Community Life

The St. Francis de Sales Community Life Commission touches the lives of many in our community and oversees the ministries, activities and groups listed on this page. Patricia Linares, the Chairperson for the Community Life Commission, can be contacted by phone at (847) 550-1053 or via e-mail at

To learn more about the Community Life Ministries and Activities at St. Francis de Sales, click on the links below.


Boy Scout Troop 309

Chartered in 1976 at St. Francis de Sales, Boy Scout Troop 309 is committed to the Scouting spirit. Scouts and their adult leaders have fun while learning and often teaching each other outdoor skills, such as rock climbing, swimming, mountain biking, backpacking, hiking, first aid, camping, cooking and more.

Troop meetings are held Tuesdays from 7:30 - 9 p.m. throughout the year in Valker Hall. Scouts run their meetings – with all the support they need from the adult leaders. Scout patrol leaders meet monthly with the adult leaders to plan upcoming activities and meetings.

The troop’s motto, “Where Camping is King,” is indicative of its outdoor schedule, with camp-outs and other activities held throughout the year. Adult leaders and parents (parents are always encouraged to attend) have just as much fun as the Scouts and often learn new skills as well. Older Scouts (ages 13 and above) can also participate in “high adventure” activities.

About one third of merit badges are career related and another third deal with the world in which we live. Troop 309 delves into those subjects through unique programs organized at the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, University of Chicago and in our own Troop 309 meetings. These fun, eye-opening experiences give our Scouts much to think about as they make important life choices.

Service to others is a cornerstone of Troop 309. Take a look around the Lake Zurich area and you will see many improvements resulting from many Eagle Scout projects. Regular service work at the food pantry, local marathons and special projects for St. Francis de Sales offer many opportunities for Scouts to give back to their community. Scouts truly learn the rewards of “making a difference” in our community.

For more information, please visit Troop 309’s website.


"Do your best!" - Cub Scouts Motto

St. Francis de Sales Church is the charter organization for Cub Scout Pack 309. This is a year-round program designed for boys who are in grades 1-5. Parents, leaders and organizations work together to achieve the objectives of Cub Scouting.

Cub Scouting offers fun, educational activities that teach lifelong values. Activities help achieve the aims of Scouting—citizenship training, character development and personal fitness. In addition, the program provides boys with positive peer groups and tools to shape their future. In Cub Scouting, boys learn ideals like honesty, bravery and respect. These values help boys make constructive decisions throughout their lifetimes and give them the confidence they need to grow and develop. In addition, the Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack and the Cub Scout sign, handshake, motto and salute all teach good citizenship and contribute to a boy's sense of belonging.

For more information, please contact Patrice Lindberg at (847) 540-6514 or Rosie Oliver at (847) 847-7831 or visit the Northwest Suburban Council's website.


Girl Scouts

The Girl Scout mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience engages girls in discovering themselves and their values, connecting with other girls, their communities and globally, and taking action to make a difference in the world. Activities are girl led, with an emphasis on learning by doing and cooperative learning.

Girl Scout membership is open to all girls, in kindergarten through grade 12, who accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

Levels of Girls Scouts include:

Girl Scout Daisy (K - grade 1)
Girl Scout Brownie (grades 2-3)
Girl Scout Junior (grades 4-5)
Girl Scout Cadette (grades 6-8)
Girl Scout Senior (grades 9-10)
Girl Scout Ambassador (grades 11-12)

Girl Scouts in the St. Francis de Sales community are members of the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois Council.

If your daughter attends St. Francis de Sales School, contact Lynn Albright, St. Francis Troop Coordinators, to learn more. Lynn can be reached at (847) 847-7128.

For information about becoming part of one of the other troops in our community, visit the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois Council website.

Girl Scouts who wish to learn more about the Catholic faith through Scouting activities may earn the following Catholic Religious Medals:

Family of God is the official religious recognition program of the Roman Catholic Church for children enrolled ages 7-9 who are enrolled in the Girl Scouts. Family of God is an activity series for children in grades 2-3. The program helps children discover the presence of God in their daily lives as members of their family and parish.

