Last Ascension newsletter of 2019, and
last newsletter before ...

January 1st, The Holy Name

9:30 a.m.
Morning Prayer

10:00 a.m.
Said Mass

January 5th, Second Sunday after Christmas Day

The Flight into Egypt by Giotto di Bondone, a.k.a. Giotto,
fresco, ca. 1305, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Said Mass (Rite I)
9:00 a.m. Sung Mass
11:00 a.m. Solemn High Mass

Nursery available 8:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Join us for fellowship in Wheeler Hall after every Mass.

Tomás Luis de Victoria (c. 1548-1611) Missa O magnum mysterium

January 6th, Feast of the Epiphany

Epiphany , Fernando Gallego, 1440-1507

7 00 p.m.
Choral Mass of the Epiphany
with The Ascension Schola

Jacobus Gallus (1550-1591)
Omnes de Saba venient à5

 William Byrd (c. 1540-1623)
Reges Tharsis à5
and Vidimus stellam

Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings, January 8
12:05 pm mass, followed by lunch & fellowship
(more information below)

This Week at Ascension + December 30, 2019

From the Rector
Also from the Rector
Advent & Christmas Sermons
From the Treasurer
Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings 2020
Food Pantry This Saturday
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


Dear people of Ascension,

Continuing the themes of brevity and poetry from last week ... in this case with thanks to the 20th century Scottish poet George Mackay Brown (1921-1996) and his imagined unique local view of the Nativity ...

       The Lodging
The stones of the desert town
Flush; and, a star-filled wave,
Night steeples down.

From a pub door here and there
A random ribald song
Leaks on the air.

The Roman in a strange land
Broods, wearily leaning
His lance in the sand.

The innkeeper over the fire
Counting his haul, hears not
The cry from the byre;

But rummaging in the till
Grumbles at the drunken shepherds
Dancing on the hill;

And wonders, pale and grudging,
If the strange pair below
Will pay their lodging.


My thanks, of course, to all who shared time, talent, treasure, faith, creativity and more to prepare for and take part in our Advent and Christmas worship and fellowship - including but not limited to our Flower Guild members (and helpers) and J.W. Landscaping for the beautiful wreath on the loft (and more) and all clergy and laity who served at the altar (and ushers and lectors), and all who baked (or bought) and shared cookies, cakes, fresh fruit, homemade baked sandwiches, and others who poured champagne (and non-alcoholic beverages), and of course to our musicians: organist, choirmaster and choir members.

Michael 'Mike' Dominic Milano, longtime Ascension member and devoted lay minister at the altar, died late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve from complications arising from ALS. I'm grateful that, at his request, parishioner Patrick Johnston was able to visit Mike on Sunday the 22nd, and I was able to visit him, at Lutheran General Hospital, in Park Ridge, the day before his death, giving him the Sacrament and anointing in conjunction with Last Rites. The Requiem Mass for Mike will be here at Ascension, Saturday, January 11, beginning with a visitation in Wheeler Hall (location subject to change) and followed by the Requiem mass at 11:00 a.m., a lunch at a restaurant on Clark Street in Lincoln Park and Committal at All Saints Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum in Des Plaines. An obituary will be published in the Tribune prior to the Requiem, and a preliminary obituary may be found on the website of Cooney Funeral Home. Please keep in prayers Mike's children, Cathy and Peter, his longtime partner Irene, and other family and friends, including those with whom he worshiped and served here at Ascension. Requiescat in pace.

   The Rector's sermon from Christmas Eve may be read here.
   Fr. Lawler's sermon from Christmas Day may be read here.

Christopher Poore was asked to preach at St. Paul's, Peoria, on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and shared his sermon,  Joseph: A Wrinkled Manwhich you may read here. The photos both remind you who Christopher is (often seen serving in our own sanctuary here at Ascension) and give an idea of St. Paul's contemporary interior. Why does Christopher minister here and there? Well, he's with us whilst pursuing a Masters in Theology at the University of Chicago, but his full-time home is in Galesburg. He and his wife Gina Franco (on the faculty at Knox College, Galesburg) also attend and minister at St. Paul's, where Christopher is an aspirant for ordination to priesthood.


