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ACT II is committed to the needs and interests of Holy Name parishioners age 40 and over. Our goal is to encourage participation and a sense of belonging within the Holy Name Cathedral community by providing opportunities for SOCIAL gathering, CULTURAL and EDUCATIONAL pursuits, SPIRITUAL development and community SERVICE.


There is no membership fee to join and no restrictions other than being 40 or older and wanting to participate. Send your name & email address to and you will receive our weekly preview e-mail which has more information.


MARGARET ALFARO: or 312-280-0006

For a description of our current programs please click on the “+” sign next to each header.

MEETING ONE A MONTH, NINE MONTHS OF THE YEAR (there is no event for March, November or December), new and old friends get together to enjoy lively conversation and fine dining at our neighborhood restaurants. Our volunteers assist in the selection and the booking of each restaurant. We have been able to enjoy topnotch restaurants at a cost of only $35, which includes an entree, side dish or salad, dessert, coffee and tip. From 6 to 7 PM, we congregate for cocktails at a cash bar, followed by the dinner at 7 PM.

We continue to look for volunteers to assist with the restaurant selection, as it is through our volunteer members’ active participation that these special evenings will continue to be a success. To get involved in the planning and/or to nominate your favorite local restaurant contact Margarette by phone or email.
Coordinator: Margarette Alfaro… or 312-280-0006

Thanks to the generosity of Holy Name parishioners, a hot meal is provided on every Thursday and Friday for 130 of our hungry (not homeless, but working poor) neighbors. ACT II SPONSORS THE SUPPER ON THE FIRST FRIDAY OF EACH MONTH. In addition to the hot meal served at Catholic Charities, 70 sandwich packs are distributed to those persons not able to partake in the sit-down meal.  ACT II members are the welcoming hosts/volunteers who set up, serve and clean up on the First Friday of each month, starting about 3:30 p.m. and finishing before 6 p.m., leaving ample time for one’s Friday evening plans. You are invited to join our volunteers.


Members of this group have subscribed to the Wednesday evening 7:30 p.m. series at Lookingglass Theater in the Water Works on Michigan Avenue. They plan to go to dinner beforehand at a mutually agreed upon restaurant in the area. Individuals are invited to either subscribe at the beginning of the season series, or they may purchase individual tickets for one of the scheduled plays/dates and ask to be seated with the ACT II group. Ticket purchases are made by the participants through the theater box office. New members are most welcome. NOTE: It is possible to join them for only one or two evenings without committing to a subscription. Contact the coordinator for details regarding the evening’s restaurant reservations and to join them for the evening’s outings.
Coordinator: Charlene Conarty… or 312-915-0423

The newest of our groups, they are currently meeting ONCE A MONTH in a room in the rectory ON MONDAY EVENINGS. They are definitely open to new members and welcome your inquiries.

Coordinators: GINNY & ROY SMOLKY… or 248-375-1431

This group meets in the rectory FROM 1-4 PM ON THE FIRST AND THIRD MONDAYS OF THE MONTH. Participants should have a solid base in bidding and playing the social game of Rubber Bridge. Play is competitive yet friendly. the emphasis is on enjoyment, while hopefully improving one’s techniques and understanding of the game. Scores are recorded only to keep track of part scores and vulnerability.
Generally there are enough people for two tables of bridge, which is the maximum the room can comfortably accommodate. OPEN PARTICIPATION on a bi-weekly basis. RSVP by the preceding Saturday. “Subs” are also welcome as we have several participants who frequently travel. 

Coordinator:  KATHY HAYDEN… or 312-944-7430.

This group MEETS APPROXIMATELY EVERY SIX WEEKS ON A SATURDAY OR SUNDAY, for 4-5 sessions during the year. The exact meeting dates are selected in September, at which time the members also propose and select the year’s books and their companion films. The members read the books on their own, then meet together for a short discussion of the book (during a light supper provided by the host), followed by a viewing of the DVD/movie based on the book. Additional discussion over dessert continues. Members take turns being “leader” of the discussions.

Note: The current group is OPEN TO THE ADDITION OF ANOTHER 2 OR 3 PARTICIPANTS. If interested, please contact below.