The I Live My Faith program is designed to help Girl Scouts, ages 9-11 (grades 4-6), appreciate more deeply the place that God and religous occupy in their daily lives. The action-oriented activities focus on developing awareness within the individual of her potential as a friend, family member and a participant in the community of faith.

The Puella Mariae is earned by Girl Scouts in grades 5 and above. Its purpose is to further the devotion of Mary by emphasizing the spiritual meaning of the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

*The Family of God, I Live My Faith and Puella Mariae medals are presented to the Girl Scouts who earned them at the Girl Scout Sunday Mass each spring season.

The Marian Medal program is written for young Catholics, grades 7-10, to inspire them to become stronger members of their faith and to see Mary as a model for all stages of their lives. As they look to Mary as a model of openness and spirituality, girls working on the Marian Medal participate in projects, discussions and field trips. They develop new insights about their personalities, friends, parents and the world around them. This prestigious medal is presented at a special Mass at Holy Name Cathedral.

For more information about earning these awards, please contact Mary Kalafut at (847) 550-0802 or This program is open to all Catholic Girl Scouts including those at neighboring parishes. Christian Girl Scouts of other denominations are welcome to participate in our program if their place of worship does not offer a medal program.



The Keenagers form a parish-based community for parishioners and all Lake Zurich area residents age 55 and older. Seniors enjoy afternoon socials and other events scheduled throughout the year. The Keenagers program provides a fun, organized way for seniors to build new friendships, assist in community events and even spend time with the students at St. Francis de Sales School and other schools throughout the area.

Keenagers enjoy afternoon socials held in Valker Hall on occasion. Socials include a speaker, entertainment or special event. Sometimes these events are free. Other times there is a fee or donation.

If you are interested in learning more or simply have a question, please contact Father David F. Ryan, Pastor, at (847) 726-4723.

Watch Keenagers' Korner bulletin board in the Church Gathering Space, read the Church bulletin or call us for details on all activities.


Knights of Columbus Queen of Peace Council

All members of the Knights of Columbus are invited to our general meeting at 7:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. We meet on the second floor of the Columbus Centre, 365 Surryse Rd., Lake Zurich.

Our Knights' Lounge is open every Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Stop and check out our new lounge - all are welcome!

Founded in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney, the Knights of Columbus organization began at St. Mary Catholic Church in New Haven, Connecticut. In those days, women outlived men and widows and orphans were left to fend for themselves. Father McGivney envisioned the development of a men’s group in his church that would help these widows and children survive. His vision also included a life insurance program to provide for these widows and orphans. With these visions in mind, Father McGivney’s followers formed the Knights of Columbus, vowing to defend their country, families and faith.

As the largest Catholic family fraternal service organization in the world, the Knights of Columbus has more than 1,600,000 men working together to serve their communities and living out Father McGivney’s mission of doing God’s work. In solidarity with Catholic priests, bishops and the Pope, the Knights of Columbus are called “the strong right arm of the Church.” Within the order are four degrees of Knighthood. Each degree is meant to exemplify one of the four principles upon which the Knights of Columbus organization is built: Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.

The contributions of the Knights of Columbus organization can be recognized throughout the community. You may recognize them as the “guys with the funny hats” or find them raising funds on street corners in front of your favorite stores with their Tootsie Roll Drive to support local charities and God’s special people throughout the Lake Zurich community. The Knights organize local poster contests to educate school children on drug abuse and the dangers of drunken driving. They also host Spelling Bees, Essay Contests and Free Throw Competitions. Four times a year, the Knights host a fundraiser breakfast in Valker Hall, encouraging parishioners to enjoy a meal after Mass at their Knights Café. They can also be seen cooking for the parish picnic or bartending during other parish events. In addition to all they do throughout the community, the Knights support five seminarians each year by providing them money for personal expenses. They are silently around, doing God’s work. As pro-life activists, the Knights also donate funds to support an end to abortion and euthanasia.

