People Come and Go

by Rev. Gabriel Baltes, O.S.B.  |  09/17/2023  |  A Message from Our Pastor

As we all know, people come and go into the fabric of our personal lives and in the lives of our religious communities as well. As such, we bade farewell to Mrs. Lynne Passarella this past Friday as she completed her final hours as our parish receptionist. Lynne took the initiative to apply for this position eight years ago after leaving the previous parish in Joliet at which she was employed.

Having blessed us with her many gifts, she will now be able to share those same gifts with the people of Sts. Peter and Paul in Naperville where she will begin employment at yet another parish. We are grateful for the unique presence that Lynne brought to our parish staff here at St. Joan of Arc and trust that she will be equally as impactful and appreciated at her new parish.

At the same time, I am delighted to welcome Chase Stevens as the newest member of our parish staff. Last week, Chase began work at St. Joan of Arc as our parish Director of Religious Education. His job will entail coordinating the religious education program for the students who do not attend our parish school. He will also oversee the sacramental preparation for the students of both the religious education program as well as our parish grade school and junior high. In addition to these major roles, Chase will also prepare the General Intercessions for the weekly grade school liturgies and train the student lectors who proclaim the scripture readings at these same liturgies. As time goes on, Chase will become more involved in those rituals and celebrations that punctuate the school year.

Chase was originally from Bloomington, IL, and then moved to Lisle in 2023 when he married his wife Rachel. Married for approximately two months now, Chase is steeped in gratitude for the blessing he has found in the mutual love that he and Rachel share – a love that is a vibrant sacramental sign of God’s love for the world.

Prior to taking this position at St. Joan of Arc, Chase had various church related roles. He was a Seminarian for two years. He was the director of the Men’s Ministry program at a parish in the Diocese of Peoria. Now he is studying Clinical and Mental Health Counseling at Liberty Online University in Lynchburg, VA.

Chase’s faith journey began when he was a freshman in college where he discovered God’s warm and abiding presence by praying the Rosary. This time honored devotion to the Mother of God brought him into a deeper communion with the Lord Jesus whom, previously he felt was disinterested in him. Sometimes, it just takes a mother’s love to awaken those deeper stirrings in our lives that had been dormant. When he transferred from Missouri State University to Illinois State University, he met Rachel who, three years later would become his beloved bride. Throughout these years of education and personal faith formation, Chase experienced tremendous healing as he gradually learned to accept and integrate God’s unconditional love into his life.

In addition to fostering a healthy prayer life and maintaining his academic disciplines, Chase enjoys working out, playing hockey and practicing Jiu Jitsu, mindful that a sound mind needs a sound body, since we are embodied creatures fashioned in the image of God. His desire for the RE program is that all children K-8, will have an environment in which they can continue to be formed as children of God and still have fun. (His photo says it all!)

Anyone interested in enrolling their children in our Religious Education program is asked to contact Chase at or 630-353-4550. At present he is in urgent need of 2-3 volunteers to help with check in and dismissal on Wednesday nights at 4:30- 5:45. Let’s help out our new staff person. In addition to being useful, I suspect, it will also be a great deal of fun. Welcome Chase.

As the summer season gives way to autumn, the natural world confronts us in beautiful and dramatic ways. And so I offer the following poem by Rainer Maria Rilke that gives expression to these mysteries that we experience.