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Parish Ministries

St. Francis De Paula Transitional Family Shelter

Thank you all for the great responses to the St. Francis De Paula Shelter! Unfortunately the Need of the Month for June is Prayers! The coordinators of this wonderful ministry received a very sad phone call this week with the news that the shelter will be closing their doors on June 30th. The families that have already been in a very stressful situation are now being even more stressed with this latest upheaval in their lives. Please remember the residents and the entire staff of shelter employees as they struggle to cope with these difficult days and weeks.

A special word of thanks to the primary coordinators of this wonderful outreach ministry, Betty Kort and Pam O’Mara for all their hard work and dedication to the homeless over the years. Of course “Thank You to all the St. John Fisher parishioners and families who helped and supported them. 

"Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which to look out
Christ's compassion to the world
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about
doing good;
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now."

-Teresa of Ávila

Service Opportunities at St. John Fisher


St. John Fisher has been assigned by the archdiocese to be the primary sponsor of Catholic Charities’ St. Francis DePaula Transitional Family Shelter, located at 78th and Ellis.

Each month, we collect specific items to donate to the shelter. In addition, the shelter is ALWAYS in need of the following:

  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Deodorant
  • Bath Bar Soap
  • Dish Detergent     Plastic Plates & Cups
  • Diapers
  • Paper Towels & Napkins Glasses
  • Dishwasher Detergent      Forks, Spoons, Knives (stainless steel)
  • Ceramic Plates, Cups, Bowls
  • Black Plastic Hefty Bags
  • Dish Towels
  • Donations may be dropped off at school or the rectory.

Our shelter team (Pam O’Mara, Amy Goggin, and Betty Kort) makes monthly visits to the shelter, joined by other parish volunteers.

The shelter team also host quarterly birthday parties for residents of the shelter. We appreciate donations of birthday gifts from members of SJF.

Michelle White coordinates literacy initiatives at the shelter.

If you would like to visit the shelter and spend a few hours reading to the children there, or would like to make a birthday gift donation, or have any other questions about this ministry, please contact Amy Goggin at 708-715-2090.

Join our Facebook group: SJF Service Opportunities

OTHER SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES vary from month to month. Here’s what’s coming up in the next few months of 2015:

JUNE: Collection of school supplies for children in Guatemala. Details to follow!

MAY/JUNE: Young adult Fun(d)raiser - kickball. Details to follow!

The Service Committee meets monthly, and welcomes new members and suggestions!

QUESTIONS about any service group? Contact Mary Kopale at 773-239-6073

Parish/ Service Organizations

Women’s Club
  • Service Projects for church and school
  • Social and recreational activities for both school and church
The Catholic Mother’s Group
  • Meets monthly
  • Faith sharing group centered on vocations of wife and mother
Men’s Holy Name Society
  • Meets monthly
  • Social organizations that provides service
  • Run Parish Picnic, golf outings, food drive
The Catholic Children’s Book Club
  • Meets monthly
  • Opportunity for children to learn about saints and faith topics through Catholic books
  • Meets for the Christmas Novena
St. John Fisher Tip Toppers
  • Meets 2nd and 4th Wednesday every month from 11am-3pm
  • Social organization for senior citizens
St. Frances dePaula
  • Provides opportunities to attend and volunteer at the shelter
Fisher Fest
  • Run the parish wide fundraiser held in September
  • Organizes sales, rides, raffle tickets, and games
  • Organizes volunteers for the event
Service Committee
  • Meets monthly
  • Provide service opportunities for people of all ages within parish
  • Looking for new members
Gardening Committee
  • Prepare the gardens around the church and school
Young Adult Ministry
  • Opportunity for college and after college students to connect with their faith
  • Includes faith sharing groups
  • Opportunity for spiritual retreats and work with the Youth Ministry
Respect Life
  • Provides resources about life issues
  • Fundraise for pregnancy crisis centers
School/ Student Organizations
Girl Scouts
  • Girls from kindergarten to 8th grade
  • Helps girls build character
School Board
  • Formulate policy and work with the Pastor and principal to guide school
  • Open meetings
  • Interview to be on the School Board
Athletic Association
  • Meets monthly
  • Runs athletic programs for Fisher students to help them build character (for more information)
Youth Ministry
  • Meets every Wednesday from 6:30-9pm
  • Social and service organization for teenagers/ high school students to grow in their faith
  • Opportunities for service: Kentucky mission trip, CRHP retreat
Family School Association
  • Service and social organization
  • Link between school and parish
  • Hosts events throughout year to raise money
Church Organizations
Mass Committee
  • Meets monthly
  • Organizes special masses (sports, family, special celebrations)
  • Organizing the weekly Sunday afternoon masses
  • Serve one time per month
  • Read the first and second Readings
  • Local training required & provided
Christian Faith Formation (CFF)
  • Meets certain Sunday mornings September thru May
  • Religious educational program to prepare 1st-8th graders for the sacraments 
Music Ministry
  • Rehearsal: Thursdays from 7:30-9pm
  • Includes the Ensemble and Adult Choir
  • Provide music for the Mass
Baptismal Preparation
  • Educates parents and godparents with baptismal responsibilities
Liturgy Environment
  • Prepares the church for liturgical events/ seasons
  • Meets and carries out ways to develop the physical environment for worship (flowers, fabrics, banners)
  • Prepare for the 4:00p.m., 10:00a.m. & 5:30p.m. weekend masses
Ministers of Care
  • Visit and bring Communion to the homebound, those in nursing homes and those in hospitals
  • Must be a Eucharistic Minister
Eucharistic Ministers
  • Serve one time per month
  • Help distribute the Eucharistic at all masses
  • Local training required & provided
Wake Committee
  • Provide prayer service at wakes and an honor guard for members of the Women’s Club
  • Members attend the wakes and funerals that they can  
  • Church greeters
  • Take collections
  • Distribute bulletins

