SATURDAY: 5PM  -  AND  -  SUNDAY: 7:30AM, 9AM,  10:30AM, 12 NOON AND 6:30PM

This week, there will be a 2nd collection for the ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP,
immediately following communion.
Next week, OUR SHARING PARISH, will be included in the regular collection.
Thank you for your generosity.

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Looking forward to Family Mass  hosted by the 2nd Grade
on Sunday, December 10th!

We invite second graders and parents to serve in this wonderful ministry. Children can sign up to be greeters, gift bearers, and bulletin distributors, and parents can help as liturgy and hospitality coordinators. We are looking for hospitality and Common Pantry donations as well.

2nd Grade families please click here to check out the SignUp Genius

Questions? Contact Gina Hortatsos:

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In just a few days our parish will host our fifth annual Christmas Concert Gala. Over the past several weeks, a group of over 100 musicians have been working hard in preparation for the concert, both in our choirs and in the Ravenswood Community Orchestra. They range in experience from professional to absolute beginner, child to senior citizen, and everything in between. Though they come from many different walks of life, they are all bound by the music that they create and the joy with which they do so. It is truly amazing to see a group of students, scientists, teachers, business people, etc. come together and transform into one entity, one ensemble to work in total harmony. The power of music is real and wonderful. There truly is magic in the air!

This year’s program bears a special significance to me. Not only will it be my fifth concert here at St. Ben’s, we will be performing Mozart’s Coronation Mass K.317, a piece I’ve longed to conduct since I was a teen. I first stumbled upon the Coronation Mass at age 12, before I had ever even considered music as a career. I was
looking through old year books in our school library at St. Hyacinth in Avondale. As I perused, I came across a larger more ornate book with gold foil and embossed lettering. It was a book commemorating the 75th anniversary of the parish. I spent the next hour or so gazing into the past through a sea of pictures and names. Somewhere near the center of the book was published the program for the 75th Jubilee Mass. Initially, I was drawn in by the picture of the packed church. But a phrase in the program itself kept catching my eye, “Coronation Mass”. At the time I had no concept of classical liturgical music and I found the title a bit odd. “Who are they crowning?” I thought to myself, but then quickly moved on. 

I visited that book several more times, mostly for the pictures, but that word coronation always intrigued me. After about a year I finally looked up the piece at the public library. The recording I found was the 1985 recording of Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, Kathleen Battle was the soprano soloist. I probably listened to that CD three times that day, entranced by what I was hearing. The elegant theme of the Kyrie and the Agnus Dei, the dialogue between the chorus and the soloists, this was the first time I experienced truly transcendent church music. It has stayed with me all these years, and I still catch myself idly singing it to myself as I walk through the grocery store. 

Mozart was a little down on his luck in 1779. After a disastrous trip to Paris, he had to come back to his home town of Salzburg. His dad was able to get him a job at the local cathedral as court organist and composer. The Archbishop at the time had very specific musical tastes. He wanted even the most solemn Mass to last no longer than 45 minutes, a form known as "Missa Brevis" or Short Mass while using the full orchestration and musical grandeur of the longer "Missa Solemnis" or Solemn Mass. Mozart met this challenge beautifully, and composed his Mass in C Major K.317. It is almost certain that this Mass made its debut on Easter Sunday that same year, although it's nickname "The Coronation Mass" wouldn't come until much later.

It is not entirely clear where the Mass in C K.317 acquired its royal nickname. There are references to this nickname as early as 1862, and there have been a few theories as to where the title may have originated. Current scholarship attributes the title to the work being performed at the coronation of either Leopold II or Franz I of Austria. Whatever its origins, the title does in fact capture the majesty and grandeur of this classical masterpiece.

The Coronation Mass is just one of countless sacred musical works that have been written over the course of centuries for our faith tradition. Its glorious grandeur captures the spirit and joy of Christmas, while it's short length makes it easy to enjoy and appreciate even by those that may not be "classical music buffs". Our goal is to present a program that not only includes those melodies that are near and dear to our hearts, but also to expand the horizons of our concert goers and community.

