earth Environmental Green Team is an educational, advisory and action ministry.  HOME engages Ascension parishioners in Pope Francis’ encyclical on integral ecology and Catholic social teaching, Laudato Si’.  We care for our common home and the disadvantaged in many small and big ways, locally and globally.  Our big green effort last year was the Zero Waste initiative, which continues to ask each of us to be mindful to sort accurately and reduce our waste at school, church, work and home. To be a member of the HOME team we ask for some volunteer time and energy on any of our initiatives.  You are most welcome! Gina Orlando —   708-524-9103.

Housing Forward

Housing Forward is a night shelter at St John's Lutheran Church in Forest Park. On Friday nights, Ascension parishioners staff the shelter providing safety for up to 42 homeless men, women and children to eat, shower and sleep without fear for one night. We always welcome new volunteers for 1 or several nights. 


Ministers of Care

Ministers of Care are commissioned by the Archdiocese of Chicago to visit, bring Eucharist and share faith with the sick and home bound in senior residences, nursing homes, hospitals and  parishioner's homes.  Contact any of the following people to learn more how to become a Minister of Care or to request someone to visit a sick or homebound family member or Catholic neighbor. Susie Cahill: 708-925-1512,; Linda Dunne: 708-848-5574, or
CeCe Masella, 708-590-9468,


New Hope

In conjunction with Catholic Charities, volunteers minister to the homeless. The goal is to provide stability, security, and permanent housing to families in crisis.

Peace and Justice

The Peace and Justice committee is a vibrant committee focused on many issues/concerns based on Catholic Social Teaching.  Areas of focus include - Immigration, End Violence (Parishes Committed to Peace), Hunger (Community Garden and Summer Lunches/Winter  Coats), The Environment [Honoring Our Mother Earth (HOME Team)] and other issues/concerns which arise.  The Peace and Justice committee meets on the second Monday of the month from 7:30p - 9:00p in the Pine Room.  Interested persons may contact: Kelly Hendrickson,, 708.848.0320.

Respect Life

Our purpose is to work with the Archdiocese and other Pro-Life organizations with aid in the form of prayer, education and support, in order to support life in all its forms. We seek to convert hearts, and open minds, on a wide range of life issues including:  chastity education, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, abortion, post-abortion healing, fertility issues and artificial contraception, capital punishment, and euthanasia.  We do this work through education, pastoral care, public policy, prayer and worship. 


St. Martin de Porres Sharing Parish Committee

The Sharing Parish ministry works to develop a closer bond with our brothers and sisters in St. Martin de Porres parish located in the Austin neighborhood. We build community by attending Mass at the parish once a month, participating in parish activities, and working together to address issues facing the greater Austin community, including gun violence. Ascension also provides financial support to SMdP through individual donations using designated parish envelopes and includes SMdP parishoners in our Christmas Angel program. For more information, contact Celine Woznica at 708-383-8619 or To learn more about this parish visit their site.


St. Vincent de Paul Society

The society helps those less fortunate in our Parish and our community through food vouchers, emergency cash assistance, and other substantive means of support. 


Summer Lunch / Winter Coat Program

This ministry provides food for the body and the soul through its fellowship and material resources.  "Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give"; everything we have been given is a gift from God.  Hopefully, our response is one of Profound GRATITUDE! We are all made in the image and likeness of God. Funded completely by donations from parishioners and others, this Ministry is an opportunity to "get involved" in the giving back process. For more information, contact Bob Kutella at


United Power for Action and Justice

United Power is a non-partisan community organization composed of 40 religious congregations, not-for-profit groups, hospitals, health centers and civic organizations from across Cook County- Ascension Parish is part of this. Their volunteer leaders are concerned citizens who consult with neighbors, shape goals and strategy to address pressing social problems and pressure people in power to seek positive, creative solutions. For more information see:

Work-Career Ministry

Members of this ministry meet every Saturday morning from 7:30 – 9 am in the Parish Center and serve as a support group for the unemployed, underemployed and those seeking a career change from the Oak Park community. Our final gathering for the summer will take place Saturday, July 14. Sessions will resume on Saturday morning, September 8. If you have any questions, or need some help over the next month, please contact Mary J. Joyce-Byrne at