Image by Kentaro Toma


The Rev. Kathryn "Kat" Banakis

Kat previously served at St. Luke’s as Community Connector, Theologian-in-Residence, Assistant Priest, and Vicar. Outside of serving at St. Luke’s and other churches, Kat has also worked at a fundraising consulting firm; as the head of finance for an education access non-profit; and as a federal lobbyist building national coalitions around issues of affordable housing and community development.

Kat has a demonstrated commitment to combining issues of the day with inter-faith and inter-denominational efforts. She is producer and host of the Holy Holy Podcast, which combines contemporary topics, secular experts, and an interfaith panel of Chicago-area faith leaders. She served on the board of the Beatitudes Society, an organization for faith and public life that later became affiliated with the multi-faith Auburn Seminary. Her book, Bubble Girl: An Irreverent Journey of Faith, provides an overview of Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic approaches to Christian thought.

Kat was ordained a priest at St. Luke’s in 2012.  She holds a Master’s of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music, a certificate in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and a BA in religious studies, also from Yale. In recent years, she has been recognized with the Duke Divinity Innovation Grant, as a Duke Divinity Leadership Emerging Christian Leaders Fellow, the Louisville Institute Pastoral Study Project Grant Recipient, and as a Transition into Ministry Lilly Fellow. She and her family live in Chicago.

Staff and Volunteers

The vestry is a board of nine laypersons who have material responsibility for the parish. The parishioners elect three vestry members annually to three-year terms.


Chris Roberts - Treasurer

Joe Zurawski - Clerk

Vestry liaisons for ministries: 

  • Buildings and Grounds: Ted Adams, Denise Steinhauser 

  • Pandemic Reentry: Richard Foote, Erin Schmidt 

  • Building Community & Hospitality: Denise Steinhauser, Erin Schmidt 

  • Welcoming New People: Birch Burghardt, Richard Foote, Judy Herbert 

  • Stewardship: Amy Skalinder, Ted Adams, Gaylord Brynolfson 

  • Finance and Budget: Amy Skalinder, Richard Foote 

  • Personnel and Volunteer Recruitment/Management: Emilie Giacobbe 

  • Social Justice and Race: Gaylord Brynfolson, Birch Burghardt, Judy Herbert 

  • Christian Education: Judy Herbert, Emilie Giacobbe 

  • Liturgy/Music: Ted Adams 

  • Strategic Planning: Amy Skalinder, Henry Austin, Cheryl Souder 

  • Opus 327: Cheryl Souder

Our Commitments

  • St. Luke’s is a community of learning. We are learning to live with the legacy and reality of racism in our country and our church. Read our 2022 Commitments on Racism and White Supremacy here.

  • In January 2020, St. Luke’s adopted its latest Strategic Plan based on many months of parish input. The vestry reviews progress against goals throughout the year, and we look at progress annually as a parish in our annual report and annual meeting.