Offices and Ministries

The many volunteer groups and associations that have arisen within the Church, mostly in the 20th century, are referred to as “Lay Ecclesial Movements and Associations.” Thousands of Chicago-area Catholics are members of these movements, which follow a long tradition in the Church’s history. These are diverse groups that, in responding to the needs of the time, pursue mission-oriented and educational activities. Saint John Paul II described the more recent development of the Lay Ecclesial Movements, particularly after the Second Vatican Council, as “a new era of group endeavors of the lay faithful.”

The Archdiocese of Chicago has 21 active Lay Ecclesial Movements, each with its own “charism,” or defining characteristic.

Ambassadors Of Mary/Pilgrim Virgin Apostolate

The Ambassadors of Mary has been in existence for 62 years and was founded by Father James Mary Keane, O.S.M. to promote devotion to our Blessed Mother. Through this apostolate and with the help of many volunteers, we are able to provide First Saturday Retreats, the Pilgrim Virgin Apostolate, Two All Night Vigils, Rosary Making, and an annual celebration of Our Lady of Fatima at Holy Name Cathedral.

It is through this long standing organization that we continue to honor Mary and promote devotion to her during the year. Many have benefited from this ministry and it continues to draw people to the different devotions that are offered.


Pat Hackett
Phone: 847.640.0950

Apostolate For Family Consecration

Mother Mary’s Children Lay Ecclesial Team of the International Apostolate for Family Consecration (AFC) holds a Family Holy Hour that meets the third Monday of every month at Queen of the Rosary Church, 750 West Elk Grove Boulevard, in Elk Grove Village, from 7–8:30 p.m. A priest blesses the attendees and administers the Sacrament of Reconciliation while we watch a one-hour DVD of teachings on some aspect of our Catholic faith, Rosary, teaching on the AFC Catechism by Cardinal Arinze and messages from Pope St. John Paul II and Mother Teresa. Families evangelize families through reparation, grace, personal holiness and Consecration to Jesus through Mary and St. Joseph.

Our unique contribution from AFC to the Archdiocese of Chicago is that our team is educating our members to the truths of our faith in hopes to pass on that faith to others. We pray and hope to enrich each member spiritually to increase trust in the Lord so that we can rebuild family life with God and neighbor. The Apostolate for Family Consecration, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Family, acquires new members by personal invitation, making the Marian Consecration available to both individuals and families, sharing AFC educational resources with other church groups, and helping with Divine Mercy Sunday services. All for the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, all through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, all in union with St. Joseph (AFC motto),

Chuck and Alice Hunt
[email protected]


The mission of L’Arche Chicago is to build a community of belonging and friendship by providing lifelong homes for adults with intellectual disabilities who live together with those without disabilities. L’Arche, French for “the ark,” provides a place of refuge and lifelong support for the individuals with intellectual disabilities we serve. In L’Arche, persons with intellectual disabilities, are known as “core members,” from the Latin cor meaning “heart.” Those who come to share life with them are “assistants” who accompany core members in their activities of daily life: creating home and sharing their gifts within the house and the larger community. Assistants work to build a relationship of mutuality where core members and assistants are each transformed through their encounter with the other. L’Arche Chicago currently serves ten adults 24 and 71 years of age with intellectual disabilities in three family-style homes on Chicago’s Westside. 

L’Arche Chicago is part of an international federation of communities of people with and without intellectual disabilities. French Canadian Jean Vanier founded the first community in 1964 near Paris, France when he invited two men with disabilities living in an institution to live with him. From this humble beginning, L’Arche has grown to include over 147 communities in 35 countries throughout the world. Today, L’Arche includes around 5,000 people from different cultures, speaking over 20 languages.

Mic Altena
[email protected]

Catholic Charismatic Renewal Center For Chicago (Ccrcc)

Catholic Charismatic Renewal, a movement of the Holy Spirit. Renewal is a sovereign act of God, who touches our lives by the power of his Holy Spirit and changes us. Renewal is both a state-of-being and a process. Catholic Charismatic Renewal is a movement of the Spirit, offered to the entire Church and destined to rejuvenate every part of the Church. When we say that the Charismatic Renewal is for the whole Church, we mean that it, indeed, is for all: the clergy, religious, and laity.