YES! In fact, about two thirds of the program will be the Christmas music you know and love. This concert is meant to be family friendly, so there will be sing-a-longs, carols, and even a couple popular Christmas tunes from the radio.

Tickets are available after Mass in the vestibule, at the rectory, or online at 
Please note:  Pre-Sale discount ends THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14TH. Tickets will be available at the door or at the rectory on the day of the concert for full price. 



LAST CALL! Christmas Giving Tree: Gifts Due Back by December 11th

If you took a tag from the giving tree, please return your unwrapped gift to the RECTORY, with the tag affixed to the outside, no later than Saturday, December 11th. If for some reason you took a tag and don’t participate in the program, please call the parish office 773-588-6484 so no one goes without a gift. 

For more information, please call Elaine Lindia at
773-509-3806. Thank you for your participation and for helping make Christmas a little brighter!

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Join in with Youth Ministry where you can share in the fun in our community and grow in faith.

There are several opportunities for Service coming up. The sign up genius link can be found here:

9th 10:00-12:00 Holiday Party with the families at the House of the Good Shepherd
10th Serve by Face Painting at Holiday Fair
10th 5:00-6:30 Making cookies for the sandwich program
13th 5:30-8:15 Serve at the Common Pantry  (5 people)
17th Serve with others at Simbang Gabi after the 6:30 mass

Please email or call Ms. McMillan if you have questions. 773-509-3841


Annual “Keep Christ in Christmas” Contest
Submissions due December 10th


The Knights of Columbus St Benedict’s Chapter 15052 again invites the boys and girls from St Benedict’s Parish, School, and Religious Education program ages 5 through 14 to participate in the annual “Keep Christ in Christmas” contest.  By engaging the creativity and imaginations of our young people, we hope they will come to a deeper understanding of the true, spiritual meaning of Christmas.  
How to Participate
Simply draw a picture on a piece of paper no smaller than 8.5x11 inches and no larger than 11x17 inches that reflects the theme of “Keep Christ in Christmas”.  All submissions are due no later than December 10th 2017.  You may turn in your submissions to a teacher or to an Usher at the end of any Mass.
Ground Rules
• Pictures must reflect the theme of “Keep Christ in Christmas”
• Each Poster should be the original work of the participant  (including concept, layout, slogan, and visual images)
• Submissions should be no smaller than 8.5x11 inches and no larger than 11x17 inches
• All pictures must have the contestant’s name, current school grade, age, and contact information written on the back.  
Submissions will be judged based on:
• Slogan  How clearly is the theme presented
• Visuals  How well do the visuals convey the message
• Impact  How effective is the picture in capturing attention and causing reflection
Prizes will be awarded to each age/grade level.  
Send an email to

Good Luck, Have Fun, and Be Creative!

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The St. Ben’s Christmas Trolley is Back!  Sunday, December 17th!

Warm up your pipes and come warm your hearts this year by joining our Christmas Caroling Trolley with stops at Lincoln Park Zoo, Water Tower Place and Kris Kringle market in Daley Plaza. $30 per person, seat confirmed upon payment/checks can be left at the rectory. 21 and over only! Trolley boards in front of church with a prompt departure at 6pm. Wear something RED! Questions? contact  Seat confirmed on payment.

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Spiritual Dream Group - Next Session: Monday, December 18th

In this group we learn to become like a container of sacred space as a group to provide a secure connection between the individual’s inner world and the outer world.  Spiritual dream work affirms that our (nocturnal) dreams offer us support in our spiritual journey.  This work helps us towards living a guided life from within with the support of others and helps us to recognize the symbolic language of the soul. All dreamers are welcome and there is no experience necessary.  I encourage anyone who has been interested in their dreams, but has not had the opportunity to share and explore them further to attend.  This ongoing group will meet on the third Monday of each month at 7 pm until 9 pm in the basement of the rectory in the small meeting room. Please contact Rachel at if you plan to attend.

