People come to church for a variety of pastoral reasons: to heal, to find community, or to mark one of life's milestones. At these times, the church can be a source of strength and stability. If you have a particular pastoral need or concern, please inform our rector, deacons, or one of our lay leaders.
Couples wishing to get married at St. Helena's / Santa Elena should consult with Fr. Ethan for a preliminary conversation well in advance of the wedding date. The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago usually requires three sessions of pre-marital counseling prior to the wedding.
Renewal of Marriage Vows
Couples that wish to renew their marriage vows may ask Fr. Ethan to include this ceremony in the principal Mass on Sunday. It is appropriate that children and other family members attend and participate in the renewal of vows in order to support the couple in their life together.
The blessing of a home is a recognition that God is present with us not only in church, but in the many places we live our lives. Fr. Ethan is happy to come to your home to offer God's blessing and protection.
Confession / Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a space God offers us for support and encouragement as we try to become better people, make more ethical decisions, and engage in healthier relationships. Fr. Ethan offers a standing appointment for the Sacrament of Confession / Reconciliation on the 4th Sunday of every month, as well as by appointment. We also offer First Confessions for children who are preparing to receive their First Holy Communion at the end of May.
All of us go through periods in our lives when we struggle with challenges. Whether it's an illness, grief, addiction, or financial difficulties, we all need support. Please reach out to Fr. Ethan, Deacon Daryce, or Deacon Miguel if you find yourself in distress, and we will offer you pastoral care and direct you to community resources related to your concerns.
Laying on of hands and anointing with holy oil is a healing practice that comes to us from the earliest days of Christianity. People who would like to receive anointing and prayer during the English-language service are encouraged to come to the altar rail at the end of Communion. At the Spanish-language service, we do Sanación on the 2nd Sunday of the month. Anointing can also be requested during long illnesses, hospital stays, and at the end of life.
When a person reaches the end of life, the family is encouraged to contact the parish to ensure adequate pastoral care and discuss Last Rites and arrangements for a funeral or memorial service.