Junior High & High School teens

See all events at the Youth Ministry Google Calendar: Calendar of Events

YM News updated February 12, 2019


  • High School Youth Group at St. Luke Church - Sunday, February 17 from 6:00-7:30 pm
  • ASP Parents’ Meeting – Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 7:30 – 8:30 pm in the Pine Room.  We ask that one parent for each teen attend.
  • ASP Formation Meeting #3 on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 6:00 – 7:30 pm in the Pine Room
  • Science & Faith High School Conference - Off-site - Saturday, February 23 9:00 am-6:30 pm
  • High School Boys Basketball Church League Post-Season Games - Off-site - Saturday-Sunday, February 23-24
  • Science Day at Mundelein Seminary - March 9 from 9 AM - 1:30 PM

YM Upcoming Events - See for a more complete calendar.

Scroll down for more details


Appalachia Service Project

At least one parent of each youth who is going on the ASP trip in the summer should come to a parent-only meeting on Wednesday, February 20, 7:30pm-8:30pm to discuss various aspects of the trip.



Check email for Faith Booster and Service Hour opportunities in February and March.


High School Boys Basketball Church League

We are wrapping up the Western Suburbs Church League this year. The post-season games start next week. Please check the Youth Ministry Google Calendar for details. Come cheer on the Chargers!


Science, Creation, & The Catholic Imagination

On Saturday, February 23rd, 2019, the Lumen Christi Institute and the Archdiocesan Vocation Office will host a conference for high school students on the University of Chicago's Campus, entitled "Science, Creation, and the Catholic Imagination." It will aim to introduce honors-level public and private high school students to the Catholic intellectual tradition and give them an opportunity to meet other teenagers from throughout the archdiocese.

Topics will include faith and reason, creation and cosmology, and the Catholic literary tradition. Speakers will come from Notre Dame, Mundelein, and Loyola University.  Registration is $20, but scholarships are available.  Registration and more information can be found here or by contacting Matt Goto:


Science Day at Mundelein Seminary

What Makes Us Human? Insights from Studies of Primates and Other Animals. As evolutionary knowledge continues to advance, the question of what makes humans unique from other species becomes increasingly fascinating and important to our understanding of human decision-making, motivation, and psychology.

Please join us March 9 from 9 AM-1:30 PM for a free lecture by Robert C. O'Malley, Ph.D., postdoctoral research associate at the Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology at the George Washington University. Dr. O'Malley is also the project director for the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion Program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The day will also include breakout discussion sessions on the spiritual aspects of this topic led by seminarians studying at Mundelein Seminary. The event also includes lunch following the discussion.

This event is free and open to the public and suitable for high school-aged audiences and above. Learn more and RSVP.

Interested in carpooling? Please contact Matt Goto at 708-434-1555 or or


High School Youth Group

Come have fun learning about God with High School teens from Ascension!  This group meets 2-3 times a month on Sunday evenings following the 5pm Mass.  We explore our faith in hands-on, enjoyable ways that helps us become better friends and disciples of Jesus.  This is open for all high school aged teens.  We are also looking for adult volunteers who enjoy spending time learning about our faith with high schoolers.  Please contact Matt if you are interested in checking this out or would like to help in some way.


Pairing up with Other Parishes for Events such as:

  • St. Luke Parish Youth Mass & High School Youth Group - Every 3rd Sunday of the Month - 5 pm-7:30pm

  • High School Boys Basketball Church League -  Practices will start in early November and games will start in early December and run through the middle of March.  

  • Other events/trips such as trips to Feed My Starving Children, trips to Our Lady of the Angels for their mobile food pantry (first Saturdays of the month in the morning), Vespers services at the Monastery of the Holy Cross (Friday/Saturday evenings generally about once a month) - all trip dates TBD


Looking for Chaperones and Volunteers

Please consider being a volunteer or chaperone with Youth Ministry.  There are all kinds of ways that you can help with or without spending time with the youth.  For example, we are looking for parishioners to be in a prayer group to help support the youth through prayers or to volunteer to send a care package to a starving college student.  We are also looking for parishioners to help with a more of an active/hands-on role.  If you feel a calling to support Ascension’s Youth Ministry in some way, please contact Matt and together we can figure out the best way for you to serve!


Follow AYM on Facebook: Ascension Youth Ministry and Twitter: @ascension_op_ym.  Contact Matt Goto to RSVP or get more info: 708-434-1555 or or Go here for a more complete calendar of events


Youth Ministry Description

Ascension Youth Ministry consists of teens and adult volunteers and provides opportunities for service, faith formation and social activities. Its signature events – among many – are the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) and Youth Group meetings where we learn to bring our faith into our lives.

Ascension Youth Ministry’s (AYM) mission statement is: “a voyage of hope (from Confirmation forward) to anchor teens into a life-giving Eucharistic faith.”  Why? 

  • The world is full of many values and masks we all inevitably wear to survive. Teens need a place to go to be anchored into something solid (God) and to be accepted for where they are at in their lives while being encouraged to live out a faith in Christ.  Youth Ministry is a meant to help teens be real in their sharing and to find and live out their connection to God
  • Life is messy, unpredictable, exciting, exhausting, and yet exhilarating.  It is helpful for teens to have a place to go to share what is going on, to build new friendships with people who share similar morals and values, and to be known for something other than academics or sports
  • Sometimes a teen just has to get away from the stress of life and play some games and laugh, to allow their heart to share its pains and pray through them, and to know they aren’t alone in those deeper thoughts 
  • So teens can be accepted, mentored and cared for by people (young adults/adults other than one’s family) who want to find the best in in a teen and affirm and help them to grow in their unique giftedness
  • Ultimately, to know that rooting yourself in a Catholic community, with the richness of spirituality and strength that comes in its values, practice, mission, and beliefs, allows all of us to become better people.  Eucharistic living means we allow Jesus to feed us through the Eucharist in order to more fully care about each other and the needs of the world.  So that, we praise the good stuff and lift up the bad, and keep on walking with Jesus as our guide.  The friendship with Jesus, found individually and through others, is essential for making it through life (and to heaven too.)


How is all this done?  Through events offered monthly (or more!); Leadership opportunities (Peer ministry and ASP teen leaders); Retreats and lock-in’s; Social events; Service events & Mission trips; &  prayer opportunities.

For more information, please contact our Youth Ministry Coordinator, Matt Goto.


THANK YOU from St. Angela School

On Saturday, April 21 the Austin community of St. Angela School welcomed an amazing crew of Ascension adults and teens to help build a beautiful green space where once stood only abandoned buildings.  Thanks to the ASP leadership efforts of George Lyons and Paul Kraft, and a deeply embedded call to service that is the hallmark of Ascension Parish, this team helped us make great strides toward the transformation of our campus.

We prepared three large garden areas for planting; we built a retaining wall to prevent erosion; we moved four cubic yards of compost and twelve tons of cobblestone and probably another two of pebbles and sand; we constructed six Gabion benches and one thirty feet long Gabion wall.  We moved slabs of marble, slabs of flagstone and kept nine wheelbarrows in constant motion.

It was wonderful for me personally to work with old friends—and the children they have raised to help others.    I am proud to be part of a parish that rolls up its sleeves, and now to know that my connection to that parish was the impetus for their presence in a community that needs them so much.

On behalf of all of us at St. Angela – faculty, staff, boys and girls – thank you.  We are profoundly grateful for your friendship.

-Lynn Fredrick