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Thursday, November 16th,  2017 *  Volume 15  *  Issue 17

Dear SBPS Families: 

We are heading into our THIRD WEEK of our 2017 ANNUAL SCHOOL FUND DRIVE and are on our way to reaching our ambitious goal of $150,000. We've already beat last year's total and have over $125,000 pledged and 32% of school families participating. Can you imagine what we could accomplish if we had 80%, 90% and even 100% of our school families participating?  No matter the size of the gift, each gift makes a difference. 

I often hear parents wanting to know how they can help with teacher retention and teacher appreciation. Our teachers are our greatest asset and we know that we have to find creative ways to attract and retain great teachers. Our latest Annual School Fund video explains how we are doing just that. We have created teacher leadership opportunities to enhance our school, our student experience and invest in our teachers. CLICK HERE to watch our latest video and learn how the Annual School Fund supports our teachers.  Again, please consider a gift to the Annual School Fund! We'd love for each school family to give a gift - regardless of size, each gift makes a difference!

Don't forget to pick up your Christmas Wreaths and Greenery this coming Sunday. You can do so after any of the masses at Beaven Hall. See below for more details.  Thank you once again for your generosity to the 8th grade Washington DC trip. 

Next week we have a short week because of the Thanksgiving Holiday. We dismiss at 2PM on Tuesday for professional development time, and then have Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off. I pray that any of our families who are traveling for the holiday have safe travels. If you are staying in town, please consider making a dish or cooking a turkey or ham for the parish Thanksgiving dinner. You can find out more by reading below. 

Thank you for a great week! Happy Thanksgiving! 

Peace - Ms. Rachel Gemo, Head of Parish School 


  • Important November Dates to Know
  • Christmas Greenery Pick Up Information 
  • Java with Gemo on November 29th
  • New Scholarship Opportunities for Catholic Schools -  Tax Credit Scholarships
  • November Lunch Menus  
  • Time to Order the 2017-18 School Yearbook 
  • Instrument Donation Program 
  • Check out all the St. Benedict Parish Events to enjoy! 

Here are November Dates to Keep in Mind –

  • November 16th - HSA Girls Night Out 
  • November 17th - Secondary School Exams begin 
  • November 18th - Registration for HS placement exam begins (for 8th graders)
  • November 19th - Confirmation Rite of Enrollment 
  • November 19th - Wreath Distribution Day - Don't forget to pick up your wreaths! 
  • November 20th - Secondary School Exams 
  • November 21st - Last Day of Trimester One 
  • November 22-24th - Thanksgiving Holiday Break 
  • November 27th - First Day of Trimester 2 
  • November 27th - St. Vincent DePaul Advent Food Drive Begins 
  • November 27th - December 1st - ASPIRE interim exams grades 3-8 


If you ordered wreaths or greenery form the wreath sale please note the following information for pick up this weekend:

Wreaths & Greenery may be picked up:
Sunday November 19th from 9:00-3:00pm in Beaven Hall. Please enter through the back door.
Monday November 20th from 7:15am-9:00am
Tuesday November 21st from 7:30-8:15am (Garage across from Beaven Hall) 

Please make every effort to pick up your greenery by November 20th at 9:00 AM. After November 21st at 8:15 AM all uncollected greenery will be donated and no refunds will be issued.   Please understand that we do not have the ability to store the large amounts of greenery so it is important that the orders are picked up by Monday at 9:15 AM. Thank you for your support of the Greenery Sale benefiting 8th grade Agora and High School Prom! If you missed the deadline for ordering we will have a very few extra items on sale for purchase in Beaven Hall.

Java with Gemo and Friends 

Wednesday, November 29th at 8:15 AM in Secondary School Library

Topic: New Family Feedback Session - All Families New to SBPS are Welcome

Java with Gemo is a monthly Parent and Friends Coffee where guests gather in the library to enjoy breakfast treats and coffee provided by the school. We begin the presentation around 8:15 AM and usually go for about an hour with time allowed for Q & A. We schedule Java's first thing in the morning so that people may attend for as long as they can before they head off to work or other plans. Small children may also attend as long as they are relatively quiet and occupied.