This Renewal is a personal experience of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, who brings alive, in new ways, the graces of our baptism. The Holy Spirit not only renews, or sets on fire, all the graces we have already received, He comes in power to equip us with His gifts for service and ministry. We are renewed only when we open ourselves to God and accept what He is offering us—the fullness of the Holy Spirit. There is no other way! While the Charismatic Renewal places a special emphasis on the role of the Spirit, it is also centered on God our Father, and on Jesus His Son, our Lord and Savior. It is a Trinitarian Renewal, and its goals are the same as the goals of the Roman Catholic Church, which are essential to living a Christian life.

Renovación Carismática Católica Hispana (Rcch)

RCCH offers weekly gatherings in prayer groups present in 73 churches of the Archdiocese of Chicago. These prayer groups offer time for worship, sharing scripture, healing prayers, retreats, concerts and “Life in the Spirit” seminars. RCCH organizes annual conventions, conferences, youth rallies and other events to evangelize and promote spiritual growth and maturity, while bringing an awareness of the acting presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

RCCH focuses in the formation and preparation of our core members so they can become strong leaders, committed and engaged Catholics in their parishes. They are integrated in their parishes as lectors, communion ministers, ushers, parish council members, catechists, etc. We offer our core members formation seminars and workshops, ministry training and retreats which consist of Scripture, tradition of the church, theology, documents and catechism of the church to enrich their faith, promote a personal relationship with God and enable them to teach their Catholic faith.

J. Martha Ramirez
Steering Committee Coordinator
Office: 708.344.1840
F: 708.344.1940
C: 773.251.0629
[email protected]

Christian Family Movement

Christian Family Movement (CFM) helps establish and support small discipleship groups for couples and families. CFM discussion guides bring topics that families deal with every day into a Christian, faith-based discussion. Discipleship is accomplished through teaching one to use the methodology of observe, judge, act in their daily lives—observing the situations around us, judging them in the light of Christ’s teaching and acting to make a difference. CFM is a life-changing ministry for families of all shapes, sizes and stages.

[email protected]

Communion and Liberation

Communion and Liberation (CL) is a Catholic lay movement which began in 1954, when Monsignor Luigi Giussani—a priest of the Archdiocese of Milan, Italy—sparked an unexpected friendship among the students he was teaching at a prestigious public high school there. Now an international movement, CL reawakens the Faith in Christ in men and women of all age groups, cultures and walks of life. CL is present in numerous cities in the United States. We focus our attention on an educational method to Christianity based on the religious sense present in the heart of every person, and on the reasonableness of Faith as the recognition of the Presence of the Lord here and now, which can be verified in an ecclesial companionship as a network of friendships.

In the Chicago area, we meet weekly for groups of catechesis and discussion (the “School of Community”) in downtown, Lincoln Park, Hyde Park, Oak Park, and Wheaton, as well as for monthly assemblies and seasonal retreats. The local CL group is the primary organizer of the Way of the Cross through Downtown Chicago that every year on Good Friday draws hundreds of faithful from throughout the Archdiocese to reflect upon the events of the Lord’s passion as a lived memory.

Davide Bonicelli
[email protected]

Couples For Christ

Couples for Christ (CFC) is an international Catholic lay ecclesial movement recognized by the Vatican and intended for the renewal and strengthening of Christian family life. The members have committed themselves to the Lord and to one another so that they may grow as mature men and women of God and fulfill their primary vocation of raising up families under the lordship of Jesus Christ. Couples for Christ raises Christian couples and establishes Christian families committed to the work of evangelization, winning the world for Christ and total human liberation through the power of the Holy Spirit.

CFC provides continuing program of pastoral and spiritual formation which includes church teachings, scriptures, Christian relationships, recollections and retreats. We are one with the church and regularly seek her guidance through our Spiritual Director. Our members support their respective parish priests and are available for parish service. CFC is a working model for the development of Basic Ecclesial Communities and can hasten the formation of a strong and vibrant parish community.

Laurel and Minnie Malibiran
[email protected]

Couples For Christ Foundation For Family And Life

Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life (CFC-FFL) is a private association of lay faithful committed to the work of evangelization and family and life renewal. Together with its different family ministries: Handmaids for Family & Life (HFL), Servants for Family & Life (SvFL), Singles for Family & Life (SFL), Youth for Family & Life (YFL) and Kids for Family & Life (KFL), CFCFFL works with the parishes in promoting the Live Christ, Share Christ (LCSC) Movement which focuses on re-evangelizing nominal or lapsed Catholics with the goal of bringing them back to Christ and to an active life in the parish.

