St. Edmund Church


Parish Admin & Staff
Worship Schedule
Religious Education
Special Events
Respect Life
Renew My Church
Contact Information

Welcome to St. Edmund Church, Oak Park, IL

St. Edmund Church is united with Ascension Church to form Ascension-St. Edmund Parish

Established in 1907 as the first Roman Catholic  Parish in Oak Park.
Church, 1910
School, 1917-2016
Unification of St. Edmund and Ascension, 2022

The St. Edmund Church Website presents information and news about Ascension-St. Edmund Parish.

(Photo Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Info.)

St. Edmund Mission Statement

The people of St. Edmund Church are a diverse community of Christians whose beliefs are rooted in sacred scripture and the traditions of the Catholic faith. We strive to fulfill the commandments of Jesus to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength (Mk 12:30), and to love one another as He has loved us (Jn 13:34). We gather as community to be nourished in Word and Sacrament, and are sent forth to be, to see and to experience Christ in the world with friend and stranger alike.

In gratitude for all our blessings, we commit ourselves to love, forgive and support each other joyfully. We seek to serve others and to be active participants in living our Catholic faith. 


Prayer Opportunities at St. Edmund 

Mass Schedule: Saturday, 5:30pm, Sunday 11:00 am.

Attend Daily Mass.  Join us every Monday and every Friday at 8:30am. Daily mass will be held at 8:15a.m.Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Ascension Church, 808 S. East, Oak Park.

Sacrament of Reconciliation,  Saturdays: 4:30-5:00 pm (church Reconciliation Room located in west end of north transept.)

Week at a Glance at St. Edmund

Presider Schedule


"A church without women would be like the apostolic college without Mary. The Madonna is more important than the apostles, and the church herself is feminine, the spouse of Christ and a mother.”

 --Pope Francis


Religious Education This Week

E-Mail St. Edmund Church

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  • Did You Know...

      • Deacon Tom Dwyer Retires…but still is Ascension and St. Edmund Deacon. Congratulations to Deacon Tom who has served at St. Edmund as our Business Manager for several years. We hope that you enjoy smooth sailing ahead. Deacon Tom will still continue to minister in his role as a Deacon. We are grateful!

      • ... Catholic New World is a newspaper of the Archdiocese of Chicago and is available to you at no cost at the entrances of the church doors. Feel free to take a copy home and catch up with all the news in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

      • ...The Children’s School, now in the St. Edmund’s school building, is an independent, K-8 school with approximately 100 students. The curriculum emphasizes project based learning, social emotional competence, and social justice teaching and learning. The school is pleased to be our neighbor and welcomes us to visit the school. Their website is:; call 708-484-8033 to learn more or set up a tour.



































** News and Events for the week of August 14, 2022 **

Please click on Renew My Church for information on the unification of Ascension and St. Edmund parishes, and biographies of pastor Fr. Rex Pillai and associate pastor Fr. Robert Carleton

Upcoming Events

  • Monday, August 15, Mass for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be at 8:30am. This is not a Holy Day of Obligation this year.

  • Tuesday, August 23,the Ascension and St. Edmund Book Club will meet in MurphyHall from 1:00pm - 3:00pm. All participants must be fully vaccinated and boosted. We will be discussing the New York Times bestseller Summer Island by Kristin Hannah - “a poignant, funny, luminous novel about a mother and daughter--the complex ties that bind them, the past that separates them, and the healing that comes with forgiveness. Read the book and join us! Contact parishioner Mari Hans at:  for more information.

  • Saturday, August 20 and Sunday, August 28, Ascension and St. Edmund Parish will host a Mass and Meet. As one of the last communities in the Archdiocese of Chicago to experience the Renew My Church process, we have benefitted from the experiences of other parishes which have joined together over the past six years. One tried and true way to begin to learn about what makes our new faith community so special is through “Meet and Greets” on each of our two campuses. We will pray together through our Sunday liturgies and join in fellowship afterwards. There are two events scheduled and we hope you can   participate in at least one of them. Both Fr. Rex Pillai, our pastor, and Fr. Robert Carlton, our Associate Pastor, will be present at these masses and receptions:

    • Saturday, August 20 at the 5:30pm Mass at St. Edmund, followed by a reception in Murphy Hall hosted by the Reception Committee. Note: there will be no 5:00pm mass at Ascension that day.