If you are interested in any of the organizations listed here, please call the parish rectory at 773-445-6565.


A hallmark of St. John Fisher Parish has always been the amazing outpouring of assistance that is provided when a member of our parish family is in need. The reputation we have for reaching out to touch the hearts and lives of our friends and neighbors at a difficult time in their lives is one of the common reasons why families choose to live in this community. We strive to be a parish of Open Hands and Caring Hearts.

Our lives continue to grow busier and our time is often stretched to the limit, yet we are aware that real needs do not diminish, nor does the generosity of so many who respond when asked. Aware of that need, especially in this difficult economy, we have launched a parish project called: HELPING HANDS-GLOWING HEARTS whose purpose is to link generous individuals, families, or neighbors with others in the parish who might need some temporary assistance. Need someone to shovel or rake leaves? Do you need a ride to a doctor’s appointment? Do you help with a few small house repairs? Would you like to work with your children and/or a group of their friends to model awareness of a world beyond themselves? The list of possible needs is exceeded only by the generous hearts that would like to help. If we don’t step forward to help one another, who will?
Some examples of common requests thus far are for:

  1. Drivers for local errands (to Little Company, County Fair, etc.), perhaps retired individuals that may have a few extra hours during the day. You can volunteer for a few hours a week, or a few hours a month, depending on your availability.
  2. People to make a meal or just an extra plate once or twice a month for our Monthly Dinner Club members.
  3. Outside work such as lawn mowing, weeding, planting, etc.
  4. Babysitting an hour or two a month.

As you can see, committing to volunteer does not necessarily mean that you are overburdening yourself. Indeed, it may become a social activity for you that you look forward to as you establish a new relationship with members of our community. We are mandated by Christ to serve others – let’s fulfill that mandate within our own neighborhood!

Feel free to contact any member of the committee with questions or thoughts. Thank you in advance for your support. Together we can make a difference.


St. John Fisher makes every effort to provide for the needs of homebound and senior parishioners. Some of the services available are:

  • Communion at home: our Ministers of Care will come to visit you at a mutually convenient time to pray with you and bring you Holy Communion. To make arrangements for this ministry, contact Mary Ann Kroll at the rectory: 773-445-6565.
  • Helping Hands: Helping Hands Ministry can provide rides to church, to the doctor or the grocery store and can help arrange assistance with chores like yard work or snow shoveling. Just call the rectory, 773-445-6565, let us know what you need, and someone from the Helping Hands Ministry will contact you.
  • Caregivers: We keep a file of local homecare providers who make their availability known to us. Again, just call the rectory, 773-445-6565, and we will be happy to provide you with that information.