For Families

St. Mary of Perpetual Help welcomes all families into greater community with each other and Christ Jesus!

We challenge youth and parents to establish or deepen your love of God in concrete ways through prayer, service, education and community. School-age children greatly benefit from our Religious Education program (RE). Older youth enjoy growing in the Faith with peers.

Here is some of what we offer:

Religious Education (RE)

The purpose of religious education is to pass on the teachings of Christ. We are organized to assist parents and guardians in that work through classes, conversation, games, and prayer. We know God to be the source and summit of our entire life. Cultivating our relationship with God and with others is essential not only to our "church life," but certainly, to our entire life.

St. Mary of Perpetual Help offers 33 Sunday classes for 1st-8th grade students, Sacramental Reconciliation opportunities, parent formation, two special Retreat and Service Days for Confirmation students, and year-round activities. Our curriculum and volunteers cover the fundamentals of our faith in a way that engage both the intellect and the practical aspects of being Catholic. Our goal is to teach the Catholic faith so our children and teens become fully alive in the life of Christ.

RE Sunday Classes and Mass

Who: 1st-8th grade students
What: Religious education instruction in a friendly classroom setting
When: Sundays, 8:45 a.m. classes, 10:30 a.m. Mass from Sept. 10, 2017 to May 13, 2017
Where: School classrooms (the building next to, and a bit behind, the church)

Download the 2017-2018 Religious Education Calendar of Classes and Activities.
Download the Religious Education Brochure.
Download the Activities Calendar.

To Register

Please register in person Aug. 13, 20, or 27 after the 10:30 a.m. Masses, at the parish office by appointment, or by mailing in the following forms and payment.
  1. Complete each form: registration, parental permissions, and safe environment
  2. Provide a copy of your child(ren)'s baptismal certificate(s)
  3. Pay online or pay in person. A minimum of half tuition is expected at the time of registration, and final payment by Dec. 10, 2017. Those with financial needs, please contact Fr. Aschenbrener.
Tuition and Fees:
  • $150 First Holy Communion, Level 2
  • $175 Confirmation, Level 2
  • $125 all other classes
  • $25 late registration fee (after Aug. 28)

Attendance Requirements:
  • Student absences from any aspect of the program require written permission from a parent or guardian. If a student is absent three times, the student must repeat the year. If a student is tardy three times, it will count as one absence. If for some reason a student cannot attend a class, or is sick, please contact us at 773-927-6646 x107.
  • Parents with children preparing for Reconciliation, Holy Communion, and/or Confirmation are required to attend the initial convocation on the first day of class with everyone, two meetings in the fall, and two in the spring as noted below.

Parent Groups and Adult Classes

Want to know more about scripture, the sacraments, the Catholic Church? Join our discussion group, Sundays 9 a.m to 10:15 a.m. in the school conference room. Additional inquiry and study for entrance into the church and adult sacramental preparation is in the evenings. Please call the office for details. And don't forget about the wonderful discussions and programs our Moms' Group puts on.

Religious Education Parent/Guardian Meetings

ALL Parents:
Sunday, Sept. 10: Parents, students, catechists all meet in the school commons at 8:45 a.m.

Open Parent Sessions:
All parents/guardians are warmly invited to stay and enjoy coffee, fellowship, and great discussions while their children are in class.

Confirmation Parents:
  • Level 7 & 8: Oct. 15, Nov., Feb. 19, in the library at 9 a.m.
  • Level 8 ONLY: March 18, in the library at 9 a.m.; Saturday, May 19, Confirmation rehearsal in the church at 10 a.m.

First Confession and Holy Communion Parents:
  • Level 1 & 2: Oct. 1, Nov. 5, Feb. 4
  • Level 2 ONLY: Saturday, Dec. 9, First Reconciliation at 10 a.m.; Sunday March 4, meeting; Saturday, May 5, First Communion rehearsal in the church at 10 a.m.

Family Outings, Youth Meetings, and Activities

Make new friends, serve, and worship together! Engage in service outings, film nights, community meals, bowling, berry picking, and more. Be sure to RSVP or sign up at the parish office ASAP so we can keep our reservations! Youth need this permission slip completed for each outing. Download the Activities Calendar or refer to our events page.

... here's a recap of some previous excursions:

Get Outta Town: Country Church, Farm, and County Fair Excursion
All-day excursion with four stops and a ton of fun. We returned home with new friends, fresh farm eggs, sweet corn, and a file full of photos.

Saints and Heroes: Art Institute special exhibit
Talk about context—historical, beautiful, cultural, and communal—we engaged in it all.

Six Flags Great America
Who knew snow cones could be so big?! Who knew they could be eaten after those rides?!

St. James Food Pantry Service Opportunity
Everyone got to lend a hand on this trip filling bags, assisting others at moving their food, and sharing laughter.

Sisters of the Precious Blood Visit
The rain turned out to be a good thing—it kept us inside and in conversation with the people from the neighborhood. Food, fellowship, a game of pool, and some great stories! But we also got to work in the gardens and see the art shop when the sun came out.

Mass at St. Peter's and Free Visit to the Art Institute
Our trip began by getting familiar with the train—that was fun! Stepping off downtown, we found St. Peter in the Loop, a big building nested right in with the skyscrapers. It was silent inside. Some thought St. Peter’s was the best part of the trip. We ate at a very cool sub shop—or our own packed dinners—and avoided the rain. The Art Institute was amazing. One of the best exhibits was … well each seemed to have a different ‘favorite’ and would certainly go again.

Picnic with Max
What a great trip! On Saturday, June 14, we traveled to Marytown to visit the Kolbe/Nazi Holocaust Exhibit in Libertyville, Ill. The picnic was a lot of fun, especially when a Frisbee and baseballs started getting tossed around on the big lawn. We enjoyed the car ride and ice cream when we got back, too.

See and Serve with the Sisters
We split into three teams after a great morning Mass in a private chapel with Fr Bob. One team moved boxes and swept the food distribution warehouse. Another team went outside to pull weeds and work in a vegetable garden and flower beds. The third team took to the mountain of donated clothing, sorting and folding until we could see both the long table and floor underneath. Lunch together was capped with a question-and-answer period with several of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist who explained many different aspects of their mission.

Exploring Chicago
We checked out three stunning churches—two Gothic, one baroque—which included the Cathedral. We returned after lunch, a walk to the old Water Tower and pumping station, throwing a few pennies in a fountain, and quite a few laughs.