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Dr. Elena Chermak, Director of Religious Education


Hello! My name is Elena Chermak, and I have been at Saint John Fisher for many years, happily serving both the school and parish. I am excited to work with all the children, faculty, and staff as the Director of Religious Education for the school and parish. I am a resource person for religious education and plan the daily prayers, school masses, prayer services, and celebration of the sacraments. I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and, as the 2nd of 8 children, I come from a big family for whom faith is very important. I came to Chicago to earn a Master of Arts in Divinity at the University of Chicago, followed by a Doctor of Ministry degree at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake – (Mundelein Seminary). Working with your children in our wonderful faith-filled-family of Saint John Fisher brings great joy daily. I look forward to an exciting year with the students, principal, staff, priests, teachers and parents of our great community.

Bench Blessing

Posted on Oct 12, 2018


You may notice a new bench at our Pre-school and Kindergartner door near Fairfield Avenue.

Today, October 12th, is the anniversary of the birth of Larry Nitsche, the grandfather of two of our students (in 2nd grade and pre-school this year) and the husband of recently retired Mary Nitsche, who taught here for many years.

Mr. Nitsche was a retired police detective and director of investigations for the corporate counsel, a veteran of the Viet Nam war, and a well-loved neighbor to all on Talman Avenue. He died unexpectedly last year on October 23rd after minor surgery. At that time, our teaching staff donated for a memorial in Larry’s name. Larry was famous for cherishing his grandchildren with his proud grandfatherly love. Larry could often be seen dropping off and picking up Franny and Charlie at school, chatting with other parents and grandparents, and happily announcing he was the Director of Child Care and Development for his grandchildren.


We invite all to use this bench and to think of the enthusiasm of children and grandchildren, following Larry’s joyful and optimistic spirit.

Larry’s family: Mrs. Mary Nitsche; Mary Nitsche Blake, Fran Blake, and their children; Sister Jean, and faculty gathered as Father Ken blessed this bench at an after school ceremony on October 11th.




Father Ken blessed this bench.




To learn more about Mr. Nitsche, here is a link:

Prayer Partner All School Mass Friday October 19th at 1 p.m.

Posted on Oct 12, 2018


Logo for Prayer Partners "I'll pray for you, and you'll pray for me."


Mass & Prayer Partner planning in eighth grade

Prayer Partners Mass – Friday, October 19th at 1:00 p.m.

Our school has had wonderful prayer partner activities. Over the course of their years here, students have participated at four grade levels: in two grades as older students partnering with two grades of younger students.

This year all students will have a prayer partners – extending this prayer support throughout the school. We will officially start this program with an all school mass on Friday, October 19th at 1:00 p.m. This mass is hosted by our eighth graders.

Yesterday I asked the eighth grade mass planners to list twenty people who are praying for them – people, who with God’s help, want the very best for them. The students listed their parents, relatives, teachers, classmates, Father Ken. Their lists could also include the Cardinal, and even Pope Francis – who pray for everyone each day.


Who is praying for you today?

We hope this preparation reminds students they are beloved by God and all of us. We hope they realize we are all praying for them each day. We hope that partnering with their younger student will remind our eighth graders of the beauty of praying for and positively influencing people everyone: those around them in our school, and those in the larger world.

All are welcome to join us for the prayer partner mass, Friday, October 19th at 1:00 p.m.  - hosted by the eighth graders.20181012prayerpartnermeetingroleplay

Role playing how to meet your new prayer partner

First Communion Commissioning Mass October 21st

Posted on Oct 12, 2018

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First Communion Commissioning Mass

Sunday, October 21st at 10:00 a.m.

We welcome all parents and families of 2nd graders for our first communion commissioning mass on Sunday, October 21st at 10:00 a.m. mass with a reception to follow in the church foyer.

          I learned years ago that Christ is present at mass through the scripture readings, the eucharist, the actions of the priest, and the faith of the people. Together we support and encourage one another in our faith in this school and parish community. At every mass, as I see people gathered to pray, their faith strengthens my own as I hope my faith encourages them.

         We look forward to praying with all parents and their children as our second graders prepare to receive the sacraments this year. May we encourage one another in faith as help our children take this next step in their young lives as Catholic Christians - the future of our church.

Please sit with your family in the front of church in the reserved section.


Feast of Saint Francis

Posted on Oct 05, 2018



Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi – October 4, 2018

Saint Francis is a beloved saint for his association with care for the earth, and reverence for all God’s creation – including pets and animals!

In the morning, Father Ken prayed with the children in pre-school – and blessed their pets.



After school, pet and parishioners met at the bell tower for a prayer and blessing  - a tradition in honor of Saint Francis.




We began our day with our P.A. prayer:

Good morning!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today is October 4th , the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, Italy. – a famous saint known for his care for the earth and all God’s creatures.

In honor of Saint Francis who loved animals, we have our pet blessing, today, after school. All pets and people are welcome.

Today we pray for all people named Francis, Fran, Franny, or Frank, including Pope Francis.

Saint Francis loved the earth so much, and remembered everything in the world was God’s creation. Saint Francis called the sun, “Brother Sun” and the moon and stars, “Sister Moon”.

Please listen to this prayer:

We praise you, God, for all your creatures, for all animals, for pets, squirrels, and birds.

We praise you for brother sun, who makes the day bright and radiant, and who shines on everyone.

We praise you for sister moon and the stars:
You placed them in the sky,
So bright and sparkling.

We praise you God, for Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures life.

We praise you, God, for Sister Water; she is very useful, lowly, precious, and pure.

We praise you for Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

We praise you for our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

We praise you, God, for all creation and for your never ending love for us: in all things and in all ways. Amen.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


God is Good – All the Time.

All the Time – God is Good.

Have a tremendous Thursday!

Happy Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi!

Image result for saint Francis and pets