A few years ago, five to be exact, my husband Stephen died after a very prolonged battle with brain cancer. During our 23 years of marriage, although I was the Catholic and he the Jew, we managed to raise our three children in the most remarkable way - in love and dedication, together, to be point that from the outside you weren't sure who was what! All of my work, whether it was receiving a grant from Lilly Endowment to study children and their interfaith lives, or a grant from the ACTA Foundation to write the handbook outlining the celebration of Hebrew Naming and Baptism (which you can find on the BABY NAMING link!)...all of it was conducted and inspired through his encouragement and guidance (with the help of the spirit!). After his death I began a graduate degree in theology, searching for the way to continue my work with The Interfaith Union, though in a transformed way.
I am about to embark on the last piece of the puzzle: I have been accepted into a Residency in Hospital Chaplaincy, beginning in September 2013. It is a one-year program, where I hope to continue to shape and refine my pastoral skills, of which YOU have been instrumental in refining. You have taught me well, and I am so grateful.
I am no longer directing the Union School/St. Raymond's; the program is no longer affiliated with The Interfaith Union, save for bonds of community and affection. While I have much love for the program and families (after all, it has been a 20 year journey), the focus of the IU moving forward will be on couples of all faiths and the celebration of Hebrew Naming and Baptism for those wishing to experience these sacred rites of initiation.
Although independently run, both schools are founded on the same mission of educating interfaith children by teaching Christian and Jewish traditions, history and beliefs.
Both schools offer one hour class sessions twice a month for K-8th grade, along with a nursery program for younger siblings and guests. Each grade level is taught by teacher-parents; while children are in classes, parents too become students and follow a program of adult learning set at the beginning of each school year
Chicago Interfaith Family School - hosted by Old St. Patrick’s in Chicago.
In 1993, seven dedicated and thoughtful interfaith families created a Sunday morning religious education program for their children. The parents soon crafted a mission which included, in part, the desire to convey to their children the stories, traditions, ritual and values of both Christianity and Judaism and to give their children a sense of belonging to a Catholic Jewish community. The program, hosted by Old St. Patrick’s in Chicago, became Chicago Interfaith Family School and since it’s founding has provided Jewish and Catholic education to more than 120 interfaith families and 300 interfaith children. Learn more.
Union School for Interfaith Families – hosted by St. Raymond’s in Mount Prospect
In 2005, several families, with the guidance of The Interfaith Union, felt ready to begin a second school to serve Christian and Jewish families closer to where they live. The Union School for Interfaith Families is hosted by St. Raymond de Pentafort in Mount Prospect. The Union School was built based on the model and curriculum originally created by the Chicago Interfaith Family School, founded in 1993. Learn more.