By Gordon Nary
Could you provide us with an overview of your responsibilities as a Pastoral Minister?
Elizabeth: As CRE, I oversee a "Sunday School" program for young Catholics grades pre-K through 8, who come together every Sunday to pray and learn with each other. During the summer, I make plans for the year ahead, meet with and train volunteer catechists and search for new ways for the Religious Education program to involve itself in the greater community. I am new to St. Michael this year and am looking forward to getting to know everyone.
Gordon: When and why did you join Assumption Church?
Elizabeth: I joined Assumption Church in July 2013 and my husband, Bret, and I were married there in November 2013. We chose Assumption because my mother had been a parishioner when she lived in Chicago in the 80s and it was the parish I attended when I was in town during college.
Gordon: You serve as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at Assumption and are also a member of the Pastoral Council. What are some of the issues that that Parish Council addresses at its meetings?
Elizabeth: Our Pastoral Council serves as an advisory body for our pastor, Father Joseph Chamblain, OSM. For the most part, we focus on making the Assumption community as welcoming and inclusive as possible. We are also very interested in making sure that we are engaged with important social justice issues in our neighborhood and the city as a whole. This year, the council has challenged itself to focus on “Sharing the Faith” by giving testimony about our personal relationships with Jesus Christ and by providing opportunities for members of the community to cultivate their shared faith.
Gordon: Since you are a Lector, who is you favorite New Testament author and why?
Elizabeth: Paul is pretty intense.
Gordon: Could you tell our readers about your Master of Divinity studies at Loyola University?
Elizabeth: I started the program in January 2015 and hope to graduate in May 2018. I’ll be taking a variety of courses of doctrine, Scripture, theology and liturgy during the program but my major focus is canon law. Also, one of the requirements of my degree is to spend a semester working as an apprentice hospital chaplain, which I plan to do during Summer 2017.
Gordon: Do you have an observations on the impact of Pope Francis' visit to the United states and his address to Congress?
Elizabeth: I think one of the biggest impacts of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States was that it brought the Roman Catholic Church to the forefront of people’s minds in a really positive way. It’s nice to get some positive attention.
Gordon: What was your most memorable moment of Pope Francis' visit?
Elizabeth: Cardinal Dolan took a lot of selfies when they were leaving Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. I’m not sure why that stuck with me as much as it did, but Igot a real kick out of that.
Gordon: We seem at times to be drowning in a culture of violence with the continuing murder of our children just a few miles from us and another mass murder of college students in Oregon, What can each of us do to help combat this violence?
Elizabeth: There are no easy answers to this question. I think one of the most important things you can do is pray about it. Then, it’s a great idea to check out what the Office of Peace and Justice of the Archdiocese of Chicago is doing to help ameliorate this situation.
Gordon: Thank you for a great interview.