Parish Ministries


The Immaculate Conception Altar Servers Program is open to IC PREP students (Grades 2-8) who have made their First Communion or students who are of high school age.  Altar Server training is offered once a year.  Altar Servers are scheduled year round to serve at weekend Masses as well as Masses for Holy Days of Obligation.  Being an Altar Server is a wonderful opportunity for students to grow in love for Our Lord and to serve the parish community.  Parents who are interested can help with the monthly schedule for Altar Servers.
Contact: Parish Center Office, 847.433.0130


The IC Choir contributes to the liturgical life of Immaculate Conception Parish by singing weekly at the 10:30 am Sunday liturgies from October through May, and for feast days and special parish events. The choir joins with the congregation to sing and worship together in the hymns and responses of the Mass, and also prepares pieces from the sacred choral repertoire to offer as a part of the liturgy. Membership is open to all parishioners high school age and older through a meeting-audition with the choir director.
Contact: Juli Bunyak, [email protected] 847.433.0130


Immaculate Conception Extra-ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are lay men and women parishioners who are willing to be scheduled to assist the clergy and religious to distribute Holy Communion at daily and weekend Masses, as needed.  Some members also serve as Ministers of Care and take Holy Communion to the homebound.
Contact: Claudia Ennessy; [email protected], 847.433.2960


The lector serves the Immaculate Conception parish by reading the sacred scripture during the Liturgy of the Word at Mass.  A lector, or reader, participates in Liturgies by reciting selected biblical texts, although never the gospels, whose reading is only permitted by a priest, deacon or bishop. A lector reads from the lectern and also performs secondary duties, such as carrying the Book of the Gospel in the procession to the altar.
Contact: Cheryl O’Hare; [email protected], 847.266.9794


The Scotch and Scripture Group meets twice a month to study the Catholic Faith with an emphasis on the Word of God.  The evening meeting includes formal scripture study and discussion over cocktails (hence the name “Scotch and Scripture”).  The group’s objectives are to better understand our Catholic faith and to encounter other men, husbands and fathers trying to live their faith in their daily lives.
Contact: Tim Grant; [email protected], 847.748.8734


The PREP Program is IC’s Religious Education Program, serving children from grades K-8. Through this Christ centered catechetical program, we seek to teach each child the richness of our Catholic faith so they are transformed through an experience of Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We seek to teach and form them into dynamic apostles who live out Christ’s command through their personal witness and by sharing their faith with others. With our fast paced and changing society we recognize that families today struggle to keep Christ at the center of their lives and homes. By extension, the PREP program also seeks to support parents, the primary catechists, in the faith formation of their children.
Contact: Barb Cegielski; [email protected], 847.433.0130


The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process developed by the Catholic Church for prospective converts to Catholicism who are above the age of infant baptism. Candidates are gradually introduced to aspects of Catholic beliefs and practices. The basic process applies to adults and older children.  Each year on Holy Saturday during the Easter Vigil, Immaculate Conception welcomes these new Catholics into the Church.
Contact: Kate Chiodo; [email protected], 847.433.0130


Immaculate Conception offers all PREP moms a unique opportunity to enter into the world of Scripture while their children are in class on Sunday mornings. We will unpack the Sunday Mass readings from a historical, cultural, and spiritual vantage point. The instruction is followed by Q & A and small group faith-sharing. These sessions make Sunday Mass come alive!
Contact: The Parish office for more information 847.433.0130


In the midst of the busy preparations for Christmas, IC offers it’s women an oasis of peace and light. Socialize over dinner, then let your spirit be touched by inspiring testimonies, quiet moments of prayer, beautiful music and more…and don’t forget the cookie exchange! Prepare your heart for the coming of our Savior and be enriched by the wonderful women in our multi-generational parish family - this event will leave you changed.                                          
Contact: The Parish office for more information 847.433.0130


WOMEN’S ENCOUNTER GROUPS                                                                          
Immaculate Conception offers all women of the parish the opportunity to be part of a small group dedicated to helping you encounter God’s love in prayer and in your daily life. Weekly study sessions focus on discovering the treasures of our Catholic Faith, developing a personal relationship with Christ, and sharing our faith with others. Come encounter Christ with us.
Contact: The Parish office for more information 847.433.0130


WOMEN’S SCRIPTURE GROUP (SUNDAY CONNECTION)                                                                                                                
Adult spiritual formation is provided thru scripture study and providing special Lenten and Advent opportunities.  This program provides women of the parish a way to enhance their understanding of the Sunday scriptures and offers an opportunity for faith sharing.  It creates an atmosphere of community, enabling these women to have a sense of belonging and moves them into participation in the greater community.                                                                              
Contact: Mary Nelsen; [email protected], 847.433.0130