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Upcoming Catechetical Conversation at St. Ben's

January 22, 2018  - “Cementing our Faith as Disciples of Jesus”
Attendance is expected for parents and 8th grade candidates for Confirmation. 7 p.m. in the Church.

February 12th -  “The Center of Our Lives is the Eucharist
This is a presentation and conversation on the Sacrament of Holy Communion. All parents of children receiving the Sacrament should attend, but all parishioners are invited to attend. 7pm in the Church

Second Act Ministry - Just what is the Second Act Ministry and what is it all about?

Mission Statement:  To promote stewardship and fellowship within the parish and community. Under the Parish Life Commission umbrella, activities will include events and service projects.

Background: It has been theorized that life can be divided into three acts, like a theatrical production.  The First Act is our introduction to life.  We absorb the facts of our society with its trials and tribulations, learning how to make our way in this world.  The Third Act is a time of introspection and reconciliation.  Like a play, it is the denouement of our personal story.  We reflect and make judgments on the use of our time on earth.

While the First and Third Acts are the Alpha and Omega of our lives, it is the Second Act that stands out.  This act showcases the best qualities of our human spirit that have developed with age.  Thus, the impetus behind the formation of the Second Act Ministry at St. Benedict.  We share our time, talents and treasures with those we know and those who are in need.  We put into practice all our learned knowledge, experience and expertise. We demonstrate the execution of the mandate left by Our Lord to take care of one another as He would – to do His work until He returns.  This is manifested in our special gatherings and our outreach activities.

If you have any questions, please contact Dradyne Robyne Eudeikis at


Pope Francis has often called the church to “go, do not be afraid, and serve.” Are you looking for a unique way to do just that?

Join the Mercy Home for Boys & Girls' Heroes team for the Oct. 7, 2018, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and transform the life of an abused child in Chicago.

Mercy Home has been a solution for kids in crisis since 1887. By joining our Heroes team, you will make it possible for us to provide a safe home, emotional healing, and academic opportunities for children who have suffered abuse, neglect, poverty, and abandonment. Running a marathon as a Hero will be life-changing for the countless children you will help, and for you as well.

Hebrews 12:1 calls us to "run with endurance the race that is set before us." Is this your race? Join us as a Mercy Home Hero, where we believe "No distance is too far to save a child." Don’t let fear stop you.

Go to to sign up, or contact Jim Harding at or 312-738-9381 with any questions. Join before Nov. 30 and receive a special dri-fit Heroes in Training shirt. Use promo code “CHURCH” for $5 off.


Since the two ‘in pew’ commitment weekends that we hosted for our Capital Campaign, pledges have still been coming into the rectory!  Thank you!  That puts us at $4,604,683 pledged toward our Capital Campaign total need of $6.2 Million dollars.  This is so unbelievably generous and will make a huge impact on our future.  Thank you for your generous support of the Campaign!  And thanks to all the volunteers who worked so hard on the campaign to make us such a huge success.  I am so grateful for your generous spirit that has drawn us together tightly as a parish community.  Everyone pitched in to make this campaign a success; old, young, long time parishioners, new parishioners, single parishioners, families, families with kids in our School, families with kids in our Religious Education, large amounts, small amounts, everyone pitched in!  Thank you!! 
    As successful as we have been, this pledged amount includes only 15% of our registered parishioners to date.  For sure a good number of parishioners have been through one, two, three, or four previous Capital Campaigns and might feel a little ‘campaigned out’.  This is certainly understandable.  But what about the hundreds of households who have never contributed to an extraordinary Capital Campaign like this?  Won’t you please consider a gift to this Campaign that secures our future so boldly?  Pledge cards are located at the St. Benedict Shrine near the Campaign banner.   Your gift will go a long way to make us secure for the future.  Please pray about your gift!  
    May God continue to bless you and those you love.  Please pray for me as I pray for you daily.  God bless, Fr. Jason

