By Gordon Nary
Gordon: When and why did you join Assumption Catholic Church?
John: I started attending Masses at Assumption in the mid 70s. I've had offices in the Merchandise Mart & Apparel Center since 1969. My wife Cathy and I joined the parish officially in the early 2000s. We had been parishioners at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel prior to that. Our children attended the OLMC Academy in their grade school days.
Gordon: If someone was moving into Chicago and you were recommending Assumption as a possible parish, what features of the parish would you recommend?
John: A magnificent house of worship. It's easy to connect with the Lord. Inspiring murals and statues. The sanctuary is a work of art with the Assumption window overlooking the congregation ,and the ceramic rendering of the Last Supper below it. The big city church with the small town atmosphere. Members know one another. They care for one another. The Servites are tireless in their work for and the care of the parishioners.
Gordon: At what Mass do you generally serve as a Eucharistic Minister?
John: The 5:00 PM Saturday Mass
Gordon: When and how did you learn about volunteering for the Little Sisters of the Poor?
John: A Little Sister tugged at my heart. She spoke with humility. I turned to my wife saying she reminds me of the Blessed Virgin. I was hooked. I thought that I was signing up in order to do penance. Not so, it's only penance when I'm not able to get to St. Mary's Home It a joy and the most rewarding thing that I've ever done.
Gordon: What are you responsibilities as a volunteer?
John: I serve in the dining room.
Gordon: Could you comment on some of the more rewarding experiences as a volunteer?
John: My goal is to get to know everyone by name. Lunch is like an outing to the residents. I do my best to make their experience like lunch at Piccolo Sogna. I must admit that it took some resocialialization on my part. I'm there no less than once a week, if I'm in town. I travel and have trade shows. I try making up the misses by doubling up during my down time. The Little Sisters are angels. Their care and patience is spellbinding.
Gordon: Do the Sisters need more volunteers?
John: The Little Sisters can always use additional volunteers. The Federal & State governments have greatly reduced their financial assistance. The city of Chicago now charges St. Mary's for water usage. If time is not available to donate time, consider donating financially. God blesses us with these dedicated women. They can't do it alone.
One final thought. It is a privilege and a blessing to be associated w/ the Little Sisters of the Poor.