Pastoral Services

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.

Marriage

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. 

House Blessings

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.

Pastoral Care

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 a member of the clergy if you find yourself in distress, and we will offer you pastoral care and direct you to community resources related to your concerns.

Anointing

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.

Funerals

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.