April 22nd 2023, 5:00pm
Celebrating Earth Day & Laudato Si
May 20th, 2023, 5pm
Solemnity of the Ascension
June 4th, 4 pm
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
(National Gun Violence Memorial Day)
followed by short Reception
Council of Catholic Women
Our Council of Catholic Women (CCW) provides opportunities for ministry and socialization for the women of the Oratory. They have monthly meetings and fundraising for the parish, as well as supporting food drives and a prayer blanket ministry.
St. Bonaventure Cares
Every Friday at 11:00 am volunteers for St. Bonaventure Cares (SBC) gather in the gym to assemble brown bag lunches to be distributed to the hungry at the Soup Kitchen at St. Mary of the Lake.This program normally takes off only a few weeks through the year.
The St. Sebastian Players
It’s Only A Play
by Terrence McNally
This comedy by the late Tony Award-winning playwright takes place on the opening night of The Golden Egg on Broadway, and the wealthy producer Julia Budder is throwing a party in her lavish Manhattan townhouse. Downstairs the celebrities are pouring in, but upstairs in the bedroom, a group of insiders await the reviews, including the excitable playwright; the possibly unstable wunderkind director; the pill-popping leading lady, treading the boards after becoming infamous in Hollywood; and the playwright’s best friend, for whom the play was written but who passed up this production for a television series. Adding a drama critic who has panned the playwright in the past and a new-in-town aspiring singer creates a prime recipe for the narcissism, ambition, childishness and just plain irrationality that infuse the theatre—and comedy.
April 28–May 21, 2023
Performances are Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Dear Community of
“Dear brothers and sisters, I continue to dream of a completely missionary Church, and a new era of missionary activity among Christian communities.” Pope Francis
Dear members of Saint Bonaventure Oratory,
Renew My Church Process for the Oratory will begin next month
Since the beginning of his ministry as the Successor of Peter, our Holy Father has challenged us with a powerful and important question “Are we still a Church capable of warming hearts?” This question is often reflected in countless conversations I am privileged to have with parents, grandparents and many others whose family members, children and friends have left the Church. “Are we able to bring people back or invite them for the first time to encounter God’s power?” As the Church of Chicago, we believe the answer is yes! Bravely led by Cardinal Cupich, this belief that the Holy Spirit still awakens human hearts and calls them to an experience of community, service and love for one another is the foundation of the Renew My Church process. Most of our parishes have already undergone the initial stage of RMC, called discernment and decision. In this phase a group of parish representatives, together with their pastors and selected staff members, come together with other parishes in their area (grouping) and reflect on data provided by the archdiocese. This data includes both the historic snapshot of each of the parishes and their levels of growth or decline as well as a prediction of what that pastoral area will look like in the years to come. The groupings are also provided with benchmarks such as a minimum Sunday attendance of 800 people and a necessary budget of about $650K to be able to support a minimum level of ministry and the infrastructure of a given parish. As the grouping team reflects and learns, they are asked to select or to draft their own proposal to the RMC Committee of lay and ordained leaders who then propose to the Cardinal the final “new’ structure of the grouping. Of course, this is part of the process you hear about the most as uniting parishes and closing some of our campuses is always heartbreaking. Yet, our mission as the Church of Jesus Christ is not to have many campuses and a lot of buildings, but to proclaim the gift of our faith and share that faith with those who don’t know Jesus.
As we reflect on the journey of our Oratory we come to give thanks to God for our once strong and parishioner filled parish that has transitioned to today’s structure of Sunday liturgy, our theater group, Women’s Club and our charitable outreach. Even as our numbers have dramatically decreased to about 35 people per weekend, your generous support of the Oratory and your presence and love for one another only grow stronger. In addition to this, the Oratory became an important center for the Faith Hub and other parishes in the area that use our space for outreach, evangelization and ministry programs. So, as we begin this journey of discernment with St. Alphonsus, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, the Cabrini Shrine and Saint Clement, where I also serve as the Pastor, we pray for God’s blessing and peace. I don’t know what the final outcome will be but seeing our limited numbers and noting the presence of other large Catholic parishes around us, I can only guess that out regular worship on Sunday will stop over time and that the great tradition of Saint Bonaventure will live on in other communities.
Please pray for this process as well as for each one of those fine communities that will begin this process of discernment and prayer. As we come together in this place, let us pray that the Holy Spirit will lead us in ways of peace, love and appreciation for our founders and so many others who make our Oratory a church “capable of warming hearts.”
Fr. Peter, administrator
Welcome to St. Bonaventure
St. Bonaventure Oratory is a regional Catholic community established by the Archdiocese of Chicago and open to all who wish to gather with us in worship and service. The Renew My Church process determined that we should no longer have scheduled weekly mass, but our building will remain open for continued social ministries and special liturgies. We hope you find a spiritual home with us in a kinder, friendly, loving fellowship.