First ever St. John’s Ball a Success


The first ever St. John’s Ball was a grand success.



As Chicagoans celebrated the weekend at bars and street festivals, over 200 young adults celebrated ‘St. John’s Eve’ downtown with a traditional Ball, experiencing the grandeur of a bygone era.

St. Johns Ball ChicagoAt the first annual “St. John’s Ball,” held at the magnificent Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center, a live orchestra set the stage for Waltzes and Polonaise under the world’s largest Tiffany dome. Satin gloves, exquisite gowns, and coattails were in abundance.

The St. John’s Ball, held near the midsummer solstice, joins a long tradition of lively evening celebrations when historically Catholic cultures commemorate “St. John’s Eve” with bonfires or other festivities to mark the longest available daylight. The coming shortening of days mirrored St. John the Baptist’s own words, “He must increase, but I must decrease.

In a special letter written for the occasion, Fr. C. Frank Phillips, C.R., pastor, remarked to ball attendees that, “In your own way, you are restoring the sacred, by reviving an art form which is beautiful, traditional, elegant and inspiring.”

Fr. Phillips pointed out the connection between the Ball and the vesture and ceremonies of the Catholic Liturgy:

“For Holy Mass and Divine Service the clergy dress in vestments, special attire, and follow ‘rubrics’ a proper manner of acting at the Altar.

Tonight, in your formal attire, you experience something different. The history, the elegance, the form, the music, the proper dress, the etiquette, all point to a way of life which raises us to a higher level.”

The events were hosted by Quo Vadis Young Adults from St. John Cantius Church, a parish community well known for its story of renaissance.  WFMT, Chicago’s premiere classical radio station, says of the artistic community, “St John Cantius Church has established itself as a cultural hub in the Chicago area.”

Proceeds for the ball will be donated to WFMT‘s Bach to School program, which provides thousands of school children access to music from the great composers.


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Chicago Young AdultsQuo Vadis Young Adults is a community of young adults which meets weekly at St. John Cantius Parish in Chicago for Mass, Compline (sung night prayer) and social gatherings. Through beauty, charity, and the Sacraments, we seek to rediscover a sense of the sacred.

We are open to anyone interested, whether Catholic or not! Join us each Wednesday evening at St. John Cantius Church for Mass at 7:30pm followed by a talk, discussion, or social downstairs.

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See you next year!