Coordinators: Carol and Bob Haney… or 312-649-6849

OMEETING WEEKLY IN THE RECTORY FROM 10:30 am UNTIL NOON ON THURSDAY MORNINGS. In addition to scriptural readings, the group takes occasional day trips to nearby places chosen for their spiritual significance.

PARTICIPATION IS OPEN to all interested parties. For more information or to join:

Coordinator: GENE FINNEGAN: or 312-787-6703

ONE TUESDAY NIGHT EACH MONTH the group meets at The City Pool Hall on West Hubbard Street for an evening of spirited eight ball and other variations on pocket billiards. They play from 7 to 9 PM and the table rental runs between $10 and $14 per player, depending on the number of participants. Refreshments are available to purchase on your own. The date each month is determined by canvassing the members to find out which Tuesday night that month will be best for the majority. Participants are asked to commit a few days ahead of time each month so that the appropriate number of tables may be reserved. Beginners as well as accomplished players are welcome.

Coordinator: Dan Werner… 

ONE NIGHT EACH MONTH individuals meet at one of the member’s homes for an evening of Dealers’ Choice Poker: Draw, 7 Card and 5 card Stud are the usual fare, but several other game variations may be proposed (after all, it is “Dealers’ Choice”). The date each month is determined by canvassing the players to find which Thursday night the ideal number of seven players can attend.

Coordinator: Bob Weeks… or 480-285-8670.

This group gathers monthly in a social setting as a means to meet others within our Faith Community. The group consists primarily of people who are still employed but is not limited to just that demographic. The host each month is on a volunteer rotating basis. Notice of each event is shared through email, the Sunday bulletin and the ACT II newsletter.

Further information: Usual group size is 12. Suggestions for new locations are usually scouted in advance for accessibility, individual checks being allowed, and proximity to public transportation, among other things.

Coordinator: MARGARETTE ALFRARO: or 312-280-0006

Maestro Riccardo Muti of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has opened three rehearsals during the season, FREE to invited groups of seniors, veterans and community groups. ACT II is privileged to receive a limited number of tickets for each of the three rehearsals, all held around the noon hour. Once the coordinators are notified of the dates and the number of tickets that have been allotted to ACT II, we will send out an email to all eligible members. This notification will also be posted in the weekly HNC Bulletin. All tickets are available on a “first come, first served” basis.

Coordinators: Joann Bridge… or 610-470-4425
Kathy Hayden… or 312-944-7430

This book discussion group will be MEETING MONTHLY ON SELECTED THURSDAY EVENINGS AT 7 PM at the coordinator’s home. Light refreshments will be offered. The book & the volunteer facilitator will be chosen the month prior. It is anticipated that there is space for another 2-3 participants. Please contact the coordinator for up-to-date information.

Coordinator: Sonia Reardon… or 224-659-0246

Sketchers at all levels of experience are welcome to join the Sketch Group, which meets on the second and fourth Monday of the month from 1-3 pm. In the late spring and summer the group meets at various picturesque sites within general proximity to the Cathedral. Suggestions on where to meet come from the members.

Beginning in November and during the winter months, the group meets only on the fourth Monday in a room in the Rectory and focuses on exercise and tutorials emphasizing various techniques and skills. Members may choose whatever medium they prefer, but all one really needs is a pencil and paper and the desire to draw.

Coordinator: Barbara Weeks…

The ACT II Knitting group was formed to give hand knitted hats, headbands, and scarfs to our needy neighbors, those to whom we serve First Friday Suppers at Catholic Charities. The gifts are distributed on Saint Nicolas Day, or as close to the day as possible.

Recently they have expanded their creative endeavors to included Blessings in a Backpack and various local nursing facilities. The group knits all year long, currently on select Mondays in the afternoon from 4-6 PM in room 204 in the Rectory.  If you have knitted in the past but are a bit rusty, we encourage you to once again pick up those needles and knit for a worthy cause… and met new friends in the process. Additional knitters and/or yarn donations are most welcome.  For more information concerning specific dates, your skill level, pattern or color of yarn… or to make a donation of yarn, please contact Helen.

Coordinator: Helen McArdle… or 773-989-8614