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. You may have school-age children who will greatly benefit from our Religious Education program (RE). Some may be older and will enjoy sharing the Faith with peers in our growing youth group.

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, a Sacrament of Reconciliation Day, parent meetings, two special Retreat and Service Days for Confirmation students, and summer Youth Activities. Our curriculum and excellent volunteers cover the fundamentals of our faith in a way that will 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. 11, 2016 to May 14, 2017
Where: School classrooms (the building next to, and a bit behind, the church)

Download the 2016-2017 Religious Education Calendar of Classes and Activities. You can also download the full printed brochure of the religious education program.

Please note: Student absences from classes, Mass, the Reconciliation Service, or Confirmation Retreat/Service Days require written permission from a parent or guardian. If a student is absent three times during the school year, 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.

Parent Meetings

All parents meet:
  • Sunday, Sept. 11 at 8:45 a.m. in the school commons
  • Saturday, Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. in the church

First Holy Communion parents meet in the library at 9 a.m. on:
  • Oct. 2, Nov. 6, Feb. 1, March 5

Confirmation parents meet in the library at 9 a.m. on:
  • Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Feb. 1, March 11

To Register

You may register in person after the 10:30 a.m. Masses Aug. 14, 21, or 28 or at the parish office by appointment. You will need to give us the following:
  1. Three completed forms: the registration form, the parental permissions form, and the safe environment training form
  2. A copy of your child(ren)'s baptismal certificate(s)
  3. Payment: You may pay online or pay in person. Payment of a minimum of half tuition and fees is expected at the time of registration, and final payment by Dec. 6, 2016. Those with financial needs, please contact Fr. Aschenbrener.
Tuition and Fees:
  • $175 Confirmation class
  • $150 First Holy Communion class
  • $125 all other classes
  • $25 late registration fee (after Aug. 28)

Adult Classes for Initial or Ongoing Study
  • Parents or other adults who want to know more about scripture, the sacraments, the Catholic Church are welcome to attend the special discussion group. Additional inquiry and study for entrance into the church and adult sacramental preparation is held on Thursday evenings. Please call the office for details.

Family and Youth Meetings, Activities, and Outings

Engage in different opportunities to make new friends, serve, and worship together! Activities vary from film nights to meals to bowling or service outings. Join us in learning, laughing, giving and growing, and serving and praying together.

Check out what's going on at our events page. See the Sunday bulletin or home page for updates and details. 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 youth trip.

Youth Meetings

  • Who: All high school students and scholarship participants, as well as second semester 8th graders … and your friends.
  • Where: School commons
  • When: 1st and 3rd Wed of every month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 21, Oct. 5 & 19, Nov. 2 & 16, Dec. 8, Jan. 4 & 18, Feb. 1 & 15, March 1 & 15, April 5 & 15, May TBD
  • What: Fun, Games, Food, Films, Real questions, Real Answers and maybe a “night out” or two, too!

Current events and outings are listed at the parish 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 fresh farm eggs, sweet corn, and a file full of photos.

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.