Know us Better

Our Beginnings

Established in 1993 by seven Chicago-area families with Catholic-Jewish interfaith backgrounds, the Family School offers a K-8th grade religious education program, with parents taking an active role in teaching. Over three decades, our non-profit organization has evolved into a thriving community encompassing both couples and families with children of all age groups.

The Family School is built on a Catholic and Jewish curriculum and our religious discussions often focus on these faiths. However, we welcome families of all faith backgrounds and especially believe those of other Christian denominations will find the curriculum and our discussions relevant to their own journeys. 

Our Mission

Our school aims to instill in our students a strong sense of identity, rooted in their respective religious heritages, while fostering an appreciation for the common values as well as the differences that underpin both Judaism and Catholic Christianity. Through this balanced approach, we hope to nurture the next generation of educated, empathetic individuals who embrace diversity and seek to build bridges across religious divides.

Our community aims to be a welcoming and inclusive group of couples and families eager to share the faiths we have learnt growing up, with our partners and each other, in an atmosphere of acceptance, continuous learning and shared celebrations.

Our Clergy

Our Clergy provide spiritual leadership and guidance, and support for major life events including Weddings, Baptisms/Baby Namings, Communion, Bat/Bar Mitzvahs, and Funerals.

Rabbi Ari Moffic 

Rabbi Ari was ordained a Reform Rabbi from Hebrew Union College in 2007. She has been involved with the Family School for more than a decade. Her work supporting interfaith and dual-faith families has been the heart of her rabbinate. In addition to being a supportive clergy to the Family School, she is the Director of Youth and Teen Experience at Mishkan Chicago. She also officiates B’nei Mitzvah ceremonies for Family School children.

Fr Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath is the presiding priest at Old St. Pat’s. He is18th Pastor of Old St. Patrick’s Church. In 2000, he entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and professed his perpetual vows in 2002. He has lived and worked in Detroit, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. In 2006, Fr. McGrath was elected as the president of Loyola Academy.

Emeritus & Visiting Clergy

  • Fr. John Cusick, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, is one of our founding clergy. He taught Theology at Niles College of Loyola University, is the author of several books and was appointed to the Executive Ethics Commission of the State of Illinois. Fr Cusick regularly presides at Old St. Patrick’s Church Masses. 

    Fr. John Cusick

    Fr. John Cusick
  • Rabbi Allen Secher, one of our founding clergy, is a rabbi, civil and human rights activist, radio host, television producer, actor, author and public speaker. Over the course of his career, Allen Secher served congregations in New York City, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Montana before retiring in 2013.

    Rabbi Allen Secher

    Rabbi Allen Secher
  • Fr. Tom Hurley welcomed us during his time as the Pastor of Old St. Pat's and over the years has continuously offered his wisdom and spirtual guidance. In his new role at Marist High School, we are fortunate that he retains close ties with the Family School, joining us several times a year.  

    Fr. Tom Hurley

    Fr. Tom Hurley
  • Rabbi Emeritus Chava Bahle, is a twice ordained rabbi and maggid, a Jewish inspirational storyteller. Chava has always been passionate about people of all faiths learning and worshiping together and served as our Family School rabbi for many years. She earned her Doctor of Ministry from Catholic Theological Union at Chicago, where she focused on mystical aspects of interreligious dialogue. 

    Rabbi Chava Bahle

    Rabbi Chava Bahle
  • Rabbi Evan Moffic is a rabbi, author and public speaker. He currently leads Makom Solel Lakeside, a 600-family synagogue in the Chicago suburbs. A graduate of Stanford University, he speaks frequently at conferences, companies, and houses of worship across the country. He joins the Family School as a guest speaker several times a year. 

    Rabbi Evan Moffic

    Rabbi Evan Moffic

Our Location

Francis Xavier Warde School on the Old St. Patrick's Church campus. 

120 S Desplaines St, Chicago, IL 60661

Free parking is available on Sundays in the garage of 625 W. Adams (enter on Desplaines St.).

© 2024 The Family School