This Week at Ascension + February 1, 2023

"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." - Psalm 96

Wednesday, February 1st

Brigid of Kildare, Monastic

Evening Prayer at 6:00 p.m. via ZOOM

In-person and Live-streamed Said Mass at 6:30 p.m.

Unction will be available for those who wish it.



Thursday, February 2nd

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

In-person Said Mass at 12 Noon

Solemnity of Candlemas

February 5, 2023

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer via ZOOM

9 a.m. Sung Mass

11 a.m. In-person & Live-streamed High Mass

The 11 a.m. bulletin may be found here.

Image: The Presentation in the Temple

Studio of Quentin Matsys, c 1510-1520.




In the Afternoon

Live streamed and in-person


The Recital and Evensong bulletin may be found here.

3:30 p.m. David White Organ Recital


Selections from Livre du Saint-Sacrement, 1984/85

selections from Les Corps Glorieux, 1939


4:00 p.m. Choral Evensong & Benediction

Works by Gounod, Franck, Duruflé, Poulenc

From the Curate

Did you hang linens out your windows last night for St Brigid to bless? Or put out a fire before bed and peered into the ashes this morning for a sign of her passing? In recent years, I’ve made a point to acknowledge February 1, the day we commemorate Brigid of Kildare, whose legend is part story of a fire goddess, part tale of a humble abbess and founder of the first monastery for women in Ireland. I did indeed hang a pillowcase out my bedroom window last night. And my family pondered the swirls of gray, black and white ashes in our fireplace this morning. I also read a blessing written by John O’Donohue this morning over breakfast before my family dispersed into the day. 

Irish spirituality sees holiness in all things. No one ever told me this explicitly when I was growing up, but the spirituality of my ancestors seeped into my being anyway. Once I was able to view them through this lens, my grandmother’s superstitions seemed less strange and more an expression of this understanding of the world, as handed down to her from her mother, Mary, and her mother, Bridget, before that. 

Brigid’s true story is clouded by others’ intentions. I don’t say this to dismiss the idea that she was an actual abbess but rather to acknowledge that it’s difficult to parse legend from historical fact. And yet, who can deny the truth of a woman said to be the patron saint of brewers and midwives, scholars and travelers, milkmaids and nuns—and that’s hardly the exhaustive list! When we commemorate Brigid, we acknowledge the gift of Irishness: we see that the natural world and those who make their lives in it and tend to it, have been blessed with holiness.

—Mtr. Meghan Murphy-Gill

Annual Meeting

Thanks to everyone who contributed to making our Annual Meeting of the Parish of the Church of the Ascension a success. We had the opportunity to visit with friends, eat a great lunch from UIC Catering, and learn about the inner workings of our parish.

We Should Talk Returns!

Next Thursday, February 9, marks the return of the We Should Talk series. Rather than a weekly conversation before Evening Prayer, we’ll gather on Zoom monthly at 7 pm. This month, parishioner Caroline Wills will talk about 13th-century Dutch poet and mystic Hadewijch of Brabant. We’ll look at her poem, “To Learn Mary’s Humility” and explore images of motherhood, desire, and humility in Hadewijch’s work. 

Interested in leading a discussion? Take a look at our calendar for the next three months to see what kinds of topics we’ll be learning about together:

  • February 9: “To Learn Mary’s Humility,” the poetry of Hadewijch of Brabant, led by Caroline Wills
  • March 2: From Roman to Anglican: A Catholic Journey, led by Mtr. Meghan Murphy-Gill
  • April (day TBD): Climate Action in the Episcopal Church, led by Séan Hansen

Is there a specific piece of art that opens your imagination about the possibilities of God? Or a spiritual practice that you hold dearly? A saint to whom you are devoted? Please contact Mtr. Murphy-Gill about leading a monthly discussion.

Next Young Adults Gathering February 12

This month, the young adults group will enjoy lunch, fellowship, and conversation following the Solemn High Mass in the Library. Noah Riggenbach will lead our discussion about the ways we encounter God. Lunch is provided.

Even if you have never joined us before, we’d love to have you with us. We are meeting upstairs in the parish house. If mobility is a challenge for you and would prevent you from attending, please contact Mtr. Murphy-Gill.

Vestry Retreat

On Sunday, 26 February, the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of the Church of the Ascension will gather in Saint Michael Hall for a retreat. We will be organizing, planning, and laying the groundwork for the year. We will begin at 1:00 PM with a light lunch.

Food Pantry

Was your New Year's Resolution to get more involved in the parish?

Or to volunteer more?

Food Pantry, Saturday, February 4

We will again gather to assemble bags of shelf-stable groceries and personal items for our neighbors in need. We begin filling bags in St. Michael Hall at 9:00 a.m. and start distributing them at 11 a.m. We need the most help between 9:00 and 11 a.m., but welcome your help for however long you are able to stay.

Come be the hands, heart, and feet of Christ in our own neighborhood, and enjoy some fellowship as well.

From the Archivist 

At the annual meeting a new project was announced: compiling an index for History of the Church of the Ascension. This is a task in which anyone can participate without leaving home. You can index just one page, one chapter, or the whole book. For instructions, click on the link provided. Thanks in advance for your help.

Carol Noren, archivist

Picture of the book's author, George Giles (above)

Congratulations to Parishioner Marlea Edinger! She was the subject of a Volunteer Spotlight on the Treehouse Cat Shelter Instagram page.