Our annual Night at the Bocce Courts in Highwood is an opportunity for adult parishioners to gather socially and enjoy dinner and a rousing game of Bocce. Bocce Night is sponsored by the IC Women’s Guild, who organizes the event and provides a homemade sweet table to top off the evening. Teams are randomly selected to allow parishioners to meet each other. No special skills are required to join the fun.
Contact: Adele McCarty; [email protected], 224.595.4403


Corks & Forks is one of the Immaculate Conception’s fundraising events, involving a wine tasting and dinner at a local restaurant. It is as much a parish social gathering as it is a fundraiser and has been a popular choice among parishioners for an evening of wine, food and fun. The event has generally been held just before Thanksgiving, and provides attendees an opportunity to purchase a selection of wines for the holidays. All parishioner support is welcome including volunteering, ticket purchase and event sponsorships. 
Contact: John Scholz; [email protected], 847.529.2384


IC parishioners host informal “get togethers” in their homes for 20-30 parishioners in the neighborhood.  It is a wonderful way for parishioners to get to know each other, to share information and to have fun. The pastor and members of parish lay leadership also attend. The goal of the Meet and Greet is to get parishioners more involved and engaged with the IC parish and our faith.  We are looking for volunteers to host an event for their neighborhood.
Contact: Kristin Muntean; [email protected], 847.867.7884


The annual IC Gala is one of the primary fundraisers for the Parish.  This formal evening typically takes place at a local Country Club.  As a “black tie optional” event, the Gala is an opportunity for the adults of the Parish to dress up and have a night out in style.  The event typically features various fundraising elements including a Live Auction, Silent Auction, Raffle and other activities.  The evening also includes a social hour, formal dinner, dessert & coffee, DJ or live music and other entertainment.  The IC Gala is a wonderful occasion to gather in a warm and enjoyable social setting with other parishioners to celebrate the longstanding legacy of Immaculate Conception and to raise money for our Faith Community.
Contact: Kevin McDonough; [email protected], 847.372.4103


This is an all parish social and fundraising event organized for the entire family. The event is held in the Parish Center and celebrates the Italian and Irish saints, St. Joseph and St. Patrick.  The evening event includes dinner, a St. Joseph table, music, dancing, entertainment, a silent auction and raffle.  We welcome all parishioners, their families, friends and neighbors from the Highland Park community to come and enjoy the evening.  We always need help with set-up, serving and clean up. 
Contact: Julie Harrigan; [email protected], 847.826.2369


The Mistletoe Market is an IC tradition!  Held in November, it is the parish’s annual craft sale, raffle, cookie walk and luncheon.  Over 40 vendors sell Christmas goodies, crafts and food.  This event  raises money to support parish ministries.  Parishioners can support this effort by purchasing raffle tickets, baking cookies for the cookie walk, shopping at the craft show to support our fabulous vendors and having lunch at the market.
Contact: Patti Solem; [email protected], 847.212.1268


The annual IC Monster Mash is a fun-filled, family event open to all members of the Parish, as well as friends and neighbors from the Highland Park community.  The event provides a safe and controlled environment to celebrate Halloween/All Saints Day festivities within the IC Parish Center.  Typical celebrations include indoor Trick-or-Treating, DJ music, games & activities, pizza dinner, treats and more!   Kids and adults dress up in costumes for the evening event that typically runs from 6:00-8:30 pm.  The IC Monster Mash is a wonderful occasion to gather with other Parish families and celebrate our Faith Community, as well as to let the kids have a great time!
Contact: Kevin McDonough; [email protected], 847.372.4103


This ministry is dedicated to welcoming our newest parishioners.  We connect new parishioners with Immaculate Conception by introducing them to other parishioners and to the various ministries at our parish, inviting them to participate in parish activities and being a resource to answer questions and make them feel more welcome in order to increase their sense of belonging.  Come join this wonderful group.
Contact: Alena Laube; [email protected], 847.975.9262


The Immaculate Conception Book Club is another opportunity to build Immaculate Conception’s community of belonging.  We meet on a regular basis to discuss various books and their impact on our lives.                                                                                              
Contact: Mary Nelsen; [email protected], 847.433.0130


Immaculate Conception Women’s Guild (ICWG) is a Parish organization that is open to all women of the Parish. The Women’s Guild provides opportunities for women of the parish to join together in faith-filled worship and service to our Parish and community.  We also promote and support the active involvement of women in Parish life through fundraising, social and spiritual events. 
Contact: Adele McCarty; [email protected], 224.595.4403



