Sunday, May 5
By Mary Kay Slowikowski
Inspiring Minds and Spirit through Learning, Service and Fun
Fifteen years ago, a small group of Old St. Pat’s members looked for a creative way to celebrate the second half of life while adding to the experience of church here at Old St. Pat’s. The result was Encore!
Today, Encore is your invitation to come together with other adults (age 50 and older) to share your enthusiasm for life, learning, service, and fun!
Here’s a brief sampling of what’s happening through Encore.
• Encore will host a live storytelling event (think The Moth Radio program!) on Wednesday, May 22.
• We host The Encore Café, a quarterly speaker and breakfast program that brings together Old St. Pat’s members and friends for a good meal, great conversation, and the best fellowship! Past speakers include: Rick Kogan, Sheriff Tom Dart, Sr. Simone Campbell, Mike Leonard, Hon. Anne Burke, Fr. John Cusick, Blair Kamin, Chris Kennedy, Mary Schmich, and Fr. Tom Hurley.
• Encore volunteers regularly come together to serve a meal and socialize with the residents at House of Hope in North Lawndale, a program designed to help equip and encourage men striving to transform their lives after being incarcerated.
• We have developed a relationship with the women and children at St. Martin de Porres House of Hope Shelter in Woodlawn, gathering with them at picnics, Christmas parties and Craft Days.
• Encore volunteers serve at “Appreciation Dinners” hosted by Fr. Hurley that recognize and express gratitude to people who have been members of Old St. Patrick’s Church for twenty years or longer.
• Encore also offers regular opportunities to participate in spiritual retreats and days of reflection.
• Encore also enjoys collaborating with other groups at Old St. Patrick’s. We’ve co-hosted some great programs with members of OSPNext, our young adult group.
• Encore continues to build friendships and community through a variety of social events such as dinner and theater outings, museum tours, concerts, Trivia Night, and Bike Rides. This summer look for us Saturday night (June 22) at the Block Party. We’ve hired a band and we’ll be dancing through the night!
Finally, people sometimes ask, do I have to join Encore? No, everyone is welcome and there is no formal membership. But in order to keep you informed about our upcoming events, we ask that you make sure to create a profile on MyOSP (our new online community building platform) and add your name to the Encore list.
From those small beginnings fifteen years ago, Encore continues to be a volunteer led organization. Our leadership comes from a planning team made up of twenty-two members (The Encore Board). We meet every two months, and always bring our enthusiasm and ideas for life, learning, service and fun. If you’re interested in attending a meeting, helping to plan, or you have some new ideas for the group – we’re always open to trying something new – please don’t hesitate to contact Encore chairperson, Mary Kay Slowikowski, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to serving as Encore chairperson, Mary Kay Slowikowski is an internationally known speaker and the first female speaker to appear nationally in her own Emmy-nominated PBS special. At Old St. Pat’s, Mary Kay also serves as Lector and Eucharist Minister. Check out her website at making-it-happen.net.
“I love how you get to connect with so many great people through the Encore events.” – Sandie V.
“Encore! Encore! It’s a cry to continue the performance — Fellowship—Inspiration—Outreach—Let’s keep it going. Bravo to all who help and all those who join us.”– Judy M.