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St. Thomas the Apostle Church

Freshmen Small Groups

 2016-2017 Freshmen Small Group Information

Leaders & Group Information:

Please note the days, times, and locations are to be considered general meeting times.  As the year gets going, there may be some other service & social opportunities that are promoted by the small group leaders which may be at different times and/or on different days.  Small groups will meet at least once-a-month, but will also likely present at least one other opportunity a month apart from the standard group meeting.

Group Leader(s)                                                 Day         Meeting Time         Location

Sue LaBarbara & Carrie Plos                              Sundays   11:00-12:30 p.m.    St. Thomas

Carrie Wujek & Lynne Nolan                                Sundays    7:00-8:30 p.m.      St. Thomas

Ann Zediker/Barb Wichman/Angel Chavarin        Sundays    4:30-6:00 p.m.      St. Thomas

Gail Micheau & Steve Purduski                            Sundays    4:30-6:00 p.m.      St. Thomas

Kaitlyn Miller/Sarah Kuhl/Nicole Oguike               Mondays    7:30-9:00 p.m.      St. Thomas

Maureen McMenamin & Jorgette Montilla            Sundays     4:30-6:00 p.m.      St. Thomas

Janet Foy, Andrew Foy, & Samantha Fattes        Sundays     7:00-8:30 p.m.     St. Thomas

At this point, all groups have been FINALIZED.

To see group meeting dates, please visit the calendar page by clicking here!

Group Leader Bios:

Group 1

Carrie Plos – Carrie and her family have been St. Thomas parishioners for 18 years.  She is married, has 2 children (Connor 14 and Dylan 8) and an energetic cockapoo named Paisley.  You may have seen her at Doughnut Sunday, since she has been a part of that Ministry for many years.  Carrie is looking forward to helping our teens strengthen their bond with the St. Thomas Church Community as they prepare for their Confirmation.

Sue LaBarbara – Sue and her family have been St. Thomas parishioners for 15 years. She is married, has 3 children (Mia 23, Sam 16 and Josh 14) and a dramatic beagle (Fenway). For 4 years Sue was a mentor on the Transitional Housing ministry, then last year made the switch to lead a Small Group as her middle son was starting the Confirmation process. She is excited to again be helping the youth of St. Thomas (and her youngest son) by leading a Small Group this year.

Sue and Carrie hope to help their Small Group members better understand their faith, grow their compassion and understanding for others by participating in a wide variety of community service opportunities and build new peer relationships/strengthen existing ones ~ all while having some fun!


Group 2

Lynne Nolan – Lynne enjoys the teenage journey, recognizing its emotional, social, physical challenges. She has laughed and cried with teens over the years. An educator by profession, Lynne feels that the core values of our faith are an essential part of navigating that journey. Helping teens take ownership of their faith is a key element to our small group focus.

Carrie Wujek – Carrie has been a catechist for over 10 years, at various places and grade levels.  She loves getting teens to talk, although now that she has her own, it’s a little more challenging.  A former high school English teacher, she loves delving into deep meaning but also knows the value of learning by doing.  She believes that our young people need connection — now, more than ever, to God, to our faith, and to our community.


Group 3

Ann Zediker & Barb Wichman & Angel Chavarin – We are three moms who have freshman daughters. We support catholic education and look forward to leading our group on beginning their confirmation journey. We strive to be good listeners, role models, and keep the teens connected to their parish and community.


Group 4

Gail Micheau – I have a daughter who is a Freshman in College and my son is in 8th grade.  I led a freshman small group 5 years ago for my daughter’s class and for the last 2 years have been an Adult Small Group leader on the sophomore Life Retreats.  Through these experience I have found I learn as much from the kids in my group as they do from me.  I look forward to a great year with small group as we turn the religious education experience around and ask the kids to start to take charge and lead the way.

Steve Purduski – I have been a member of the St. Thomas’ community, along with my wife Jane and son Peter for 5 years.  As a middle school catechist, high school small group leader,  as well as a Boy Scout adult leader, my mission seems to be in working with youth in their developing years.  I am looking forward to sharing my own personal faith story with the young adults in my small group, some of whom I am sure I know from middle school RE!


Group 5 

Sarah Kuhl – I have been a St. Thomas parishioner for 1 year. I am a recent graduate from the University of Illinois and this will be my 2nd year as a catechist at St. Thomas, with similar past experience at a former parish. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with young people and growing with them on their faith journeys.

Kait Miller – I am new to St. Thomas and excited to get involved!  I am a fundraiser for a nonprofit in Chicago and spend my free time riding my bike around the suburbs.  I look forward to connecting with the youth in the parish!

Nicole Oguike – My family and I have been members of the St. Thomas Church for 17 years.  I grew up with this church and through the faith I developed as a parishioner of the church, I’ve been able to get through some hard times.  Now I want to give back to a community that has given me so much.  I want to help guide the teens of our community as they embark on their journey of faith!


If you have any questions contact Brett in the Youth Ministry Office at 630-355-8980 x 117 or



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