The Immaculate Conception Christmas Giving Tree Program is a long-standing partnership with Catholic Charities that provides Christmas gifts to the children of impoverished families within Lake County. The program welcomes parishioner support through both the purchase of gifts and the volunteering of time during the two-week period from the end of November through the first week of December. This program presents a great opportunity for children and young adults to fulfill service hour requirements and is a wonderful way to kick off the Christmas Season by sharing the Holiday Spirit with our less fortunate neighbors.
Contact:  John Scholz; [email protected], 847.529.2384


The IC Greeter program focuses on the welcoming aspect of our parish. Volunteers open the doors for those coming to Mass and greet them with a bulletin and a smile. They are one of the first points of contact between the visitor and IC. Few things contribute more to the growth of a parish than parishioners and visitors who feel welcomed.
Contact:  Parish Office  847.433.0130


Various parish volunteers host hospitality after the 10:30 am Mass on Sundays, providing coffee, juice and doughnuts to parishioners.  Through this ministry, we seek to enhance a sense of belonging, facilitate community interaction, and make the parish feel like home. Volunteers are responsible for hosting hospitality once per quarter.
Contact:  Parish Office  847.433.0130


The Knights of Columbus is a fraternal organization for men who are at least 18 years of age and practice the Catholic faith. The principles of our order are: Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. The purpose is to:

  • Provide Catholic men opportunities in charity and fraternity, for service to the church at the local, diocesan and universal levels; to the communities; and to the less fortunate (those with intellectual disabilities, the handicap, the poor, and the unborn).
  • Actively participate in the council affairs including spiritual, family, social, civic-oriented, athletic, and recreational.
  • Make men better Catholics, better husbands, better fathers, better providers for the financial protection of our families and better citizens of the countries where they live
  • Provide access to top rated insurance program that protects our families

The local Council serves men from the parishes of Immaculate Conception (Highland Park), Holy Cross (Deerfield), and Saint James (Highwood).
Contact: Herb LeMee; [email protected], 312.304.0208


Immaculate Conception’s Ministers of Care advocate spiritually for parishioners in local care facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes (Sunrise) and the homebound.  They visit sick, elderly and physically or emotionally challenged people for shared prayers, they also bring them Holy Communion and discern when a priest is needed for sacraments or anointing.
Contact:  Mary Nelsen; [email protected], 847.433.0130 


PACIFIC GARDEN MISSION                                                                                                                            
Our parish has committed to live out Christ’s commandment of love by serving our less fortunate brothers and sisters at the Pacific Garden Rescue Mission in downtown Chicago. Come as a family to serve a hot meal to the hungry and make beds for the homeless – a beautiful way to live out the Gospel “Works of Mercy” and experience the joy of giving!                                                                                                                        
Contact:  Luisa Lara; [email protected], 847.212.2274


SOUP KITCHEN                                                                                                                                                 
The IC Soup Kitchen is an opportunity to join with fellow parishioners to provide others with a nourishing and tasty meal.  If you like to create meal plans, shop for food, cook, serve, and/or clean up, we want you!  Individuals from 14 years old and up, and families are welcome.  Shopping and planning is done in advance.  IC’s Soup Kitchen is the second Friday of each month at 914 8th Street, Waukegan..  Early to mid-afternoon arrival for cooking, 5:15 or later for serving, dishwashing, and clean-up.  We have a great team, and are always looking for new members. If your time is limited and you want to help, you can always send home-made desserts, and they love fresh fruit!
Contact:  The Parish office for more information 847.433.0130


The Annual Rummage Sale is Immaculate Conception’s largest fundraiser.  The Rummage Sale is hosted by the IC Women’s Guild on the weekend after Labor Day and we need the support of all parishioners to be a success.  The Rummage Sale is the perfect opportunity for parishioners to become involved in service to the parish and the greater community. Proceeds from the sale fund various parish ministries. 
Contact:  Adele McCarty; [email protected], 224.595.4403


The Immaculate Conception ushers are responsible for providing assistance to the clergy and mass attendees on Sundays and Holy Days. Activities include ensuring safety, meeting and greeting parishioners entering and leaving the church, helping those with physical limitations and special needs, answering all attendee questions, if possible, or directing the inquiry to the clergy or a parish staff member. Additional duties include ensuring a sufficient compliment of ushers to deal with the monetary collections and related security, identifying specific individuals for the presentation of the Gifts, and dealing with all emergencies, including 911 calls. After mass, the ushers pass out bulletins, raise all kneelers, collect and discard trash, close and place all missiles in the missile racks, secure all left-behind items in the lost and found section of the vestibule and close the inner and outer doors of the church. All adults of the parish are welcome. 
Contact:  John Scholz; [email protected], 847.529.2384