    • Sunday, August 28 at the 10:30am Mass at Ascension, followed by a reception in the Pine Room hosted by the Knights of Columbus. Note: there will be no 11:00am mass at St. Edmund that day.

    • Any parishioner needing transportation to attend these events should contact the Parish Office at either parish campus or use this address to email us: .
  • Wednesday, September 7, Ministries Meeting at Ascension, 7:00 p.m. Click on Renew My Church link for details.

  • Thursday, September 15, All Parishioners Meeting at St. Edmund, 7:00p.m. Click on Renew My Church link for details.

  • Sunday, September 18, All Parishioners Meeting at Ascension, 1:00 p.m. Click on Renew My Church link for details.

Church News

The regular schedule for liturgies is 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 11:00 a.m. on Sundays. Daily Mass is held on Mondays and Fridays at 8:30 am. We are asking that you enter through the Murphy Hall corridor. A box of masks will be placed on an entry table and people are welcome/encouraged  to take one. At Communion time, we will  have 2 lines coming forward.  We will continue to keep socially distanced seating to every other pew.  There may  be other changes coming and, if so, we will let you know. Please know that all who gather for our weekend liturgies are now allowed to sing. Your parish musicians very much look forward to your voices joining theirs in joyful praise of God!


Click for Ascension-St. Edmund Parish Bulletin


Please Remember Your Parish

We realize there are many demands on your time and your income during this time of year, but we ask that you give consideration to the gift you are able to offer your parish this year.

As you know, we are struggling to meet our weekly expenses, our twice-monthly payroll and our monthly parish Archdiocesan assessments, and we count on the generosity of our parishioners—throughout the year, to help us stay on top of our financial demands. There are a variety of ways to help.  

The easiest and quickest way to help is to remember to turn in your envelope. We are also willing to help you to set up a one-time (or more regular) automatic bank withdrawal, or a credit card withdrawal.

 At year-end, some people like to donate some stock to the parish. This is a way for people not to accrue capital gains tax. If you itemize your tax return and are interested in making a charitable donation to St. Edmund Parish, the best way to do this is to donate your shares directly to the church. The parish will receive the full charitable gift income tax deduction and no capital gains tax needs to be paid. We are happy to expedite this process for you.

 Perhaps there are other ways that you would like to make a donation to the parish. However you wish to do so, we would be most grateful. You may call the parish office at 708-848-4417 during office hours and we will be most happy to help.

Let us Pray

  • St. Edmund Church is in need of a few good people to serve as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist and Lectors for the weekend masses. The Ministers of the Eucharist assist in the distribution of Holy Communion at mass.  Lectors proclaim the First and Second readings at mass, lead the people in the Prayer of the Faithful, and read the weekly announcements. For questions, contact  the church office.

  • Minister of Care Home Visit Arrangements. St. Edmund Church has trained Ministers of Care, who bring Communion to homebound parishioners. Arrangements can be scheduled on either a short-term or long-term basis. To schedule visitation, contact Peggy Leddy, Pastoral Associate, at 708-848-4417, x2021, or .

  • Donate your discarded cell phones and help abused women. The Domestic Violence Outreach Ministry collects phones and chargers in collaboration with Verizon Network. The phones are programmed with emergency numbers, loaded with 3000 minutes, and  distributed to abused women through various shelters. Drop off phones and accessories in the basket on the table in the Murphy Hall Corridor. We are grateful for your support!

  • The last Saturday of each month, please join us on the rectory lawn from 6:30 to 7pm for our monthly Prayer Vigil to End Gun Violence. It is our way of standing against the culture of violence in our country. We also urge legislators to understand the urgency of this issue.

Worship Schedule

..... and, F Y I

  • Religious Study

    •  Afternoon Faith Sharing is held once a month from 1:30pm-3:00pm and is open to all parishioners. Please contact Kathy Halfpenny at: or call her at 708-386-1832 for upcoming dates and locations.

