Blase Cardinal Cupich: "GPS for the Soul"

On Friday, February 3rd, 2017, at Noon

At the Union League Club

The First Friday Club of Chicago


Cardinal Blase Cupich

Who will speak on:


GPS for the soul


Cardinal Cupich will offer some thoughts on how believers can respond in a time marked by moral whiplash and acrimonious public discourse.  The present moment seems to demand that we Christians choose between seemingly competing issues from protecting the unborn to caring for the marginalized, from defending religious freedom to preserving the environment.  What is the average Catholic to do?

Dr. Jo Ann Rooney: "Is There a Changing Identity of Catholic Universities Today?"

On Friday, February 3, 2017

At Noon at the Union League Club

The First Friday Club of Chicago Welcomes

Dr. Jo Ann Rooney

24th President, Loyola University Chicago



Contemporary America is experiencing two amazing phenomena: cultural/religious/social diversity and a rapidly increasing secularity. These phenomena are incarnated in the student and faculty populations of Catholic Universities. What is Catholic today in a Catholic University? Is there a Catholic world view that is taught and promoted? Is there a Catholic ethic and moral compass that clashes with a secular ethic?


Dr. Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, is the 24th President of Loyola University Chicago and the first lay president in the University's history. She holds a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School, a Master of Laws in taxation from Boston University School of Law, and a Doctor of Education in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jeanne Bishop: "Forgiveness: The Impossible Virtue"

Would you have the courage or compassion to go to the prison where your sister’s murderer was incarcerated?

Jeanne Bishop, Attorney, Author, Social Justice Leader


On Friday, January 6, 2017, at Noon

At the Union League Club

The First Friday Club of Chicago


Attorney and Author Jeanne Bishop


Who will address the topic

“Forgiveness: The impossible virtue”

Many people in Chicago remember the horrible events of an unspeakable crime that took place in the northern suburbs 26 years ago.  Newspaper and television coverage was extensive and emotionally exhausting.  The story is familiar but the names of the people involved appear to have been forgotten.

Our speaker, Jeanne Bishop and her family, seemed to be living the American Dream.  She and her siblings were born and raised in a quiet, safe, well to do suburb.  She attended Northwestern University and had a good job at a top Chicago law firm.

The world changed for them on a dark night in 1990, just before Easter.  After a family dinner to celebrate the impending birth of her younger sister’s baby, tragedy struck.  Jeanne received a phone call the next morning. Her sister Nancy, brother-in-law Richard, and the unborn baby were gone.  Murdered in their own home, in the sleepy village of Winnetka.  … How? … Why?

Did the family experience crushing sadness? Yes. Was there anger and bitterness?  Maybe at first.  Was there a Desire for Revenge??

Jeanne will share her long journey of Forgiveness.  A journey that started when she told the police investigators that she didn't want to hate anybody.  Along the way she spent time with the author of Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean, lobbied Gov. George Ryan about the death penalty, and met others who challenged her to examine her faith and Christian beliefs.

Would you have the courage or compassion to go to the prison where your sister’s murderer was incarcerated? Could you tell him he was Forgiven? Is Forgiveness an impossible virtue?


Fr. William Moriarity: "Living the Festival of Light"

On Friday, December 2, 2016
At Noon
At the Union League Club
The First Friday Club of Chicago
Father William Moriarity
Associate Pastor, Holy Name Cathedral
Chaplain Extraordinaire, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Who will address the topic
"Living the Festival of Light
Yes. Light is Stronger Than Dark"

December is the month that plunges the Northern Hemisphere into the deepest darkness of the year. Less and less natural light occurs until several days before the great feast of the Return of the Sun/Son, Christmas.

Judaism and Christianity both celebrate Festivals of Light in December: Hanukkah and Advent/Christmas. These festivals of light, one candle more a night for eight nights, one candle a week for four weeks, are true metaphors for the spiritual Faith that firmly believes that the Light of the World conquers any and all darkness that life throws at us.

The personification of that element of Faith is Fr. Bill Moriarity. For the past 50 years Fr. Moriarity's priesthood has offered life, healing, light, and hope in some of the darkest moments people have ever experienced. In this Season of Light, in the midst of darkness, the First Friday Club invites Father Moriarity to share some of his powerful experiences of bringing light in people's lives through his ministry as priest, pastor, and as chaplain to the sick and suffering at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. His inspiration will be a call to all of us to "go and do the same.”

Carol Marin and Mary Ann Ahern - "The Finish Line is in Sight"

On Friday, November 4, 2016

at Noon
 at The Union League Club
The First Friday Club of Chicago
Ms. Carol Marin and Ms. Mary Ann Ahern

NBC 5 Chicago 


Addressing the topic

 "The Finish Line Is in Sight!"


    It has been neither a sprint nor a marathon. It has been an Ultra-Marathon that only the strongest athletes can endure. However, this "Ultra" involves politicians, not athletes. And, for most of us, crossing that finish line cannot come soon enough!

Political pundits, nearly every journalists and every adult across America, have said that we have never seen a race like this before. From the start line to that impending finish line are two of Chicago's finest journalists: Mary Ann Ahern and Carol Marin.

The First Friday Club is honored that they have accepted the invitation to address us on Friday, November 4th, a few days before those candidates cross the finish line.

Carol Marin and Mary Ann Ahern need no introduction to most of us. They have been in our homes for many, many years through the magic of television. Carol Marin, a graduate of Palatine High School, returned to Chicago in 1978 when she was hired by NBC 5 Chicago. Mary Ann Ahern, joined NBC 5 Chicago in 1989. She has reported on many of the Catholic stories in our city. In 1991, she was the first journalist to report on the priest sex/pedophile crisis. She has covered the stories of the lives and deaths of Cardinals and Popes.