The LCSC program is comprised of the Life in Christ Seminar (LCS) and its 4 pillars: Live Pure (LP) espouses the gospel of chastity to combat the sexual licentiousness in the world today; Live the Word (LW) teaches a simple methodology that can get Catholics to better know the word of God; Live Life (LL) engages Catholics to faithfully live out the culture of life to counter the culture of death in the fight of the third millennium; and Live Full (LF) which is our work with the poor through the No One in Need (NONe) movement, one of our Core Values to provide a Preferential Option for the Poor.

Barber & Ella Rabor
[email protected]

Cursillo Movement

Encountering God and hearing His call to action. Cursillo (meaning short course) comes from Cursillo de Christiandad, Spanish for short course in Christianity. The purpose of the Cursillo movement is to make Christian Community possible in our neighborhoods, parishes, work situations, and society as a whole.

Cursillo starts with a  three-day encounter with self, Christ, and others. The Cursillo movement is designed to help each of us fulfill our baptismal responsibility: to go forth, as apostles, and proclaim the Gospel. Utilizing an ongoing method of Piety, Study, and Action, our lives are transformed into being more “Christ-Like”, which ultimately has a positive effect within our relationships. Through mutual support, the Cursillo Movement enriches our natural Christian leadership gifts.We strive to make a friend, be a friend, and bring that friend to Christ, so that God’s Love is fully expressed. Cursillo provides tools to be purposeful, both individually and in groups, to be God’s instrument in our world. Through the Holy Spirit, the gifts of each Christian are expressed in their own environment for the benefit of the Kingdom.

Robert (Bob) and Ellen Chio
[email protected]

Domowy Kosciol — Rdk

Domestic Church is the family branch of the Light-Life Movement founded in Poland by Venerable Servant of God, Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki (1921 – 1987) with the guidance and support of his bishop, Karol Wojtyła (later Pope St. John Paul II). On September 30, 2015, Pope Francis signed the decree of heroic virtues of Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki.

Domestic Church is a movement for sacramentally married Catholic couples and families who want to grow in mutual love and pursue sanctity together. The DC formation program is based on the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the current teaching of the Church.

Each of the married couples belonging to the Domestic Church wants to grow in faith and build their personal relationship with Jesus Christ by prayer, living the Word of God and making it the Word of Life, sacramental life, bearing witness to their neighbors and to the world and serve others according to the gifts they have received.

Husbands and wives take up this constant effort within their families but also in small circles of groups that enable married couples to help one another in pursuing sanctity.

Circles work in year-long cycles meeting once a month from September to June. They meet in the name of Christ, for Him and because they love Him, in order to follow Him together and remain close to Him in their everyday lives.

Throughout the year, particularly in July and August, a number of formation Retreats are organized. Among them a special and most important role is assigned to the 15-day Oasis levels one, two and three. Formation in the Domestic Church follows the same evangelization-deuterocatechumenate-diakonia pattern as in the rest of the Light-Life Movement.

The elements helping married couples come closer to God and each other are called Commitments or Gifts. They are:

  • Everyday personal prayer (the Tent of Meeting)

  • Regular listening to the Word of God

  • Everyday couple prayer (conjugal prayer)

  • Everyday family prayer

  • Monthly dialogue

  • Rule of life

  • Formation retreat at least once a year

Renata & Kris Kaczor
Fr. Lukasz Kleczka SDS
[email protected]

Escuela De La Cruz — School Of The Cross

Escuela De La Cruz engenders communities of apostles to communicate the Spirit of the Cross with their life and witness.

The objective of Escuela De La Cruz is to collaborate in and with the same Church, engendering communities of apostles to communicate the Spirit of the Cross with their life and witness, first in the spiritual order and secondly in the temporal order, constituting its male lay members, deacons, priests and bishops, one true unity that will drive them mutually in their dedication to Christ and be leaven, root and foundation, so that the Holy Spirit may raise apostles in the People of God.