Marlea was recommended to contact us because her kitty had behavioral issues and our extensive knowledge about solutions that can help. She found the support she and her kitty needed and off she went. She was so impressed by the help she received and the positive changes in her kitty cat! ⁠

Marlea wanted to pay it forward and help other kitties who struggle with socialization and behavioral challenges. And when she could dedicate more time to the kitty community, Marlea signed up to be a volunteer. Not only that, but she is our go-to volunteer for cats that need that extra support.⁠

Fast forward 10 years! Marlea helped more cats than we can count with socialization and gets them ready to be in a forever home with their forever family. She has touched so many lives and made such a huge impact on our cat community! ⁠

Happy 10 years of volunteering, Marlea! We're incredibly lucky to call you a part of our volunteer team and our Tree House family, and the cats are even luckier to have you!⁠

Marlea recommends a few tools that can help cats with socialization, including a Cat Dancer and reading appropriate books to cats like–, of course!–, her well-loved copy of T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.⁠

Our Tree House Volunteers are so important to our kitty community! Make a difference. Be like Marlea and volunteer today!⁠


From the Rector Search Committee

The position of Rector at Church of the Ascension has been added to the Diocesan website as of January 19, 2023. As you know, it was a long time coming due to complications at the Diocese. Interested candidates submit their application to the Diocese. The Diocese peruses them and removes applications with red flags before passing them on to us. The cutoff date for accepting applications is March 17. The Diocese gives all the applications to us at one time. 

In the meantime, the committee is establishing a procedure for assessing candidates. We have created a matrix system for assessing the written applications to determine whom we want to interview. To prepare for the live interviews (initially via Zoom), we have assembled a list of pertinent questions. We are inviting parishioners to submit questions that they think are important to ask. If you would like to submit a question, please email it to It will be forwarded to the Search Committee. We are also scheduling practice interviews to help us prepare.

Important: If you know of a priest that you think would be a good fit for Ascension, please encourage them to see the information in the Clergy Openings section of the Diocesan website ( Thank you! 

Prayer Requests

Do you have a need for special prayer in your life? Whether your prayer needs are because you have an upcoming surgery, an ill family member, or you’re just feeling particularly lonely lately, Fr. Heard and Mtr. Murphy-Gill would like to know.

We’ve created a way for letting us know about your requests for prayers in a way we hope makes it easy for you to reach out, though you can always call the church or reach out to one of the priests personally. 

Share your prayer requests here.

Organ and Choral Repertoire for February 5, 2023


Diptyque: La Purification [1928]

Charles A. Tournemire (1870-1939)


At the Entrance Procession



At the Offertory



At the Communion

499 SONG 1 (9 a.m.)

810 (Cantate Domino)

FRAGRANCE (11 a.m.)


At the Retiring Procession

259 OLD 120TH



Improvisation on

Senex puerum portabat

David R. White (b. 1959)

Nunc dimittis

Christopher Tye (c. 1505-c. 1572)

Lord, let thy servant now

depart in peace

Choral Mass Setting

Cristóbal de Morales (c. 1500-1553)

Missa de Beata Virgine

Offertory Motet

Jacques Arcadelt (c. 1507-1568)

Hodie Beata Virgo Maria  

Chanted Mass Propers from the

Graduale Romanum

Between Masses, please don’t forget that The Choir of the Ascension has recorded upwards of 60 tracks that you can listen to anywhere you have an internet connection. They can be found here:

Ascension Connections
(with your click and God's help)
Participate in Ascension masses at our YouTube Channel. (Look for other connections options soon.)
Meeting ID:
792 031 7452
Password: 1133
Join-by-Phone Option: (312) 626-6799

Weekly Ascension Schedule

For connections:

via Zoom (click here)


7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer via Zoom

9:00 a.m. In-person Sung Mass

11:00 a.m. In-person and Live-Streamed Solemn High Mass



7:30 A.M. Morning Prayer via FACEBOOK LIVE

6:00 p.m. Evening Prayer via Zoom


6:30 p.m. Said Mass



For our prayers: Tyler, David S. Jones, The Hall family, Elsa Pineda,

Richard Francis Tracz, Thom Racina, Robert Browning, Natalia & Victor, Dorothy, David Schrader, Victor Fernandez, Claire Green, Beth Hall, Sue Lenz, Brenda Martins, Lee Gould, Gertrude Isaac, Marty Stenson, Steve Dionne


Departed: Lawrence E. Gehrke 1/31/2008; Kiyomi Kakiuchi, 2/4/2020


Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them;

May their souls and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

The Rev. Thomas Heard, Interim Rector

The Rev. Meghan Murphy-Gill, Curate

Reach Out To Us

Vestry of Church of the Ascension

LaVerne Rollé Saunders, Sr. Warden; David Reeves, Jr. Warden;

Ian Barillas-McEntee, Jim Lo Bello, Ken Cozette, Marlea Edinger, Sean Hansen,

David A. Robertson, Elizabeth Simpson, Joshua Simpson, Sam Sommers, Clerk,

Susan Schlough, Treasurer

Br. Nathanael Deward Rahm BSG, Parish Office


Approved minutes of Vestry meetings are always available online to parishioners who request the link. If you would like Internet access to these Vestry Minutes, please email the Parish Office and request the link. Once you access the web page, you can read all recent Vestry meeting minutes.

The link remains live indefinitely. Any parishioner who has the link will not need to request a new link from month to month.