Membership in the Knights of Columbus organization is open to all Catholic men 18 years of age and older. If you live in the Lake Zurich area and are interested in becoming a member, please contact the Knights of Columbus Queen of Peace Council, located in Lake Zurich, at (847) 847-7808 or by e-mail at All members of the Knights of Columbus are invited to our general meeting, which is held at 7:30 p.m. on the first Thurday of each month at the Columbus Centre in Lake Zurich.

The Knights of Columbus national website can be found at


St. Francis de Sales Men's Retreat

Open to all men within the St. Francis de Sales parish community, the first Men's Retreat was held in 1971. The retreat is held annually at Bellarmine Hall (Jesuit Retreat House) in Barrington Hills, Illinois.

With the first retreat garnering five participants, the Men's Retreat has grown to include an average of 25-35 participants each year. Fathers, sons, brothers and uncles of participants are welcome to register. Parish membership is not required.

Based on the spiritual exercises of Ignatius Loyola, the retreat is silent. Each year, a noted Jesuit leads the retreat, with 8-10 talks being provided throughout the weekend.

Constructed as a private residence in 1916, Bellarmine Hall can accomodate 70-75 retreatants on a given weekend. High-quality meals are prepared and served by an in-house professional staff.

Frank Johnstone serves as coordinator of the Men's Retreat with assistance from Frank Dodds and Jeff Clery.


Our Lady of Tepeyac Sharing Ministry

This Sharing Ministry began in 1970 and is composed of ten parishioners who work closely with the Pastor and staff at Our Lady of Tepeyac Parish in Chicago. Meetings are held twice a year – in the fall and the spring. In the fall, members meet at St. Francis de Sales and in the spring, they meet at Our Lady of Tepeyac. Monthly e-mail and phone communications help members plan activities in which both parishes can participate.

The two major annual activities include the Christmas Tree at St. Francis and the Bilingual Mass in June, followed by the Parish Picnic. The Christmas Tree program allows parishioners at St. Francis de Sales to provide gifts to our brothers and sisters at Our Lady of Tepeyac who may be in need during the holiday season. The Bilingual Mass gives members of both parishes the chance to celebrate Mass together and then eat together at the Parish Picnic. Much help is needed for this event and parishioners are encouraged to offer their time and energy to bring food, set up or clean up after the event.

For more information about the Our Lady of Tepeyac Sharing Ministry, please contact Patricia Linares at or (847) 550-1053.


Parish Welcoming Committee

The Welcoming Committee greets new parishioners by offering a friendly phone call and extending an invitation to a St. Francis de Sales’ Welcoming Mass, held four times each year. During the Welcoming Mass, new parishioners are invited to join Father David F. Ryan at the altar for a blessing.

The Welcoming Committee is always looking for volunteers who would be willing to reach out to new parishioners at St. Francis de Sales. Members send new parishioners a welcome letter, call them to share some information about St. Francis de Sales and invite them to Mass. This ministry only requires a few hours of your time every few months. It is a great way to make new friends while making a difference in the lives of others.

If you are interested in joining the Welcoming Committee, please contact Jodie Shield at (312) 305-6503.


Women's Retreat

Women of all ages are welcome to attend this wonderful retreat, held annually during the winter months. We encourage you to take some time to focus on yourself and your relationship with God - and for a small time - separate yourself from the distractions of your busy life.

You may choose to commute or stay over at the retreat center. We begin Friday evening and will conclude near noon on Sunday. In addition to large group presentations, you will also have time to choose from a variety of free-time activities and have time for personal reflection and quiet time. If you choose to stay at the retreat center, you may have a room to yourself or share with another woman. You may choose your roommate or let us help you make a new friend. Feel free to join us on Saturday only if your schedule doesn't allow time for the entire retreat.