Hildebrando Torres
Diocesan Secretary
[email protected]

Focolare Movement

The Focolare Movement strives to live unity and work for the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer that “all may be one”. Therefore, the Focolare is always about living and fostering unity: unity with God, unity in the Church, unity in parishes, unity in the family, unity at our work places, unity between old and young, between rich and poor, and between people of all different beliefs, cultures and racial backgrounds.

The Focolare Movement respects and values diversity and focuses on dialogue as a way of building bridges and relationships. People who adhere to the Focolare try to live unity by living the new commandment ‘Love one another as I have loved you’ so that Jesus may always be present among them.

[email protected]

Legion Of Mary

The object of the Legion of Mary is to give glory to God through the holiness of its members developed by prayer and service with Mary for the Church. Our main ministry is Evangelization: one program we call Sunday search for souls. With permission from the pastor we will knock on every door in a portion of the parish to get a picture of the needs of the people and how the parish can best serve them.

Catholics are encouraged to get involved in their parish, lapsed Catholics are invited to come back to the Church. Non Catholics are invited to learn more about our faith through RCIA. Other ministries include Prison ministry, Pilgrim Statue in homes, visiting the sick and home bound and serving as catechist.

Maria Smilga
[email protected]
[email protected]

Militia Of The Immaculata

The Militia of the Immaculata (MI) is a universal and international public Association of the faithful, erected by the Holy See. The MI was founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe, OFM Conv., in 1917, is open to Catholics, of all walks of life, and encourages all people of good will to develop a trusting relationship with Our Lady. The aim of the MI is to win the whole world for Christ through the Immaculata, Mother of God and of the Church.

MI members, mindful of their call to evangelize, strive to give witness to the Faith everywhere. They seek to reach out to their own families, friends, co-workers, fellow parishioners, the sick and elderly, youth, adults, and whomever they meet, in order to lead every individual through Mary to Christ, Our Savior and Our Hope.

MI National — USA, P.O. Box 7645, Libertyville, IL 60048
[email protected]

Neocatechumenal Way

The Neocatechumenal Way is a gift of the Holy Spirit at the service of the bishops as one of the forms of diocesan implementation of Christian initiation and of ongoing education in faith for baptized adults, especially those who desire to deepen and mature their faith, those who have not been sufficiently evangelized and catechized, and those who have drifted away from the Church.

St. John Paul II wrote, “I recognize the Neocatechumenal Way as an itinerary of Catholic formation, valid for our society and for our times.”

The Neocatechumenate is implemented in the parish, the privileged location in which the Church, mother and teacher, brings the children of God to birth in the baptismal font and “gestates” them to new life.

The Neocatechumenal Way, being an itinerary of rediscovering our Baptism and lived in small communities, will foster in its recipients a mature sense of belonging to the parish and to promote relations of profound communion and collaboration with the pastor and rest of the parish community, gestating in the brothers love and unity, sign of Jesus Christ for this generation and making the Neocatechumenal community a credible witness for the far away, “Love one another as I have loved you, by this all men will know that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35)

Antonio & Maria Rosa Bruno
Itinerant Responsibles for Illinois
[email protected]

Michael Sublewski
Local Contact
[email protected]

Angel Martinez
Local Contact
[email protected]

Regnum Christi

Regnum Christi includes lay people, diocesan priests, seminarians, consecrated women and men, and Legionary priests. We strive to give witness to Christ living our spirituality and mission with joy, humility, zeal, and passion for Christ. We meet seekers where they are and accompany them with a personal, positive, and dynamic approach to the New Evangelization. We form missionary disciples engaged in the life of the local Church at every level who strive to support families, youth, adults, parishes, pastors and communities.

Our spirituality is Christ-centered, devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and is characterized by a deep love for the Church and the Pope. We are committed to promoting personal holiness. Our vocation is both contemplative and evangelizing, lived out with joyful charity. God’s merciful love propels us to awaken individuals and families to their vocation as missionary disciples in their individual lives, in society, and in the Church. We accomplish our mission through personal accompaniment, small group meetings, and spiritual experiences (retreats, missions, conventions, etc.).

