“AWAKENING” happens when passion meets purpose. On February 12, 2021 at 7 p.m. our AWAKENING Concert will combine music and imagery for the purpose of supporting our Soup Kitchen and all the ministries of Our Lady of Lourdes parish. The concert will feature a World Premier, Latin orchestral piece written by Julian Molina Abad and conducted by Sam Sharp. We will also be gifted by the Gospel Choir of St. Agatha parish as well as our own soloist Jennifer Carlin. Fr Michael Shanahan and Johanna Ortegon will present a variation of the Sergei Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto on two pianos. This virtual concert will be testimony to the power that is created when passion unites with purpose. Our ultimate sense of purpose and passion comes from the Christ. Thank God for the faith that leads us forward.


One of the greatest gifts of life is to have a sense of purpose. When we know what we are here for we find motivation, commitment and courage. Our Lady of Lourdes has carried the mission of Christ in bold and selfless ways for many years. Despite many obstacles, including Covid-19, the many ministries of our parish have adapted to the shifting priorities of our days. We are grateful for the constant support in donations of time, talent and treasure. Consider our Soup Kitchen for example. You, the parishioners and friends of Our Lady of Lourdes have contributed to our Soup Kitchen since its opening in 1980. Thousands of families and individuals have been nourished by hospitality and a warm meal throughout all those years. This is evidence of passion and purpose. This is a good story to tell. 

Our goal is $50,000. We have collected $43,990 
due to the generosity of some parishioners and many friends from outside the parish who have already shown big-heartedness for this concert. But in order to achieve this goal, we ask for your donation along with continued prayers to raise the remaining $6,010. 

It is simple to make your donation through:



Fr Michael Shanahan began piano study at an early age. He studied classical piano under Vladimir Leyetchkiss at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. He has remained engaged as a pianist throughout his entire adult life as a priest. For him, music is a form of meditation and connection with God.  He has played professionally in numerous locations throughout Chicagoland. Fr. Shanahan remains connected with music because it enhances his ability to be present to those to whom he ministers as a priest and a therapist. He is the soloist in a two-piano performance in a variation of the Second Piano Concerto by Sergei Rachmaninoff. This musical masterpiece holds deep significance for Fr. Shanahan. For him it speaks of penetrating beauty as well as struggle and perseverance. As God is truly a composer, so this musical work of art powerfully concludes with victory. 


Dennis Smith was a musical prodigy and started playing music at 7 years old at First Corinthians Baptist Church in Chicago.  His parents noticed his gift and brought him his first organ and that is where the magic began.  Dennis further honed his gift attending music school at Lyon and Healey. 

Dennis’s anointing has offered him the opportunity to play with some of the biggest names in Gospel, including Tramaine Hawkins, Kim McFarland, Douglas Miller, Reverend James Moore, Evangelist Beverly Crawford, Angie Spivey and the Voices of Victory to name a few.  Dennis stepped out on faith and completed a CD titled Volume I Smith Brothers.  His CD project is a collection of music that defies genre categorization. It is a blend of Gospel, Jazz, and R&B and promotes healing and bringing people to Christ. Dennis collaborated with his brother Calvin who is also a musician to create The Smith Brothers band, together they produced, played and wrote many of the songs on the CD released in 2017.  

Dennis spear-headed the St. Agatha It’s Over It’s Alright cd project and wrote many of the songs on the CD.

Dennis has shared his gift as a music instructor at Dorolyn Academy for 14 years and  has also served as Minister of Music at St. Agatha for over 20 years. In addition, he previously taught music at St. Sabina Academy.  Dennis is a force to be reckoned with, expect to hear more from this gifted Musician.


Johanna Ortegon is an accomplished pianist who hails from Colombia.  Along with piano performances, Ms. Ortegon is the director of liturgical music for OLOL church.  In addition, she founded the Ortegon School Of Music where she is director and teaches group classes as well as private lessons.  Johanna is both creative and musical director of the Mulati Ensemble, a group that explores various genres of repertoire from classical to folk and celebrates a diversity of cultures through music. Under her direction, all of these groups have performed in venues throughout the Chicagoland area.

​Starting her musical education at age eight, Johanna first began at the Instituto Musical Diego Echavarria where she studied piano.  She went on to acquire her Bachelors Of Music with an emphasis on piano performance from Eafit University.  Johanna then earned her Masters Degree in piano performance from Eastern Michigan University where she trained in the studio of the esteemed Dr. Joel Schoenhals. As part of her studies, Johanna performed in many master classes including those conducted by the renowned Rebecca Penneys.  Since then, Ms. Ortegon has had notable performances throughout Colombia, Mexico, The United States and Europe both as a soloist and as part of many various ensembles which even includes a solo audience with the now sainted Pope John Paul II. 


Julian Molina Abad Composer musician, artistic creator and educator. He was born in Medellín Colombia, where the influences of the environment  structured in him a special creativity. In his blood and in his genes runs the inheritance of his great-grandfather Nicolás Molina, prolific and important composer of traditional Colombian music. For this reason, Julián Molina Abad, is one of the pioneers of new Colombian music.

He studied composition, theory and music pedagogy in addition to literature courses, at academies and universities such as La Javeriana, EAFIT and the University of Antioquia.

Always on the paths of innovation he amalgamates in his works, projects and presentation all artistic disciplines: sound, color, form, light, theater, etc. and links them with social and psychological concepts.


Jennifer Carlin At an early age, Jennifer Carlin displayed a talent for harmonizing and improving.  After making her solo debut at age 17 singing in Rome for Pope John Paul II, Jennifer began her music education at College Of DuPage, then went on to earn her Bachelor’s of Music at Roosevelt University’s Chicago Musical College.  Though the focus of her studies was classical voice, Ms. Carlin’s portfolio includes music from every genre, from opera to gospel. When she’s not spending time with her husband and son, Jennifer can be found singing in various Chicago churches and venues, as well as working part time as a marketing analyst and social media manager.  Jennifer is thrilled to be collaborating with the esteemed Dennis Smith and hopes this is just the beginning of their new musical friendship.



Sam Sharp As a native Chicagoan, Sam Sharp has been part of the city’s music scene for a long time. Born in Beverly, he studied violin at a Suzuki school in Western Springs, before continuing on at Oberlin Conservatory and Indiana University. After returning to Chicago, Sam has been an active performer and teacher around the Chicago area. He has performed with many local orchestras and recently released his first album called “Abbey Bowed”, a string quartet re-envisioning of the Beatles’ Abbey Road. He first played at Our Lady of Lourdes several years ago, and has felt blessed to become a regular member of that musical community. Sam is a composer as well, and will make his conducting debut during this concert. He teaches violin at the New Music School and Merry Music Makers. 



  AWAKENING Committee: Fr Michael Shanahan, Iris Brenk, Jennifer Carlin, John Haley, Aurora Olgado, Johanna Ortegon, Mary Eileen Sullivan