There are 24 hours in a day and one South Side man is
using as many of them as he can for the good of the community.
Michael Jacobson is a man with three titles -- a father, a pastor and an associate principal.
He has taken on the role of the Youth Pastor at Incarnation Church, 5705 West 127th Street in Palos Heights for the church’s teen group, TRAIN (Teens Reaching out Addressing Incarnation Needs) in November and is also working as the Associate Principal at Harold L. Richards High School, a role he also began this past autumn at the start of the school year.
“It is very difficult managing all three responsibilities because all of these things take a commitment of both time and energy,” he said, “My wife is super supportive of all of my commitments so that really helps.”
Jacobson and his wife, Erin, live in Crestwood with their three daughters: Veronica, 16; Gwen, 13; and Fiona, 9. He has been a volunteer in the religious education program for the past ten years, working in a lay-person service program at Incarnation, reciting readings during mass; however, a career in the church never crossed Jacobson’s mind until he was offered a position.
“I never thought about working in the church until our pastor, Fr. Arek [Falana], called me in and asked me if I would like to become youth minister,” he said, “After I thought about it for a few days, I accepted.”
Jacobson said his love for the church grew even more as he organizes social, service and religious activities for the teens each month. The Youth Ministry Group has made lunches for people serviced by Lincoln Park Community Shelter, made care packages for homeless people in the city, made food for the Ronald McDonald House that services Loyola and helped families within the parish. They also ran a pray-a-thon, performed a passion play and helped with the Triduum services.
“I just really like working with the kids in the parish,” Jacobson said, “They are great. These young people are really on fire with the concept of service.”
It’s not all hard work though, as the group has held laser tag, volleyball and softball team outings, along with a mission trip planned for this summer from July 19 through July 25.
The group will drive to Harlan, Kentucky for a faith-based experience centered on rehabbing houses in the area for local residents in need. As gratitude for the group’s service and dedication, the Knights of Columbus is donating $150 toward the trip.
“The best thing about our program is how the kids are constantly looking for ways to get their peers involved,” Jacobson said, “The idea is to always have a place where kids can come to be involved in something that is social and positive. We don’t want any kid to feel like they are isolated and have no peer group. All are always welcome.”