Please help us out by making sure that any 2019 year-end contributions to Ascension are received at the church by December 31. If needed, the parish offices will be open 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the 31 st .

Thanks to all who have returned pledge commitments for 2020. If you have been unable to return a pledge but still wish to do so, you may click here to send a confidential email and provide your pledge information.

Susan Schlough, Treasurer

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  No, we are not planning to "pig out" for lunch on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, but pork will be our featured main course for what may turn out to be a chilly day.  Other lunch offerings will include scalloped potatoes, peas and carrots, coleslaw, and apple muffins.  PLEASE PLAN TO JOIN US at 12:35 p.m. after the mass at 12:05.  Bring a friend!

Instead of sharing resolutions, we will share New Year's prayers.  Make up your own brief prayer on a topic which resonates with you, OR look through the  Book of Common Prayer to find something that is meaningful to you.  Prayers are found on pages 814 -- 835.  Included below is a poem by Mary Oliver;  it is titled simply "Praying." If you have questions, contact Cheryl Peterson.

It doesn't have to be 
the blue iris, it could be 
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.  


Please join us this coming Saturday (4th January)  at 10 am when we will assemble 156 bags of food as well as toiletries.  Beginning in February we will begin bag distribution officially at 11 am so that volunteers and our guests can get on their way and enjoy the rest of their Saturday.

The Ascension Food Pantry is our most frequent and visible outreach Ministry--This is how Ascension puts Faith into Action!  

Please consider volunteering; many hands make light work.  Hope to see you there.

The Rev. Deacon Charles Farrell


The schedule of Sunday Readings, Celebrants, Preachers, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for  Sunday, January 5, 2020  may be found by clicking here . More information on the Choral repertoire may be found by clicking here . The Clergy Rota for this week's and upcoming masses may be found here.


Please remember these people in your daily prayers
Geoffrey Wainwright, Fr. John Graham, Mary Lou Devens, Michael Milano, Charley Taylor, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Ted Long, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Yuka Asai, Dean Pineda, Bazelais Suy, Carnola Malone, Charlene MacDougal, Doreen Finn, Monica, Jim Lo Bello, Jack Johnston, Patricia Johnston, Andy, Jim Walsh, Stewart Marks, Char Yurema, Ronn Garton, Vanessa Rogers, Bob Sparacio, Jonathan Jacobs, Canon Edgar Wells, Nicholas Carl

Prayers for the departed

Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Michael Milano.

Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


The Approved Minutes of Vestry meetings are now available online to parishioners who request the link. If you would like Internet access to the Approved Vestry Minutes, please email the  Church Office and request the link. 
Once you access the web page, you can read all recent Approved Vestry Minutes. In addition, if you click on the subscribe button at the top right, you will be given email notice whenever a new set of Approved Minutes is added. 


Another poem, this one by Monsignor Kevin Nichols, described in a Guardian obituary following his 2006 death at age 76 as "the acknowledged wordsmith of his diocese of Hexham and Newcastle." In his last seven years, he assisted at St. Mary's (Roman Catholic) Cathedral, Newcastle, where he was known as poet-in-residence. The poem is his freehand translations of Psalms 129-130, often recited in Requiem masses. (The title is taken from the Latin for the first line of Psalm 130: 'Out of the depths ...'
               De Profundis
Hear this appeal, Master of my life,
out of the darkness where my spirit dwells
hopeless, unless you turn your gaze
attentively towards me.
If it is my sins that catch your eye
truly, my case is desperate;
but yours is a forgiving love
therefore, though fearfully, I come to you.
In you, Lord, is my hope,
at your word my spirit quickens.
As the weary watchman on the ramparts
strains his eyes for daybreak,
more eagerly than he my sleepless heart
awaits your coming -
because your name is mercy
and all your ways compassionate,
because the sins of your people
dissolve in your healing love.

The Orthodox Church (or Basilica) of the Nativity, Bethlehem,
and the grotto within it believed by many to be the place of Christ's birth. 

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office