[email protected]

Salesian Cooperators

The Association of Salesian Cooperators is a lay association in the Catholic Church, whose members actively support the mission of the Church by using St. John Bosco’s model of the Oratory, and by using the Salesian approach to youth ministry, which is first and foremost a way to Jesus. The Oratory is a place, an attitude and a method. By incorporating the Oratory into the Preventive System of education, we work within the communities of the Archdiocese of Chicago in creating: a) a school where life skills are learned; b) a home where young people can feel welcome, safe and peaceful; c) a church that is a place of prayer and spiritual development; and d) a playground where fun and joy celebrate life.

There are three pillars of Don Bosco’s Preventive System known as Religion, Reason and Loving Kindness. Religion is more focus in Don Bosco’s Spirituality Christ Centered. He has expressed it in his motto: “Da mihi animas” (Give me souls, take away the rest). He considered souls always in relation to the life, work, blood and death of Christ. “Love for Jesus Christ our redeemer… his love for Jesus found its concrete expression in his love for souls.” Don Bosco is really a great priest in such a way of delivering the word God as Love. In his priestly life, the idea of being in love with God is shared, by sharing the love of God to others.

St. John Bosco Church
[email protected]

Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement

Schoenstatt is a lay apostolic movement founded in 1914 that is deeply and devotedly Marian. This Marian spirit has repeatedly proven how love of Mary opens new avenues to a vibrant relationship with Christ, to the Holy Spirit, to God the Father and to a renewal of love of neighbor and self. The center of life of Schoenstatt is the Covenant of Love with Mary: a complete exchange of hearts, goods and interests with the Blessed Mother, taking our Lord’s final words from the cross very literally and seriously “Behold your Mother”, “Behold your son.” This is a two way relationship, our littleness, brokenness, and many needs offered in exchange for her mother love centered completely on our Lord, and her only desire to draw all hearts to Him.

The history of Schoenstatt has proven that Mary takes this Covenant request seriously. Each member of Schoenstatt enters into a Covenant of Love with Mary offering all to her for the salvation of the world. Schoenstatt is present on all of the continents, with more than 200 Schoenstatt Shrines with our Mother working her ‘miracles’ of inner transformation. One of the main apostolates here in the Chicago Archdiocese is building up the family through our Schoenstatt Spirituality, the Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother, and forming the ‘Domestic Church’ through our Schoenstatt Home Shrines. Each home becomes a Home Shrine by inviting the Blessed Mother to come down and reign in our homes to form a little pilgrimage place of grace where our Mother works her miracles of transformation within the family for the renewal of Church and world, giving concrete application to the concept of the home and family becoming a “domestic church”, as our Holy Fathers have often spoken about.

Michael and Melissa Tebben
[email protected]

Michael and Margaret Fenelon
[email protected]

World Apostolate Of Fatima (Blue Army)

The Chicago Blue Army is one of the best kept secrets in our Archdiocese. We spread the Message of Fatima, a message of Hope, a message of God’s Peace Plan for mankind! The World Apostolate  of Fatima, is a Pontifical Public International Organization of the Faithful, we speak with the approval of Rome as the official voice regarding Fatima. We spread the message of the Gospel. Repent, amend your lives. Pray as Jesus taught us, as his Mother instructed us. Pray the Rosary daily.Reparation and Penance for our sins and the sins of others. The Goal is Heaven and we Must do all in our power to bring others with us on this journey.

There are scheduled Holy Hours at various churches throughout the city on a monthly basis; three all-night vigils of Reparation—consisting of Holy Mass, Procession, Adoration, and Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A memorial Evening spent in Prayer! Here in Chicago we make and distribute thousands of Rosaries and scapulars; these sacramentals are sent to missions, here and abroad, to prisons, to schools, to retirement homes: all free of charge. We have a beautiful Chapel at 3051 North Christiana Avenue, Chicago, IL, which accommodates over 320 people, and many diverse groups utilize our facilities for weekend retreats, weekly events, all-day Adoration and a dozen or more Holy Masses each month. Please join us in prayer, join us at our Holy Hour, and join us at the all-night vigil.

[email protected]

Worldwide Marriage Encounter

Worldwide Marriage Encounter is an ongoing enrichment for married couples and religious. It begins with a private weekend experience including presentations about practical tools for growing in loving relationships, and continues with enrichments in the community after the weekend. We emphasize how to live out God's call, and our vision, “to love one another as I have loved you” as we proclaim the value of Marriage and Holy Orders in the Church and in the world.

Jim and Kris McCulloch
[email protected]