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PASTOR

the Rev. William Gavin, S.J.

MEMBERSHIP

200 to 300 households

SUNDAY ATTENDANCE

95 (lower church)

SERVICE LENGTH

103 minutes

WORST WORSHIPER DRESS

A Chicago Bulls practice jersey and matching shorts

CRYING TODDLERS

6

MIDMASS CELL-PHONE RINGS

1

CONGREGATIONAL FERVOR

In the middle of a recent Sunday mass, Associate Pastor the Rev. Edward M. Ifkovits, S.J., approached guests with a cordless microphone and asked them to introduce themselves. After brief introductions, they were greeted with a “St. Al’s Welcome” of applause. The Mass combined a traditional Catholic liturgy with contemporary gospel music. The 15-person choir—accompanied by drums, a piano, and a tambourine—clapped and swayed in unison during “We Magnify Your Name.”

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

“It’s been a while since the great insider-stock-trading scandal,” opened Ifkovits. Indeed—but it wasn’t clear what that opening had to do with the rest of the homily. It was based on the parable of the Treasure in the Field, in which a man learns of the titular booty, hides it, sells all of his possessions, buys the property, and keeps the treasure. Ifkovits said that the congregation should desire the Kingdom of God the same way that that fellow desired material things.

FOOD FOR THE BODY

No condiments or beverages were on hand for the afterparty. A few parishioners were spotted munching on French bread. Loaves of several types of bread were on hand for the indigent

and for those more

carryout-minded.

OVERALL WORSHIP POWER RATING

Those seeking a more solemn and traditional Catholic service should head for the stained-glass-and-marble upper church. For those seeking a more lively, active form of worship, the refurbished-basement lower church is an ideal fit. Worshipers at St. Aloysius are encouraged to sing along with the choir, from the soulful gospel version of the Lord’s Prayer to the celebratory, high-energy closing anthem, “Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody!”

Art accompanying story in the printed newspaper is not available in this archive: Photograph by Darrow Montgomery.