Renew My Church
Our Evanston Grouping
Saint Athanasius, Saint Joan of Arc, Saint Mary, Saint Nicholas, Sheil Catholic Center
Watch St. Mary’s 2nd Town Hall Meeting
October 12, 2021
Hear the possible scenarios for the future of St. Mary’s & the other Evanston parishes.
Time to offer your feedback

Watch St. Mary’s First  Town Hall Meeting
August 18, 2021
Introduction to the Renew My Church process for our Evanston Grouping

Meet Saint Mary’s GFDT (Grouping Feedback & Discernment Team)
Our representatives to the Renew My Church Team for the Evanston Grouping

Kathy Benn

Kathy has been a parishioner with St. Mary’ since the early 80’s.  She has been active in the religious education program as a teacher and has also participated in the parish by lecturing and engagement with the Parish Council.  Kathy has worked in Sales and Account Management in  the Healthcare industry for her career and she resides in Evanston with her husband Adrian.  They have a son Patrick who is currently an officer with the Marines.

Shelley Benson

Shelley has been a faithful parishioner of Saint Mary Parish, Evanston since 1985. Along with her husband Jon, they have raised their family here with their three children, Joe, Mike, and Jillian. Their children were altar servers, went through confirmation, celebrated a wedding, had grandchildren baptized, and more at Saint Mary’s. This has truly been a home parish for the Benson family.

Shelley has served on Parish Council a number of terms, chaired the Building and Renovation committee during the 1999-2004 renovation project, currently serves on the Arts and Environment team, and is the coordinator for the Eurcharist Ministers ministry.

Shelley is excited to begin the next chapter of her life in retirement, beginning September 1, 2021. She leaves her position as Assistant Vice President of Talent Management for Mather, Evanston, with a sense of fulfillment, and is eager to begin doing those things on her growing list of retirement activities.

Carolyn Y. Buford

Carolyn has been a parishioner of Saint Mary, Evanston, Il. for eight years, following many years of membership in St. Mary, Rockville, MD; St. James, Arlington Heights, IL.; and St. Raymond, Mt. Prospect, IL. She is a former part-time volunteer in Saint Mary Parish Center.

Carolyn believes her mindset, skills and experiences will aid in the critical thinking, communication and leadership needed in meeting RMC’s goals and objectives. Ms. Buford’s career spanned some thirty-five years retiring as an internal auditing  executive of large commercial and secondary financial institutions, Chicago and Washington, DC. She earned BS and MS degrees from DePaul University, Chicago, IL. and enjoys the opera, travel and exercise.

Karie Ferrell

Karie has been a member of the staff of Saint Mary Parish since July 2000 and in parish ministry since 1989. She has fulfilled a number of roles  in ministry through the years, director of religious education adult faith formation, youth ministry, webmaster, bulletin editor, hospitality. She has worked for the Office for Divine Worship, Archdiocese of Chicago, and has been an author for Liturgy Training Publications. These twenty years of ministering at St. Mary’s and collaborating with the Evanston cluster of parishes give her insight that will be useful in the Renew My Church process. She lives here in Evanston and has two grown sons.


John Hitt is a partner at the law firm Chapman and Cutler LLP and has been a parishioner at St. Mary since 2003.   He and his wife Stephanie have four children, all of whom attended Pope John XXIII school.   John served on the School Board at Pope John XXIII School for six years, serving as either President or Vice President for four of those years, and also served as a member of the Finance Committee of the School Board.   John also was an assistant coach for four years for various Poe John XXIII girls and boys basketball teams.  He currently is a member of the St. Mary Parish Finance Committee.
James Holzhauer-Chuckas, ObSB
James is an Oblate of the Benedictine Order and the senior director of United Catholic Youth Ministries in Evanston, which is the network for youth and young adult ministry in our Evanston parishes. James is, newly, married as of February 14, 2020 and lives with his partner, Denisse, in south Evanston. James has lived in Evanston for over 20 years and has a rich background in the parishes of St. Mary and St. Nicholas, having graduated from Pope John XXIII School and currently serves as the Director of Campus Ministry.
James has degrees from DePaul University in religious studies and non-profit administration as well as certification as a diversity practitioner from the Society for Diversity. James is bilingual in English and Spanish and did biblical studies in those languages as well as Ancient Greek, Latin, and Aramaic. James is a sharp advocate of human rights and collaborates with many non-profit organizations to bring the principles of Catholic Social Teaching to life in the world. For fun, James plays soccer and volleyball, loves Star Wars and Jurassic World and Park lore, and enjoys spending time with Denisse as well as friends and family.