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Campaign Details

As many of you may know, last week we announced Forward in Our Faith, a capital campaign for our parish and preparatory school. This campaign will help us address the following needs:
1) Maintenance and upgrades to the church and campus facilities ($2,785,000):
        a. A new roof and complete tuck-pointing of the church
        b. New windows and tuck-pointing for the Leavitt-facing side of the school
        c. Resurfaced parking lot and upgrades to the playground
        d. Upgrades to the boiler room and tuck-pointing for the convent
2) A two-story addition to the elementary and secondary school ($2,750,000)
        a. Multigenerational and multipurpose campus learning center
        b. Three new classrooms
        c. Four preschool classrooms, to replace the secondary school library
3) Stewardship to our wider Church ($440,000)
        a. Our contribution to the Archdiocese’s To Teach Who Christ Is capital  campaign, for Catholic education and faith formation
        b. An educational endowment for our sharing parish, Our Lady of the Snows

To support these projects, we have set ourselves a minimum goal of $4,500,000  and a challenge goal of $6,200,000.

These projects will help us to accomplish a number of goals:
First, maintenance and upgrades to the church and other campus facilities will allow us to preserve our historic church and ensure that our facilities are safe and comfortable places for us to gather and grow together. 

Next, a two-story addition to the elementary and secondary school will allow us to begin implementing 21st century learning spaces, thus strengthening the quality of the innovative Catholic education we already offer our students, as well as affording us valuable extra space for our many gatherings and activities!

Finally, as a parish dedicated to Catholic education and to teaching others in the faith, we are proud to accept the call to stewardship and support Catholic education and faith formation throughout the Archdiocese through the To Teach Who Christ Is capital campaign, and to support Catholic education at Our Lady of the Snows.

Once again, many thanks to our Campaign Executive Committee and the members of our faith family who have already given so generously. We look forward to sharing more updates with you in the coming months!

Calling Interested Retirees in the Parish! Become a volunteer at our beloved parish school!

Did you know that the parish Catholic school welcomes retirees to volunteer in the school? We have several retired parishioners who help out on a regular basis in the school. Some activities include working with young students in early childhood classrooms, receptionist subs, tutoring, classroom assistants, library assistant and advancement secretarial work. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Ms. Rachel Gemo, Head of Parish School for more information. We think it is a great way for retirees to stay active and for our students to experience intergenerational learning. Call Ms. Gemo at 773-463-6797 ext 404 or email her at


Offering our Time, Talent and Treasure to our Parish
And to God who has blessed us abundantly!

Our first hour of our time goes to God every Sunday in the Mass and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist.

Please CLICK HERE to download the Ministry Volunteer Form and let us know what ministries to which you are interested in offering your time. Thank you!

New Procedures for Requesting Graphic Design Work or Communications Requests:

When Requesting E-blast Communications, Facebook Postings, Website Assistance, Graphic Design Work and the Like...

We are fortunate to have several talented people in our Mission Advancement Office who can help design and create communications and graphic design work for school needs. Maria Tubay, our Director of Communications for the Parish and School,  Joe Accardi, our Mission Advancement Officer, Janet Gallagher, our Director of Admissions Grades K-5 & Fund Our Future Appeal Coordinator, as well as Erik Petersen, our Director of Secondary Admissions.

Our goal is to use the time of each member of the Advancement Staff as wisely as possible. Smaller project requests can be done by most members of the Mission Advancement Staff, while Maria Tubay can take on much more sophisticated design projects (as well as do the weekly parish bulletin).

In order to help prioritize projects and use staff members in thoughtful, purposeful ways , ALL REQUESTS for communications or graphic design work, will be submitted by an electronic ticketing system. These requests will be funneled through either Fr. Jason for PARISH COMMISSION requests, or Joe Accardi for EDUCATION COMMISSION requests, who will then parcel out the assignments as needed depending on the Advancement Team’s work load.  If you have any questions about this, please contact Mr. Joe Accardi at Thank you so much!

Click here to submit PARISH COMMISSION project requests

Click here to submit EDUCATION COMMISSION project requests