On Wednesday, November 29th, Janet Gallagher, Director of Enrollment & Marketing, will be facilitating a New Family Feedback Session along with Ms. Gemo, Our Pastor, Father Steve Kanonik will also stop by. All new families (PK-Grade 12) are invited to participate. Last year, we learned a lot of invaluable feedback from our newest school families. We hope you can join us.

Here are the remaining Java's for the Year to put in your calendar:

  • January 17 - Inclusion Program and Family Support with Ms. Enriquez, Director of Inclusion
  • January 31 - The 7 C's of Catholic School Excellence at SBPS - Book Club Kick Off with Ms. Gemo and Ms. McMillan
  • February 21 - High School in Chicago-Don't Panic your child will go to high school! with Dr. Mickelburgh 
  • March 14 - Early Childhood and STEM, with Ms. Waldron
  • April 25 - State of the School and Strategic Planning Update with Ms. Gemo 
  • May 23 - TBD 

New Catholic School Scholarship Opportunity for 2018/19 School Year

Through the “Invest in Kids Act,” the state of Illinois has created a new way to fund scholarships for children from low-income households who want to attend private schools. The tax credit scholarships offered through this program could cover up to 100 percent of tuition and fees for eligible, low-income students. Not all families will be eligible for the new scholarships, but we want to make sure all Catholic school families are aware of the program. Program details are still being finalized, but you can find information on the scholarships, the application process and review the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on the Archdiocese of Chicago’s website, If you have any questions about tax credit scholarships, please contact the Archdiocese at or 312.534.5321.

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Parents! Give your Children this Amazing Keepsake!
Order Your St. Benedict Elementary School and/or Middle School Yearbook Today!





The tree will be available the weekend of November 18 and 19. 

This year our Giving Tree will support several organizations:

  • Maryville Academy – a home and a haven for abused, neglected, and abandoned children. Begun in 1883, Maryville provides a host of services for children in need, including long-term care, short-term care, diagnostic care, medical care, therapeutic counseling, vocational training, special education, and emergency shelter services.
  • St. Joseph Village – A Senior Living community sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago which includes short-term rehabilitation, residential and healthcare options.
  • St. Paul’s House – A Senior living community which includes short-term rehabilitation, residential and healthcare options.

Please take a tag from the tree, purchase the gift listed and return it unwrapped, with the tag affixed to the outside. All gifts should be returned to the Rectory (2215 W. Irving Park) on or before December 11th. If for some reason you take a tag and don’t participate in the program, please call the parish office so no one goes without a gift.

For more information about the Giving Tree, please call Elaine Lindia at (773)509-3806.


Thanksgiving Dinner - Donations Needed

St. Benedict will be hosting our annual Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, November 23 from 11 am until 1 pm. All are welcome to join the feast! This is a potluck dinner in the truest sense in that all food and supplies are donated by parishioners, local businesses, neighbors, and friends of the parish. So if you are able to donate a cooked turkey, side dish, beverage, or dessert, it would be most appreciated. Please use the sign up link of: Or visit the Human Concerns page of our web site for more information. Thank you! 

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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.


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.

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Prayer at Harvest and Thanksgiving

O God, source and giver of all things,
You manifest your infinite majesty, power and goodness
In the earth about us:
We give you honor and glory.
For the sun and the rain,
For the manifold fruits of our fields:
For the increase of our herds and flocks,
We thank you.
For the enrichment of our souls with divine grace,
We are grateful.

Supreme Lord of the harvest,
Graciously accept us and the fruits of our toil,
In union with Jesus, your Son,
As atonement for our sins,
For the growth of your Church,
For peace and love in our homes,
And for salvation for all.
We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.