      • Religious Instruction (Contact Peggy Leddy, Pastoral Associate, at 708-848-4417, extension 2021 or email

        • The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) registration is open and sessions begin soon.  (RCIA) is a spiritual and educational formation process designed for those considering becoming Catholic and those baptized Catholic, who have not received First Holy Communion and Confirmation. To register or for more information, please email Peggy Leddy, Pastoral Associate, at

        • Adult Confirmation ZOOM Sessions. The Chicago Archdiocese’s Adult Confirmation Program is for those who are: 19-years-old or older, and are baptized Catholic and received First Communion. Prep sessions, offered via Zoom, begin soon. The fee is $60. Advance registration is required. Contact:

        • New or expectant parents are invited to register for Baptismal Preparation Class. For more information or to register, please contact Peggy Leddy.

Archived Bulletins


  • We Need the Generosity of Every Parishioner! The easiest and most convenient way to remember your weekly collection is to sign up for automatic electronic withdrawal. It is a very safe method of support and helps the parish know exactly what it can count on from week to week. Additionally, there are many people who do not financially support their parish at all, and we need the help of everyone! Please consider what you are able to give and sign up for automatic electronic withdrawal today! Click here to sign up through the Give Central website.

  • MANNA Gift Cards Available for Purchase. A wide-variety of vendor cards, such as Jewel, Best Buy, CVS, Pete's Market, gas, restaurant offerings, and many more are available. You will receive the full value (100 percent) of your purchase card. St. Edmund will receive a rebate back from your purchase. MANNA ordering forms are available on the tables in the Murphy Hall corridor. Feel free to take one home with you to browse through for your shopping needs. Contact Deacon Tom at  for ordering and more information about the bank account option.

  • Saint Edmund parishioners are strongly urged to subscribe to the Parish Listserv. Send an email using the address you wish to use to receive posts addressed to the following address: Leave the subject line empty and write the following in the body of the e-mail: Subscribe stedmund <your name as you wish to see it displayed>. Except for your name, the command is case sensitive. 

  • Monthly Wedding Anniversary Sunday is held at all masses on the first Sunday of the month. A special blessing is bestowed on all couples who will celebrate their anniversary in that month.

...we’re on Twitter! Follow us: St. Edmunds-Oak Park or click on @edmunds_oakpark .

During this continuing Coronavirus pandemic, many are tempted to fear, anxiety and perhaps even despair. Every crisis in life is also an opportunity to turn to our beloved Savior in trust and complete abandonment so as to rest in His merciful hands. To rest in the hands of God means we are secure, despite the uncertainty of life. Prayers and resources for healing and hope may be found at:

Parish Service Opportunities and Groups

Most parish-related activities and meetings have been suspended or are taking place virtually. Please call the office if you have questions.

  • Rehearsals for the St. Edmund Church choirs are held Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the church choir loft, and you have your choice of serving in this ministry at either the 5:30pm Saturday evening mass or the 11:00am Sunday morning mass each week.

  • The church Welcome Committee ensures those who are new to our parish are warmly welcomed and have the information they need to feel a part of our community as quickly as possible. The committee seeks parishioners who are willing to greet and register new parishioners on the second weekend of each month. Please contact parishioner Mary Ellen Gruszka at: 

  • The St. Edmund Peace Garden Committee plants flowers and vegetables behind Murphy Hall and along the handicap ramp. In May, vegetables will be planted and then harvested throughout the summer. All the produce is donated to Beyond Hunger, the former OPRF food pantry. The committee needs and welcomes new volunteers to help maintain the garden. The need is great; the laborers are few. We would love to grow the garden ministry membership and the produce servings total  this year. Please consider joining the team. For more information, please contact Nora Abboreno at .  

  • The Respect Life Committee has a virtual home at “Like” our page to receive inspiration and information on current and upcoming events. The Respect Life Committee holds monthly meetings the third Tuesday of the month at 7 pm in Murphy Hall. Contact Mary Ellen Gruszka at .

  • The parish’s Prayer Shawl Ministry ministry helps provide comfort to those who are ill, support those who are experiencing difficulty in their lives and those who are coping with the loss of a loved one.

  • The St. Edmund Parish Life Commission offers knitting and crochet classes for adults in Murphy Hall. The group generally meets on the second Saturday of the month.

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St. Edmund Parish, 188 South Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, Illinois 60302
Phone 708-848-4417 //  Fax Line: 708-848-0049
Parish contact: Christine Rousakis (" // Web site editor: Michael Guerin (
New Parish Office hours during COVID-19: Monday-Saturday, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm; Sunday,closed
Website established September 1, 2001